Demian DinéYazhi´ is a Portland-based Diné transdisciplinary artist, poet, and curator born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) & Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Their practice is a regurgitation of purported Decolonial praxis informed by the over accumulative, exploitative, and supremacist nature of hetero cis gender communities post colonization.
Monday 7th March 2022, 10-11:30am
In Demian’s generous introduction to their practice, writing and, thinking, they discussed the complexity of object-making within the fight for matriarchal queer and trans inclusive sovereignty. Asking the question, what pernicious objects could first peoples and communities of colour use and remake (such as the toxic symbol of the American flag to which Demian keeps returning to in their practice) to evolve and destroy settler colonization that evolves from the nation state? Introducing their project, my ancestors will not let me forget this (2019), Demian discussed the way in which the terrible legacy of uranium mining on Diné (Navajo) lands, (such as the U.S military’s Manhattan Project, which began in 1946) has affected their community. They discussed the health dangers for cultural practitioners when delving into their community’s histories and traumas, alongside how Demian saw Indigeneity as not held fast to the past, but instead an evolving and future-orientated way of working.