MNI WICONI

MIRROR SHIELD PROJECT

"As artists, we live on the periphery. But we are the mirrors. We are the reflective points that break through a barrier." -Cannupa Hanska Luger, L.A. TIMES

The mirror shield project was initiated for and at Oceti Sakowin camp near Standing Rock, ND in 2016. Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger created a tutorial video shared on social media inviting folks to create mirror shields for water protectors. People from across the Nation created and sent these shields to the water protectors onsite at camps in Standing Rock. The Mirror Shield project has since been formatted and used in various resistance movements across the Nation.

"This project was inspired by images of women holding mirrors up to riot police in the Ukraine, so that the police could see themselves. The materials I chose to use were affordable and accessible, and I chose to use a reflective mylar on a ply-board instead of glass mirror for safety and durability. This project speaks about when a line has been drawn and a frontline is created; that it can be difficult to see the humanity that exists behind the uniform holding that line. But those police are human beings, and they need water just as we all do, the mirror shield is a point of human engagement and a remembering that we are all in this together. The project represents how just one person can acquire one sheet of plywood and cut it into 6 shields, those shields could stand on the frontline protecting hundreds behind them in prayer for the water, and right behind that line stands a camp where there are thousands of people standing for the water protection for the 8 million people down river, who all use the Missouri River as their water source. And so the Mirror Shield project demonstrates how one person can help protect 8 million." -Cannupa Hanska Luger 2016

A special thank you to Jack Becker from Forecast Public Art for helping bring Mirror Shields to Standing Rock, ND, along with Rory Wakemup at All My Relations Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who facilitated a workshop, hosting Cannupa Hanska Luger as guest artist for the Mirror Shield Project.