A warning of the emptiness
Digital print, colored pencil drawing, cut-out painted with gouache
17 in x 23.5 in // 43 cm x 60 cm
Wanagiyata (Spirit Island), an island in the Mississippi River sacred to the Dakota people, was mined away and eventually erased to build certain settler colonial infrastructures such as buildings, mills, and dams in Minneapolis. The island had a cap of valuable Platteville limestone, a material used in the early rapid development of the Minneapolis. Though the island’s existence is rarely acknowledged, its stone is likely still present in the old limestone buildings in the St. Anthony Main area along the river, the gentrifying neighborhood where I grew up.
I imagine how a single stone from Wanagiyata, no longer able to tolerate witnessing and partaking in these cycles of displacement, mutates, taking on the orange skin of construction cones, in an attempt to stop the endless ends of worlds. Archival images are layered amidst digitally manipulated photographs, construction materials, and my own handwriting to create this new folktale.
Photography by Hashem Abukhadra and Emma Beatrez