Settlement comes to Plymouth’s Central Park this summer, with a fully decolonised large-scale contemporary art and events programme that features work by 29 acclaimed Native American artists who are recognised by the Smithsonian Institution and leading biennales.
The major contemporary art highlight of the Mayflower 400 commemorations, Settlement is a collaboration between US-based lead artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and Plymouth-based arts collective The Conscious Sisters CIC that allows artists complete control to explore the effects of the colonisation of North America from a Native American perspective.
From 6 July to 2 August, this multi-disciplinary arts programme will see artists investigate and interpret their lives as the survivors of colonialism and encourage a greater understanding of the contemporary Native American experience.
A creative response to the impacts of colonisation on a diverse number of tribal nations, Settlement will present a free daily programme of workshops, performances, installations and talks throughout the month.
To open the Settlement project onsite at Pounds House in Plymouth, members of the Wampanoag nation will produce a day of programming. The Sunday prologue will focus on the sharing the story of the Wampanoag, also known as the People of the First Light.
Leading the programme, artist Cannupa Hanska Luger will travel to Plymouth to work alongside the artists taking up residence in Central Park to support the creation of their art.
He will enable the local community to gain a deeper understanding of the complex living Indigenous cultures that have survived settler colonisation and facilitate weekly public dialogues about Settlement's ethos and durational performances as witness; holding space for the participating artists work as it is produced onsite.
Cannupa Hanska Luger. Picture by Brendan George Ko
Cannupa Hanska Luger said: "Settlement is designed as a creative response and reclaiming of public space to consider the impacts of colonisation on a diverse number of tribal nations who continue to thrive despite its long-term effects.
"The project creates space and time to address questions and traumas through contemporary artworks and engagement, while also presenting a radical and complex living example of indigenous resilience and intersection.
"The Settlement project goes beyond conversations of decolonisation and historical trauma by presenting vibrant and evolving contemporary art and culture, whilst actively practicing indigenisation.’
Settlement is supported by Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Cultural Development Fund.
'Nothing Happened Here #2'. Pictured by Jeremy Dennis
The Conscious Sisters CIC is a socially-engaged arts company based in Plymouth, which produces unique art projects working with and for the community.
Fiona and Karen Evans, of The Conscious Sisters CIC, added: "Telling the story of the decimation of North American indigenous culture is central to this commemoration - Mayflower 400.
"Settlement has provided a unique opportunity to attempt to decolonise our practice and use our privilege to develop work that is authentic and timely.
"We wholeheartedly encourage others to work with indigenous artists to produce fresh work that takes risks. Never has the indigenous voice been more relevant."
Art and Sculpture
Film and Digital Art
Music and Performance
Elisa Lorraine Harkins performing Wampum
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