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Seven Generations of Red Power in New Mexico

Albuquerque Museum presents a virtual exhibition that showcases a tradition of activism in New Mexico

Albuquerque Museum brings together several generations of Red Power activists from its founders to its present day participants, who will comment on its legacy in New Mexico. Panel moderated by Dr. Nick Estes, guest curator for the exhibition. Joining Dr. Nick Estes on the panel is Jennifer Denetdale, Simon Ortiz, and Jennifer Marley.

On View

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Seven Generations 2020

Jared Yazzie, Better Future, 2020, digital print, courtesy of the artist


Details subject to change.

 

Whether or not you’ve heard the phrase “seven generations” before, there’s a good chance that it doesn’t mean what you think it does.

The concept of seven generations is often misconstrued as being about seven generations in the future. Instead, “seven generations” refers to the three generations that came before, the three generations that will come next, and the present generation. For many Native American communities, this idea is a way to conceptualize change and a way to live in right relation with all living beings.

This fall, the Albuquerque Museum will launch a virtual exhibition titled Seven Generations of Red Power in New Mexico. The exhibit will tell the long story of Indigenous resistance in this region and reflect on how the activism of today is part of that long, unbroken legacy.

Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and University of New Mexico assistant professor in American Studies, is guest curating the exhibition. His educational background in history and his long involvement in activism made him a key voice to tell the story.

Art has been an enduring tool of Indigenous activism, and the exhibit features some contemporary artists whose work reflects that. One featured artist, Jared Yazzie (Diné), designs streetwear that incorporates Navajo designs under his brand OXDX. He recently created a poster in response to the COVID-19 emergency on the Navajo Nation. The image serves as a reminder to stay safe, wear a face mask, and look forward to a better future.

Art has often been used to react to historical upheavals and stand up to injustice. Likewise, standing up to injustice has consistently been a way to be a good relative—to the three generations that came before and the three that will come next. Seven Generations seeks to illuminate that history of resistance and its ongoing legacy in New Mexico.