Tag: pandemic

Pandemic Chronicles

I spent the early part of the pandemic (April to August), collaborating with poets Esther Belin, Jess X. Snow, Ursula Rucker, Mahogany L. Brown and Olmeca and visual artists Titus Brooks Heagins and André Leon Gray to create an online zine we call “Pandemic Chronicles, Volume 1.” We received contributions from Thea Gahr, Jayden Fields and Emory Douglas. From this has come 2 mural installation collaborations between Esther Belin and me in Phoenix – one at Walter Productions and at the Heard Museum.

The building used for the Walter Productions installation was the former home of Canyon Records constructed in 1951. Besides being one of the oldest independent records labels in the music industry the label focuses on Native American music. This space also housed a tv studio which produced a popular cooking show in the 1960s.

Vintage photos from Canyon Records and Recording Studios

Inspired by Jordan Nez’s tattoo Esther wrote the poem “Believe” that imagines the time post pandemic.


photo by danny upshaw – october 2020

Heard Museum – Phoenix, AZ – December 2020

Sonnet of Lament by Esther Belin

photo by craig smith of heard museum

photo by craig smith of heard museum

photo by craig smith of heard museum

Shout out to the homies Drew Ludwig, Elvis Taska, Esther Belin and to Kirk Strawn of Walter Productions for making this happen. Shout to my homie Erin Gramzinski of Mud House Productions for hooking it up on the visuals. I see you. And thank you Erin Joyce for the opportunity to get that word out at the Heard. Ya heard me?

And if you’re interested in the paperback version of Pandemic Chronicles, check it out: https://justseeds.org/product/pandemic-chronicles-volume-1/


Diné Covid 19 PSA Posters (for downloading)

On April 14, 2020, a Huffington Post headline read, “Navajo Nation Reports More Coronavirus Cases per Capita Than All but 2 U.S. States: Only New York and New Jersey Have More Confirmed Infections per 100,000 people.” The last point is key, because testing on the Navajo Nation has not been as robust as for New York and New Jersey. Sadly, the rate of infection for the Navajo Nation will continue to increase, as will the mortality rate.

In light of the emergency on the Navajo Nation, several mutual-aid, grassroots organizations have formed to get supplies of food, water, personal hygiene items, and firewood to elders living remotely and to provide hand-washing stations for unsheltered relatives in Kinłani (Flagstaff, AZ). Though the reservation is rich in natural resources that have been and continue to be exploited (including coal, oil, natural gas, uranium, and water in aquifers), roughly 25 percent of the 180,000 inhabitants are without running water and another 20 percent are without electricity.

This poster is designed to inform the community of the public-health strategy to provide optimal health during this time and to support the work of Navajo Hopi Solidarity and Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid. Additionally, this Diné COVID PSA is a collaboration with Shi Buddy, who provided the poster’s text, and grass dancer Ryan Pinto, who is pictured on the poster and who collaborated on the photograph’s production. Diné COVID PSA is part of a larger collaborative project that is currently underway with poets and visual artists—to drop soon.

Shout-out to Art Journal Open for the opportunity to spread the word and to all the people providing essential work during this time. Thank you. We see you and appreciate you.

The full story and high resolution, downloadable graphics are available at:  http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=13396.  For those interested in supporting community based mutual aid projects during the pandemic, contact http://www.kinlanimutualaid.org and http://www.navajohopisolidarity.org.

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