Atlas Uranium Mine tailings alongside Colorado River at Moab, Utah

Atlas Uranium Mine tailings alongside Colorado River at Moab, Utah (photo by Michael Collier)

Hope and Trauma in a Poisoned Land is a project that will culminate in a major art exhibition. It will bring a vital issue – uranium mining and the consequences of contamination and exposure on the people and their land – to the public’s attention.

The exhibition will share stories from the Hopi and Navajo people of their experiences due to radiation-related impacts to their bodies, their land, their water, their animals, and the natural materials and objects they use in their everyday lives. Additionally, the exhibition will present this complex issue through the perspectives of artists, addressing the larger impact of uranium mining on land and people.

The aim is to have Hopi and Navajo artists participate using a variety of artistic media, from traditional art forms to more contemporary work, from installation and performance to poetry and musical composition, and more. All other artists with an interest in addressing this issue will also have an opportunity to participate.

The project will be based on a series of interactions, shared stories, and educational programs that will take place in Cameron, Arizona, and in Flagstaff. Artists will immerse themselves in the landscape where uranium mining and contamination has occurred on the Navajo Nation. After listening to the stories, the artists will then return to their studios to create new works of art specifically for the exhibition, incorporating what they have learned into their work. The art produced will culminate in a traveling exhibition that will premiere at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff in August 2017.

In order to participate in this project, artists will be required to attend both the educational seminar in Flagstaff, about the history and science of uranium mining on tribal land, as well as take part in story sharing workshops and field trips in Cameron. These events will occur in October, 2016 (see below). We welcome all Navajo and Hopi artists, as well as any other artists with an interest in this issue. Those artists who attend the workshops will then be invited to submit art for consideration. Submissions will be juried by a group of distinguished professional Native artists. Participation in the workshops is required to contribute art for the exhibition but does not guarantee inclusion in the culminating exhibition.

Hope & Trauma in a Poisoned Land is a partnership between the Cameron Chapter House of the Navajo Nation, the Flagstaff Arts Council, University of New Mexico Community Environmental Health Program, and Northern Arizona University.

Hope & Trauma in a Poisoned Land
Educational Program for Artists

Dates: October 20-23, 2016
Register by: October 3, 2016

Attendance is required at the full schedule in order to submit art for consideration (no partial attendance will be permitted). More information and venues will be posted in late summer. Times are approximate; the full detailed schedule with venues and speakers will be posted in September.

History and Impact of Uranium Mining on Navajo People and Land
Thursday, October 20, 9am-5pm – Flagstaff, Arizona

Stories from Navajo People
Friday, October 21, 9am-5pm – Cameron, Arizona

Field Trips to Mining Sites and to Homes
Saturday, October 22, 9am-5pm – Cameron and surrounding areas

Psychological Impact of Uranium Mining / Group Reflections
Sunday, October 23, 10am-2pm – Flagstaff, Arizona

The training is free for all artists with an interest in the subject matter (please note: attendees must be present for the entire program and not permitted to attend only a portion). Registration and RSVP is required to attend. Please click on the button below to register.

Registration Form