Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land
Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land explores the impact of uranium mining on
Navajo lands and people. The art exhibition features work by twenty local and
regional artists, including Navajo and non-Native artists.
Through the participating artists, Hope and Trauma shares stories and perspectives from Navajo people of their experiences due to the impact of radiation on their bodies, their land, their water, their animals, and the materials and objects they use in their everyday lives. Art work is based on a series of interactions, shared stories, and educational programs that took place in Cameron, Arizona, and in Flagstaff, in October 2016.
Artwork in the exhibition includes sculpture, painting, photography, installation art, textiles, film, virtual-reality film, poetry, and performance. The participating artists are: Jeremy Singer, Venaya Yazzie, Helen Padilla, Anna Tsouhlarakis, Kim Hahn, Jane Lilly Benale, Esther Belin, Klee Benally, Mark Neumann, Elisa Rosales, Rebekah Nordstrom, Elbert Dayzie, Jocelyne Champagne Shiner, Jerrel Singer, Edie Dillon, Frederica Hall, Chip Thomas, Anne Collier, Malcolm Benally, Amy Martin, Pash Galbavy, Milton Tso, Debra Edgerton, and the Death Convention Singers and "2&1/2 min to Midnight" performance collaboration directed by Frederica Hall
From 1944 to 1986, nearly 20 million tons of uranium was extracted from Navajo lands. At the time, Navajo miners and residents were not informed of the health impacts of working in the mines, or of the impact on their lands. Many Navajo people have died of kidney failure and cancer from conditions linked to uranium.