November 21, 2012

The Sugar Project: Modern Day Navajo Monster

‘Navajo Monster’: Artist Shares Diabetes-Focused Multimedia Installation Made From Granulated Sugar

By Eisa UlenChantelle Trista Yazzie sends a powerful message and call to action in her multimedia installation “The Sugar Project: Modern Day Navajo Monster.”

The 19-year-old Navajo artist depicted compelling images of human torsos topped with skeletal heads, which offer ominous warnings about an entire nation’s future. Made with granulated sugar and marked with Xs in place of eyes and mouths and even heart, these chests and skulls suggest that excessive sucrose is a frightening agent of death. The images of blinded and muted Navajos sound an alarm from the grave: overconsumption of sugar is killing the people.

Photographs of everyday Navajo people are covered by heaps of sugar that overwhelm them, symbolizing the burden of sugar addiction, the weight of obesity and the gravity of the diabetes epidemic in Indian country. Words scroll across the video, including the line, “One after another, this monster ate away their faces.”

View a video of her multimedia installation here or on YouTube.
Comment:  For more on Indians and diabetes, see Studi Films Diabetes Prevention Commercial and Notah Finally Wins NB3 Challenge.

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