March 23, 2010

Art show about FBI and Indians

Art and activism collide

‘Freedom of Information: The FBI, Indian Country, and Surveillance’

By Staci GolarThree poets and over 15 visual artists will explore the complex and often violent relationship between Native Americans and the Federal Bureau of Information in the art show, Freedom of Information: The FBI, Indian Country, and Surveillance. Their works will examine the volatile times of the 1960s and 1970s, when the FBI’s COINTELPRO program sought to crush Indian activism, up to the present where technology allows intrusion into our personal lives to a previously unimaginable degree.What it's about:This art show will explore the personal experiences of artists who have been incarcerated, threatened, attacked, or spied upon by the FBI, but also artists who have worked with the FBI as prosecutors and who have been helped by the FBI in investigations. Artists explore the effect of these experiences on their personal lives. We also examine how, due to technological advances, surveillance has become utterly ubiquitous and even accepted in today’s world. Now most photographs and videos are taken by machines, not human beings. What does this lack of privacy mean to us individually and collectively? How does it change our behavior? And where ultimately will it lead us?Some of the participants include poets:
  • Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C., a founding trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, and an award-winning writer.

  • John Trudell (Santee Dakota), poet, national recording artist, actor and activist. Trudell worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM) serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979.
  • And artists:
  • Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Chippewa/Lakota), lithograph prints. The most prominent political prisoner in the United States, Peltier is currently in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Comment:  For more on government oppression, see CIA Suppressed Sainte-Marie's Music. For more on Indian activism and AIM:

    AIM's misdeeds too "complex" to cover?
    Debate over Wounded Knee
    Controversy in Wounded Knee

    2 comments:

    10th Little Indian said...

    Wow, it is about time! I have in my possession a publication called, "Voices From Wounded Knee; 1973", published by Akwesasne Notes. It details radio transmissions; photographs from the inside; meetings with the Federal government; meeting within the American Indian Movement and other inside details of the standoff. I see parallels in the US Government and private mercenaries practices in current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am in constant arguments and debate with Oklahomans that refuse to see things outside the bubble.

    Lorie said...

    While I agree with the '10th Little Indian' about the timing on such an event, I don't understand the Oklahoma bashing. Granted that the tribes that reside in Oklahoma don't live on reservations and enjoy our sovereignty differently from those who live on the Reservation. That doesn't mean that we don't understand, haven't lived or don't empathize with the plight of all of Native America -- thus the creation of different organizations that strive to maintain the rights of Indian Country as a whole.

    Despite what you think, it is the duty of every Native American who has success to give back to their nation. That is the only way that all Native Americans will have chance and opportunity to succeed. I see this every day; I have friends who work dilligently to achieve goals that help their respective tribes -- whether it be in education, health care, political rights or business matters. I would not have the education that I have today had I not grown up in Oklahoma. Or would I have a college degree if it weren't for being born into a specific blood line -- more specifically I would owe a hell of lot more in student loans.

    The tragedy of Wounded Knee should never be forgotten -- and will not be forgotten or forgiven as long as Peltier remains a political prisoner. I am proud that someone saw fit to bring the issues that surround that massacre and other atrocities of that era in Native American History into the broad mainstream. It will be interesting to see what type of reception this event will get.