May 12th, 2014 Last Updated on: May 12th, 2014
Al Jazeera's The Stream (Beyond 140) recently caught up with artist Gregg Deal as he was finishing up his mural piece which draws attention to the Change the Mascot issue.
What compelled you to make the mural? What did you want to achieve through it?
My desire was to say something that hasn't been said, including a perspective not brought to the table. Everyone wants to make this an 80-year issue, but it's not. It's a 522-year issue. The issues that are being talked about with the football issue actually span back to 1492. So to put into perspective an American Genocide, something any indigenous person would tell you is a real thing, and juxtaposing that with the ridiculous notion of ‘honor' or ‘reconciliation' through racial slurs and gross misrepresentation of indigenous people through caricatures seemed the right thing to do.
You might also recognize Deal from his performance piece The Last American Indian On Earth. He takes the stereotypical American Indian image and places it into modern everyday situations, like grocery shopping or getting a coffee at Starbucks.
Watch a trailer of the film here:
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