Art and the MMIW Movement

Sarah Howes

Posted on February 12 2020

Why does art even matter anyway?

Shouldn't we be doing more?

The power of an image can hit you in the stomach and lodge itself in our heart. 

We are all carrying parts of the MMIW epidemic in our stomach and our hearts as well.  

Art makes us VISIBLE.  When we as Indigenous people are SEEN, we cannot be denied. The Movement to address the MMIW epidemic is gaining ground. We need powerful imaging of ourselves as strong, fierce, and resilient.  We need to be reminded that we are not only survivors but victors.  

The art of the MMIW movement is an incredible example of how we as Indigenous people wrap ourselves around a concept and make it beautiful.  Any search of Instagram will show you countless photos of strong, beautiful Native women trying to find a way through handprints to show that they are still here. 

We imagine those women as they place their hand across their face.  Who are they thinking of? What scars are they exposing?  

Well, we see you sis. 

We need art to move us.  And we are proud to be a part of this movement.  When the incredible photographer Nedahness Greene asked if we would bring together models and use our blanket in her MMIW magazine shoot we knew that what she would bring to our eyes and hearts would make us breathless.  Her work captures the strength and beauty of Indigenous women in a way that can only be described as seeing our magic.

When the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition asked us to create banner art for their community art build and March happening this Friday February 14 in Minneapolis we were honored.  The center piece of the banner reflects us moving together towards the future.  We carry our ceremony, our children, and together we go forward.  There will be hardship and so many things shooting our way, but we have to keep everyone in.  We have to go together. 

Our hope is that we all find our role in building safe, healthy, thriving communities.  We want our art to support the movements happening across our region.  We believe in transformation.  

Here's some of what is happening across the region:

https://kbjr6.com/2020/02/12/watch-missing-and-murdered-an-invisible-epidemic/?fbclid=IwAR2PYDdknYJVr9bPnMyJMUqCmAJVupdiQocup2a6F4hi4dPWpwld_aThK78

Friday:

Across the state:

http://www.startribune.com/not-one-more-minnesota-launches-task-force-on-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women/560823612/

 We all have a role to play in protecting women in our community.  Let's go together.

#mmiw #notonemore  

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