Art as Activism – Bleached

//Art as Activism – Bleached
Art as Activism – Bleached2018-03-29T09:27:45+00:00

Project Description

Engaging with the concept of BLEACHED, this installation explores our bleached ocean environment and the bleaching of our cultural diversity.  It was created for the Invitational,  Art as Activism Exhibition at Columbia Center for the Arts  in Hood River, Oregon.  The exhibition runs through April 1, 2018.  

My paintings document the changes of our coral reefs in a short 36-year period, and the ensuing dismay at such a great loss. The Great Barrier Reef, experienced a significant  coral bleaching event, affecting 1/3 of the reef in 2015, and more bleaching occurred in 2017, one of the warmest years on record for our planet. 

What causes the bleaching of coral?  Scientists agree the invisible CO2 pollution  we send into our air when we fly, drive, eat beef, heat our homes by burning fossil fuels, effectively wraps a blanket around our planet, making the oceans too warm for coral to thrive. The coral expels the algae on which it feeds, which compromises its survival.  

Experience  the 16 and 6 tons per capita air pollution  Americans, and Swedes dump into the atmosphere annually.    The earth can manage 2 tons CO2/per capita annually. 

My message is intended to be one of empowerment and possibility.  What Can I Do?  is an invitation to take the first step to see the truth about how much air pollution we each generate.  Take actions to reduce your pollution.

As I considered the definition of bleach,  I saw that threats to send the 800,000 DACA recipients, the “dreamers,” back to their countries is effectively bleaching our communities of friendships and economic success these immigrants bring to local businesses and agricultural communities.   Such policies deprive our communities of the vitality and substance inherent in cultural diversity and pours unnecessary suffering onto the immigrants, separating them from their families. 

I came to understand the Trump and prior administration policies towards the DACA recipients, also known as “dreamers” are perpetuating racismare creating unnecessary suffering for the “dreamers”.  

Please read the stories and information behind the tags hanging on each brown T-shirt to  glimpse the lives of our  “Dreamers.” For 800,000 people, the DACA (The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)  program is now at risk because of the Trump Administration immigration policies.

Become better informed about what is happening in Oregon and Washington. Immediate calls and letters to our legislators are needed,  asking for permanent solutions for a path to citizenship for dreamers.  Ask your immigrant neighbors how you can help. 

Individually,  moment by moment,  we each make choices in how we live. Together let’s make the choice to belong to a future of creating health and well-being for all species.  It is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent our communities and our relationship to the natural world.  

  • Reduce or stop discretionary air travel
  • Eat less red meat
  • Buy local, organic, seasonal
  • Use a more efficient car
  • Obey speed limits
  • Carpool or use public transit
  • Buy “Blue Sky” power
  • Buy “Smart Energy”
  • Insulate more

Examples of stories: 

“I’m now halfway through college, and DACA is in danger of being taken away.  It’s like a bucket of cold water.  As a licensed driver, I help m family get around.  It’s scary to think what could happen next. It’s leaving us in limbo. ”                                                 (DACA recipient 2017)

“Don’t close the door to a classroom I have been trying to enter for years”. 

                                                                                                               USA Today  Sept 5, 2017 

“If you believe that getting rid of me and those like me will make America great again, then you have misunderstood what it means to be American. All my life, Americans taught me the value of hard work and sacrifice. I was told that grit was the key to the American dream. People like me have lived most of our whole lives among you — we are your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends.

Killing DACA will not solve your immigration problem, but it will kill our American dream.”

                                                                                                                Marwin in LA

Most importantly,  ask your immigrant neighbors how you can help. 

Understand the issues, using a range of sources.   Economically, research from the Center for American Progress shows that if DACA beneficiaries remain in the U.S., they will contribute more than $460 billion to the U.S. gross domestic products over the next decade.   (source:  Teen Vogue Nov. 2017)

Locally, become  informed about what is happening in Oregon and Washington. Immediate calls and letters to our legislators are needed,  asking for permanent solutions for a path to citizenship for dreamers and all immigrants.  Register to vote and support those who support DACA programs and a path to citizenship.