On July 25, 2020, Bronwynn Woodsworth ’21 and Maeve Atkinson joined Kgomotso Magagula ’21 for a live resistance guide and Q&A session. Both Bronwynn and Maeve expressed that art contributes significantly to social justice movements. Art allows for a visual representation of the frustration, anger and can proactively denote the motive behind social justice movements. There is a proactive sense of advocacy that art allows individuals to express when words are hard to find. Bronwynn and Maeve briefly talk about the mud stencilling activity that has been incorporated as part of ongoing programming for the Hostile Terrain 94 team at St. Olaf.
“The idea [for the mud stenciling activity] came about because we are talking about a subject that is both temporary and permanent.”Bronwynn
Mud stenciling also took place at St. Olaf last year when Nicolas Lampert visited the college to engage and explore environmental activism. When talking about the choice in design, Maeve highlighted that the “footprints give space to those that we know and those that we don’t.” They connect to the purpose of the Hostile Terrain 94 project by emphasizing the humanity of migrant lives that have intentionally been made invisible by policies and increasing violence at the border and beyond. The footprints, such as the toe tags, are an effort to show that their lives will always remain in memory and deserve to be honored.
“Art as advocacy can also be a place for people to process what has happened to them.”Maeve
When asked about why Hostile Terrain 94 was specifically important to them, Maeve highlighted that is has been an opportunity to get involved by learning and doing. It is a chance for more people to think about it, recognize their complacency in the structural violence at the border and actively go against the systems that continue to subject migrants to the harsh conditions of the Sonoran Desert.
Watch full conversation below
Bronwynn and Maeve put together and instructional video and how-to guide for all wanting to participate in mud stenciling. #HT94_ART