Settlement is a Native American-led performative encampment in which 29 acclaimed Indigenous artists from across North America will activate Pounds House and surrounding grounds in Plymouth’s Central Park from 6 July to 2 August, 2020.
With practices ranging from performance, social engagement, installation, film, poetry, dance and immersive theatre, the wide range of contemporary Native American artists that will share their work for Settlement is unprecedented.
Daily programming will present a series of workshops, performances, installations and talks, creating a radically immersive onsite experience. In addition to the Central Park encampment, each Settlement artist will produce a public engagement elsewhere in the city of Plymouth.
Within the context of Mayflower 400, Settlement is more than an arts festival, it is a necessary space for Native American artists to investigate and interpret their lives as the survivors of settler colonialism and, in turn, to support settler ancestors in moving towards a more relational understanding and acknowledgement of the contemporary Native American experience.
To open the Settlement project onsite at Pounds House in Plymouth, members of the Wampanoag nation will produce a day of programming. The Sunday prologue will focus on the sharing the story of the Wampanoag, also known as the People of the First Light.
Leading the programme, artist Cannupa Hanska Luger will travel to Plymouth to work alongside the artists taking up residence in Central Park to support the creation of their art.
He will enable the local community to gain a deeper understanding of the complex living Indigenous cultures that have survived settler colonisation and facilitate weekly public dialogues about Settlement’s ethos and durational performances as witness; holding space for the participating artists work as it is produced onsite.
Cannupa Hanska Luger. Picture by Brendan George Ko
Settlement is supported by Arts Council England through National Lottery Project Grants and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Cultural Development Fund.
The Conscious Sisters CIC is a socially-engaged arts company based in Plymouth, which produces unique art projects working with and for the community.
Fiona and Karen Evans, of The Conscious Sisters CIC, said: “Telling the story of the decimation of North American indigenous culture is central to this commemoration – Mayflower 400. Settlement has provided a unique opportunity to attempt to decolonise our practice and use our privilege to develop work that is authentic and timely.”
Settlement programme highlights
Art and Sculpture
Contemporary fine art photographer Jeremy Dennis will explore indigenous identity, cultural assimilation, and traditional practices in an installation inspired by his ancestry
Yatika Starr Fields will create mural and installation pieces throughout the city of Plymouth to engage with the wider community
Ian Kuali’I, a multi-disciplinary self-taught artist, will create an onsite mixed media land art prayer installation rooted in the Hawaiian practice of forgiveness
Raven Halfmoon will reverse history to indigenise Plymouth through the creation of temporary figures and a canoe vessel displayed throughout the month
Film and Digital Art
Award-winning filmmaker Sterlin Harjo will premiere his latest documentary, Love and Fury
Santiago X will interpret the Indigenous perspective of the Mayflower’s arrival in a gallery of video, audio, websites and animated digital landmarks across Plymouth
Razelle Benally, an alumni of the 2012 Sundance Film Institute Native Filmmakers Lab, will curate a selection of contemporary Indigenous films
Music and Performance
Cherokee and Muscogee Creek artist and composer Elisa Lorraine Harkins will perform Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ, a Cherokee, English and Muscogee Creek song set to electronic dance music
Katherine Paul, a Swinomish and Iñupiat musician and visual artist, will perform a daily durational sound performance with unfolding narrative over a week
Award-winning choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow Emily Johnson will present site-specific action and discussion piece Architecture of the Overflow
White Mountain Apache artist and musician Laura Ortman will perform an interactive performance, previously featured in the Whitney Biennial
Multi-disciplinary artist Rory Erler Wakemup will host a pop-up performance interpreting an Indigenous ‘art battle’ against Settler Zombies in order to decolonise Plymouth
Weaver and fibre artist Eric-Paul Riege will present a site-specific performance and mixed media installation, a home for Her, created in collaboration with 13 female family members to represent exchanged stories, craft and love
Cross-disciplinary artist Marie Watt will lead a community sewing circle project exploring the theme of ‘mother’
Haley Greenfeather English will construct a wigwam structure symbolising the reconciliation between settler and Native American families