Cultural emergency response
We're currently dealing with:
- climate change
- economic inequality
- institutional racism
- COVID-19 disparities, and
- ecological collapse.
These crises are widespread and complex. They're interconnected and expanding. They also have cultural origins.
How can we deal with such difficult challenges? Our current approach does not address the underlying cultural causes. We can better understand and resolve issues by including their cultural roots.
A Critical perspective as a Boston Artist-in-Residence
The United States is in a state of cultural emergency from my perspective as a:
- Dakota/Odawa person
- cultural practitioner, and
- artist-in-residence for the City of Boston.
Yet, as a society, we don’t recognize this, and so, we have no concerted way to deal with it. I believe that to truly address the deep issues we face together, we must shift the framework for addressing societal problems to change our cultural norms. My experiences of being simultaneously inside and outside of American culture, and hailing from peoples who have been targeted for destruction by the dominant culture, have given me the perspective to see the deep harms caused by American institutions and systems. I believe these harms should not be accepted as inevitable. Instead, we must examine how American culture produces them so we can end them. In my residency working with the Office of Emergency Management, I have considered how procedures can be creatively leveraged to do this work.Creative Outputs
By reframing the language and tools of crisis response to address a state of cultural emergency through creative interventions, I explore how to engage with these frameworks to address cultural emergencies.
I will focus on these priorities as I develop creative cultural emergency responses for my artist residency:
- End institutional racism
- Gain economic justice
- Stop climate change
- Restore ecosystems
- Fortify Dakota and other Indigenous Peoples’ cultures
Frequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions
As a continuation of her project, Erin Genia led a Cultural Emergency Kit giveaway, where she asked individuals to nominate someone who has made a difference during this time of cultural emergency to receive a kit of wellness items made by Native American producers.