This February, the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design will welcome Decolonizing Alaska, a multimedia visual art exhibit featuring contemporary artists exploring and responding to Alaska’s history of colonization and its emerging influence on sustainability, both environmental and cultural.
A collaboration of 30 diverse native and non-native Alaskan artists, Decolonizing Alaska introduces new ideas around Alaskan culture by connecting endangered traditions with contemporary identity constructs. Artists move beyond stereotypical ideas of dogsleds and Eskimos and inspire conversation around self-definition and the power to express ideas about identity separate from those that permeate popular culture.
“There has never been a more important time to talk about native Alaskan histories and narratives, which have otherwise remained unseen, hidden or overlooked,” said Corcoran School Director Sanjit Sethi. “Our current socio-political climate has created a space where public vitriol, castigation, scrutiny and marginalizing of ‘the other’ have picked up a dangerous degree of momentum. A true response to these socio-political conditions comes not only from social media and traditional forms of protest, but also from the thoughtful investment of diverse, creative practitioners.”
Decolonizing Alaska is sponsored by Bunnell Street Arts Center, curated by Asia Freeman and supported in part by grants from ArtWorks, the CIRI Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation with additional support from the exhibit venues and Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.