Part of the magic of Santa Fe Indian Market is how the presence of so many creative, smart people in town encourages — in just these few days in August — so many activities and experiences for people to soak in.
The condensed time frame helps bring the focus to issues of importance to Native America, whether education, justice, art, culture or any number of pressing topics. Much of the activism is presented in creative ways — Indian Market, after all, is about art — although many offerings are outside of the market proper. It’s one of the best examples of the creative economy leading to successful spinoffs.
The first priority, of course, is making it down to the Santa Fe Plaza this weekend, where you can meet artists, look for a piece of handmade art that speaks to you and then buy something that likely will become a family heirloom. But do take the time to take in the fascinating events built around the excitement of market.
One of most important brings awareness to the issue of violence against Native women — the monumental installation Every One by Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian) is on exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art and will be up until Sept. 21. With 4,000 handmade clay beads, each representing an indigenous victim of gender violence, Every One forms a portrait, the image based on a photograph by First Nations photographer Kali Spitzer.
Communities across the United States — including here in Santa Fe — participated in making the 4,000 beads. As a result, the joy of making art by hand came to thousands of people who otherwise might have missed out, while at the same time, reminding everyone of incredible violence against Native women. Through the woman’s face, the missing and murdered women and girls in Canada are no longer a statistic. They become real — human — people who loved and were loved.
Luger’s project is part of Project Indigene, a collaborative effort designed to discuss essential issues impacting indigenous art and artists around the globe. Artists and institutions joined to use art as a way of going deeper into such complicated topics as authenticity, appropriation, activism and artistic integrity. (You can read more about the effort at www.elpalacio.org/articles /winter17/indigene.pdf, with other information in Friday’s Pasatiempo.)
And the collaboration is just one of many opportunities to become immersed in art and activism.
Native Cinema Showcase is taking place, mostly at the New Mexico History Museum, with various kinds of programming, including a conversation on “State of the Art” at 3 p.m. Friday, a showing of Coco at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Santa Fe Railyard Park and the Rise Above shorts program at 1 p.m. Sunday focusing on overcoming adversity.
The 23rd Red Nation International Film Festival — an “On the Road” version — is showcasing the lack of roles for Native women in television and film. Earlier this week, festival founder Joanelle Romero and others held a news conference to discuss that lack of diversity and to showcase the movement #WhyWeWearRed, a global campaign to bring attention to missing and murdered Native women. If nothing else, people should go home from Indian Market this year with a better understanding of the tragedy of violence against indigenous women. (The complete schedule of festival films can be found at rednationff.com.
In short, there’s a lot to take in — activism, art, gallery openings, cinema, dance, music, fundraisers, museum exhibitions — an abundance, all happening because it’s time for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ annual Santa Fe Indian Market. Enjoy, and become informed.