State of Art: Reminders of our past or symbols of oppression? An Alaska artist reflects on statues of figures with checkered pasts

This week on State of Art we're hearing an Alaska artist's perspective on statues of European explorers

This week on State of Art we’re hearing from Nicholas Galanin Yeil Ya-Tseen, a Tlingit-Unangax̂ artist from Sitka. His recent project “Shadow on the land, an excavation and bush burial” dug a grave for a statue of Captain James Cook in Australia as part of Sydney’s 22nd Biennale art exhibition.

Amid calls to remove statues of European explorers in Alaska, including a statue of Cook in Anchorage, some have argued that more context should be added to historical monuments. Galanin says the statues are symbols of oppression and perpetuate a false, colonialist narrative and that they should ultimately come down.

We also check out two performances from the Anchorage Downtown Partnership’s “Live after Five” virtual concert series. See links below for their virtual summer concert series schedules.


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