Settlement is a conceptually-driven event, collaboratively conceived and produced by Native American artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and Plymouth-based collective theconscioussisters. This new performative encampment invites a wide range of Indigenous artists from across North America to occupy Plymouth’s Central Park for four weeks from July 6-August 7, 2020. Settlement is a key part the Mayflower 400, a year-long multi-national cultural program which commemorates the 1620 voyage of the pilgrims to the New World.
Before contact with Europeans, the Indigenous population was between 9 and 18 million. By the latter part of the 19th century, this Indigenous population was reduced to approximately 250,000. This horrific genocide included systematized boarding schools, involuntary sterilisation and mass murder. Settlement is designed as a creative response to the colonization of North America, reclaiming public space to consider its roots and impacts. It creates space and time to address questions and traumas -- for our own healing as Indigenous people -- and presents a radical and complex living example of Indigenous people today.
A settlement is an official agreement intended to resolve a dispute or conflict. It is also a previously “uninhabited” place where people establish a community. These two terms come together to inform a project that questions the appropriateness of both. Situated within a massive cultural festival remembering the historic voyage of the Mayflower, Settlement reasserts the presence and perspectives of Indigenous people. Through newly commissioned performance, social engagement, site-specific actions and ephemeral interactive installations, Settlement artists will investigate and interpret their lives as the survivors of settler colonialism. The project goes beyond conversations around decolonization and actively practices Indigenization. Settlement aims to support settler ancestors in moving towards a more relational understanding and acknowledgement of contemporary Indigeneity.
Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger has invited over 25 artists from various North American tribal nations and into the Pacific region to occupy Central Park in Plymouth, UK. There, he is working with local craftsman and architects, blacksmiths and a world renown theater company to build the structural context for Settlement. A number of impermanent structures will house the visiting artists and provide spaces for performances, workshops, and art installations. A stage and projection screen will be incorporated into the site’s design, creating outdoor venues for video, audio, and performance. Food will be provided by theconscioussisters, and onsite lodging will be in the form of sanctioned communal camping in Central Park. This Indigenous-designed encampment will have spaces for different scales of engagement, both public and invitation only/closed protocol.
Each of the invited artists is developing work that explores colonialism and its effects on Indigenous people, and will work with Luger over the course of a year to develop and produce their ideas. Invited for one-week intervals throughout the project’s month-long run, the artists will overlap with Luger and several others so as to live and work together on-site in a large-scale installation of public art. Luger will live on-site for the entire month, hosting each group and working support the presentation of their work. This support could take the form of film production, costume design and fabrication, or lending his physical presence to help realize a performative action. As with his previous work, Luger uses a solidarity model to support artists in taking conceptual and tactical risks.
Settlement is one part of the larger year-long, multi-national Mayflower 400 celebration. In addition to the Central Park encampment, each artist will produce a performance, workshop or lecture for a satellite venue elsewhere in Plymouth. A four-week long public engagement program will promote and present this series of workshops, performances and talks. Within the context of this massive quadricentennial commemoration, Settlement is an arts festival, a communal living experiment, a model for practicing indigenization, and a groundbreaking way to link communities across the globe.
WHO IS INVOLVED:
Over 25 artists will populate and activate the Mayflower 400 event over one month through Settlement. The artists are all Indigenous, with practices ranging from installation, performance, sound, VR, video, poetry, dance, social engagement and immersive theater. All artists will live on-site for one week and work together to produce new artworks to assert the presence and perspectives of Indigenous people, both in Central Park and in satellite venues.
Dakota Alcantara-Camacho (Matao from Låguas yan Gåni)
Jade Begay (Tesuque Pueblo/ Diné)
Raven Chacon (Diné)
Nanibah Chacon & Autumn Chacon (Diné)
Dayna Danger (Metis Federation of Manitoba)
Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock Indian Nation / Hassanamisco-Nipmuc)
Demian Dinéyazhi ́ (Diné)
Yatika Starr Fields (Osage, Muscogee Creek, Cherokee)
Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit, Unangax)
Haley Greenfeather English (Red Lake and Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
Raven Halfmoon (Caddo Nation of Oklahoma)
Sterlin Brown Harjo Jr (Seminole/Muscogee Creek)
Elisa Lorraine Harkins (Muscogee (Creek) and Cherokee)
Emily Johnson (Yup'ik)
Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq, Athabascan)
Ian Kuali’i (Kanaka Maoli/Native Hawaiian, Apache)
Dylan McLaughlin (Diné)
Laura Ortman (Apache)
Katherine Paul (Swinomish / Iñupiat)
Eric-Paul Riege (Diné)
Christine Howard Sandoval (Obispeño Chumash)
SANTIAGO X (Koasati (Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana) / Chamoru (Indigenous of Guam U.S.A.))
Rory Erler Wakemup (Boise Fort Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe)
Marie Watt (Cattauragus Territory Seneca Nation of Indians, Turtle Clan)
Kathy Elkwoman Whitman (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara)
Tanya Willard (Neskonlith Indian Band- Secwépemc Nation)
Artist Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota) generates Settlement’s guiding concepts; curates, designs, and builds the site in collaboration with Plymouth makers; lives on-site in Central Park for one month; supporting invited Indigenous artists and the production of their work.
UK organizer: Fiona Evans, theconscioussisters
US organizer: Ginger Dunnill, AHA Festival of Progressive Arts, Broken Boxes Podcast
SUPPORT THIS PROJECT:
Why your support is critical:
The funding goal for Settlement is $187,000; we still need to raise $85,000.
Because the Mayflower 400 cultural program commemorates the 1620 voyage of the pilgrims to the "New World", it is paramount that we as Indigenous people step in to direct our own narratives.
Your donation and support for the project will allow the 25+ selected Indigenous artists to be awarded $4,000 total for 1 week of participation.
Share this call for support with members of your community who may like to support this work, shareable links:
www.cannupahanska.com/settlement-donate and www.fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/settlement
Your donation will directly support Indigenous artists as they set sail for Plymouth to Indigenize a celebration of colonialism.
Settlement is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Settlement must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.