Proposal to Rename the Indigenous and Decolonial Art Concentration
The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) program initiated the Indigenous and Decolonial Art concentration in 2017; and with the collaboration of Jamie Figueroa (Boricua/Afro-Taíno), who convened an Indigenous Circle of Advisors. Jamie resigned from the College in 2019, and no new Indigenous faculty members have since been hired.
We acknowledge the coloniality of continuing to include the word "Indigenous" in the name of the concentration, given that there are no Indigenous faculty members, and whose leadership in the design of the concentration is essential. Moreover, the COVID-19-related move to virtual residencies has curtailed our engagement with Indigenous communities local to the Fort Worden campus, the Klallam/S'Klallam sister tribes, and the Snohomish.
We believe that settlers need to dismantle the extractive use of the term, "decolonization", and to undertake the long-term, conscientious work to decolonize our practices, minds, bodies, institutions, and governance. We will not approach decolonization as a metaphor, but are bound to serve as advocates for and co-conspirators in the fight for Indigenous self-determination and Rematriation of Indigenous land.
Until Goddard College can prioritize resources for Indigenous leadership in the MFAIA program, we will rename the concentration, Decolonial Arts Praxis (DAP).
Indigenous & Decolonial Arts
The MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) Indigenous and Decolonial Art (IDA) concentration emerged in response to the most recent resurgence in North America of Indigenous sovereignty and anti-colonial resistance movements that can be traced back to activism led by Indigenous communities since the onset of settler colonialism ...
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My experience in the MFAIA program had a profound impact on my artistic path. I entered the program as an actor, director, and teaching artist; I finished with a new sense of identity as a maker of original interdisciplinary works, and with a clear articulation of my artistic identity and practice.
I've joined Ping Chong + Company in New York as Artistic Collaborator in Residence. I enjoy ongoing artistic/community relationships in Alaska, where I lived when I started the program. I've continued to create original performance works, and I'm pleased to have university teaching opportunities.
Ryan Conarro (MFAIA-WA 2015) https://www.ryanconarro.com/