by Kamna Shastri
There is a Coast Salish story about a number of neighboring villages, each speaking a different language but sharing the same land. While they did not understand one another, they had a shared challenge: When the Creator had made the world, he had left the sky a little too low. The village communities realized that though they spoke different languages, they had a shared word that could help them change the situation.
yəhaw̓ — a Lushootseed word meaning “to proceed” or “move forward.” Together they called out synchronously. Each time the word escaped their lips, a collective sound powerful and potent, the sky moved up just a little more.
This is the story behind yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective, a newly birthed nonprofit which became a larger movement after beginning as a one-time art show at King Street Station in 2019.
“We felt like that was a really beautiful story in terms of art and the power of art and culture to unite communities and become a source of shared empowerment,” said Asia Tail, one of the collective’s three founders.
Continue reading yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is Here to Lift the Sky and Make a Space for Indigenous Art
by Jasmine J. Mahmoud
I began playing violin at age three, and growing up I participated in orchestras from elementary through high school. These orchestras were highly diverse, with students from a variety of racial and economic backgrounds. And yet, the composers we performed — from Bach to Mozart to Beethoven to Debussy — were almost exclusively dead white men.
Continue reading Debuting Juneteenth, ‘Unmute The Voices’ Highlights Composers and Musicians of Color
by Rayna Mathis
Interloper (n) — a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.—Oxford English Dictionary
Interloper is a network of art exhibitions, community engagement events, and a conversation podcast all centered around rotating themes of controversial topics. Interloper’s current show, “THIS IS(NT) FOR YOU,” which premiered on March 29 in the Ravenna neighborhood, is a pairing of two solo exhibitions, each with an artist making work for their own community — communities alienated in different ways by language, location, and class expectations. By constructing the exhibitions using language and coded signifiers of the communities the work is for, each artist creates dual viewing experiences that immediately confront the viewer with a sense of (not) belonging.
The show asks the following questions: Who controls the narrative? Who is art for? Who is left on the outside looking in?
Continue reading ‘Interloper’ Explores (Not) Belonging With Pop-Up and Online Art Installations
by Samira George
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Hunched over the screen of a glowing tablet, Fahmida Azim, a commercial illustrator, draws cartoonish figures of Rohingya women and children, depicting life in a refugee camp. This is one of the many illustration projects Azim has accepted, and, like most of her art, it has a personal connection to her. Never losing sight of who she is and the life she has experienced has helped this talented artist succeed in a highly competitive field.
“I grew up my whole life with people telling me that going into the arts was never going to happen,” said Azim, a resident of Seattle for three years. “There’s no other narrative of success for us.”
Continue reading Drawing From Life
by Jasmine J Mahmoud
Election anxiety marked my beginning of last month. Like many others, I grew fixated on the results trickling in state by state, county by county, block by block across the week. That first November week felt endless, for lack of sleep and newly emerging, quickly chronic, routines. At midnight, and 3 a.m., and 5 a.m., I refreshed electoral maps of Georgia and Pennsylvania. With daylight, I watched television news on mute, while working on my laptop. At all hours, the buzz of “breaking news” kept my body on alert. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally confirmed on November 7, unfamiliar feelings of relief and elation emerged, nevertheless battling existing currents of anxiety and dread. Last week, I ate Thanksgiving dinner with my partner, thinking about the atrocities hidden by that holiday including stolen Indigenous land.
Continue reading ‘Black and Center’ — Collaboration, Color, and Care