From the Washington Redskins football team to music festival attendees casually sporting traditional feathered headdresses, Native Americans have been pushing back against a tide of cultural appropriation and fighting for respectful representation.
Stirred by the ongoing misrepresentation of Native Americans in modern media, Brown University postdoctoral fellow Adrienne Keene set out to curate an art exhibit that challenges the existing stereotypes and issues facing Native people.
“I wanted to showcase a different side of the story—how Native artists are engaging these long histories of misrepresentation to create a new narrative of what it means to be a Native person today,” Keene told TakePart.
The Native Re-Appropriations: Contemporary Indigenous Artists exhibit at Brown’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America features five Native American artists: Jared Yazzie, Gregg Deal, Sierra Edd, Steven Paul Judd, and Nani Chacon.
“Most of America has so little exposure to modern American Indians that they don’t have any counterimages to draw upon,” said Keene. “This artwork is intended to offer a critique through humor, bold statements, and the reimaging of recognizable images in pop culture, which I’m hoping gives visitors a better sense of contemporary Native identities.”
Here are some of the pieces that go on display Monday.