Muslims of Indigenous Descent at Standing Rock

Muslims of Indigenous Descent Call for Muslim-Americans to Stand for Standing Rock

LaTanya Barlow answers the phone and immediately expresses her gratitude. Her compassion is fierce; her voice soft and soothing. The passion in her heart rings deep within her. This is augmented by the fact that she is speaking extremely fast – indeed she has no time. “I’m out getting food,” she says at 10:30 PM.

Barlow, a Muslim of Indigenous descent has been on the frontlines of raising awareness about the happenings and movement at Standing Rock. She has earned a reputation for her activism in different communities across the United States. In a Facebook Live video shared on her Launchgood page which she sent to me, she summons and requests the support of Muslim-American led organizations including ICNA Relief USA, Muslim American Society, Young Muslims, and CAIR.

The Indian Removal Act, signed into law in May of 1830, is what the government, colonizers, and people with money used as a blue print to conquer our lands. And now we have history repeating itself,” she explains. “That is why Muslims-Americans need to wake up. This is happening in your own backyard.”

The peaceful protection happening at Standing Rock is vital. Barlow explains they are “fighting a multibillion dollar industry.” Big money investors such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiBank, JP Morgan Chase and other international banks have contributed to the $3.8 billion project. But Barlow and other social activistist leaders are building their own army of truth behind them and are continuing to fight with resilience: action warriors, tribes from other reservations, and even nations have joined the resistance. And now, Muslim-American hubs across the nation are being called upon to bring their own communities out to Standing Rock.

“We have numbers too,” she says with wit. “We have numbers too.” She repeats it twice for emphasis.

“We have numbers too.”

Barlow explains that all proceeds of her Launchgood fundraising will provide all resources needed for protectors at Standing Rock. “We want sleeping bags for everybody. We don’t have money for that. We are encouraging everybody to get own camping gear.” Barlow says -25 or -40 sleeping bags and tents are the bests for the Winter weather in North Dakota.” “Don’t forget wool socks, battery chargers, and hand warmers,” she adds.

Things are getting serious by the day in Standing Rock.

“This is how we save life, save us as a people. Its not about religion. We’re all standing together in prayer. We are praying to one Creator. It’s a powerful time. It’s a powerful place,” says Barlow.

The Fight to Protect Standing Rock Intensifies

Indigenous tribes and alliances intensify their fight against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. As new tribes join the resistance, a spiritual movement between Native American tribes is augmented.

Protests at Standing Rock began at the end of August when The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe realized the urgency of the situation; 45 miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline had already been built. While the media labels those peacefully protesting at Standing Rock as ‘protestors,’ they’d rather call themselves ‘protectors’ of the earth, water, the sacred, and life.

In a media statement released by the Grand Sioiux Standing Rock Tribe, the Tribe at the heart of the movement, they describe that The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not honor a consultation process with the Tribe before proceeding with construction provisions. The Tribe notes that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ‘did not hold meaningful consultation with our Tribe before approving construction of this pipeline’ and demand a survey of cultural resources and a complete, full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Claims are made that more than 200 tribes have joined the movement to protect Standing Rock. A certain group, the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance, which is an alliance between the Winona people of Minnesota and the Dakota Nation. They issued a “Formal Resolution in Support of Standing Rock Sioux Nation and the Protectors.


“Most renowned international modern artist ever to have resided in Chicago”

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy re-awakens the spirit for industrial abstraction far and wide and especially in Chicago. Several recount that his honorary exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago makes them feel that he has merely stepped out for a brief moment.

‘Future Present’ at the Art Institute of Chicago, continues to welcome viewers until January 3rd. Chicagoans are flourishing in abstract art and the influence Moholy-Nagy had over architecture in their city, including the founding of the New Bauhaus at the Institute of Design now a part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Others at Guggenheim are found critically thinking about how to illustrate his concepts and endeavors into a simplified poster, which is not an easy feat considering the breadth of his contributions.

Matthew Witkovsky, the chair and curator of the Art Institute’s department of photography expresses his motive and pursuits while planning this exhibition. He worked alongside two other curators from the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Their aim was to reflect a full picture on Moholy-Nagy’s contributions to various disciplines and how they interrelate. By the way, Chicago isn’t shy of other famous abstract exhibits; Rifat Chadirji’s exhibition at the Graham Foundation is “an unlikely and unintentional companion piece to the Art Institute’s.”

When the camera and industrialization occurred, there was a new economical context; a new society and also a new class (the Bourgeoise in France who then had material power) with money to spend. Artists explored their own ideas and thus a different aesthetic was influenced as abstraction. During post-modernism, the context changed again; we put less attention to the artist’s skillset and their ability to represent or interpret reality. We began to let go of authorship, a signuature element, a major name. Collaborative processes became important, installation work became important. But there was always a debate because new ideas are always influenced by sociopolitics. | Bibiana Suárez, BFA, MFA SAIC


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Laszlo Moholy-Nagy — Say that again?

The Art Insitute of Chicago has much to share and reveal about the uknown treasures of Chicago’s history and impact on artists of the past. One story from the Chicago Tribune covered the new exhibit “Moholy- Nagy: Future Present” open until January 3rd. No fees are required for the viewing as it is held in the Regenstein Hall with 300 other pieces of artwork created by Hungarian modern artist, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy himself.

Moholy is buried in Graceland Cemetary. He lived in Chicago for almost a decade before losing his ife to Leukemia at the age of 51. He is important to many as they describe how he was able to “think with his hands.” The Beachwood Reporter reports on the Art Insitute of Chicago Exhibition and pulls quotes about Moholy’s impact on art education, fluidity, and technology – where he opened his own school of design which is now a part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was a master of the arts.

Chicago Tribune | Art Insitute digs deep into Moholy
The Beachwood Reporter | At the Art Institute | A Glimpse Of Moholy, The Most Versatile Artist of the 20th Century

Art as Money

The Special Exhibition, EXPO 2016: Art and Language will display arguments about the current status of art, science, philosophy, politics, and religion using various art mediums and substrates. The aim of Art and Language is to challenge the changing conversation behind why people are consuming art anymore. Some of the topics considered at this EXPO include the contradiction of minimalism and challenging museum culture.

Newcity notes how The Art Institute of Chicago went for spending 50 million dollars to attain Malevich’s “Painterly Realism of a Football Player” (1915). To some, including Newcity, this seems questionable.

Sources: EXPO 2016: Art & Language & Money