Giving Thanks (2019)

Melanie Cervantes
12″ x 17″ downloadable poster

In 2011 I felt so tired of the Thanksgiving narrative and normalization of this day that celebrates invasion and genocide that I started an intentional practice of celebrating Indigenous resistance and resilience.
So every year, wherever I am at, I take time to remember that despite all of the horrors of colonialism and imperialism that indigenous peoples are still here. Still living, still breathing and still loving. I offer these images as a way to fight against erasure, invisibility and the violence of forgetting.

This year’s graphic is dedicated to indigenous peoples from around the world whose continue to struggle against colonialism, imperialism and ardently resist the very idea that profit comes before people and the planet. From the kanka maoli protectors of Mauna Kea taking a stand against the Thirty Meter Telescope on Hawaii’s Big Island, the many Palestinian communities that have to live under Israeli occupation and apartheid, to the Andean peoples of Ecuador whose movement demanded the repeal of austerity decree 883. My optimism is in short supply these days but these struggles inspire to imagine a brighter future.