2015 – Present
We asked artists to illustrate themselves or their indigenous communities seven, ten or twenty generations from now – thinking within science fiction territory.
Illustrating the Future Imaginary on Flickr
Nicole Neidhardt (Diné – Navajo). Remembering Futures from the Past. 2017.
“Storytellers Remembering Futures from the Past takes place in a new world 7 generations from now. The Earth has become uninhabitable and humankind has been forced to find a new home amongst the stars. The Diné moved to a planet with two moons who hold the world in balance. This world is the 5th world the Diné have lived in, the next step in our Creation Story. The people terraformed the planet to look like their home in Round Rock, Arizona. The hogans (traditional Diné houses) are partially made of glass and rigid woven panels. The image depicts storytellers who are remembering creation stories and archiving them to be shared later with their community. They use a form of telepathy, with each dot representing a story from Diné history. The piece shows the resiliency of our cultures, our people, our stories and how all of that is maintained and nourished by the matriarchs of our families. They reinforce that no matter what future we live through, we will not lose who we are as Diné..”
Kaleikulaakeliiokalani Makua (Native Hawaiian). Ua Hoʻi Mai. 2017.
“The title of this piece translates as ʻReturned’. The prompt for the creation of this piece is imagining how my ancestors will live many generations in the future. I am hopeful that the Hawaiian culture will continue to revitalize and exist in the contemporary world.”
Moanaroa Te Whata (Māori of Ngapuhi and Ngati Porou tribes). Ambassador of Aotearoa. 2017.
“I think in 7 generations from now we (humans) will be doing pretty well. After a few more wars, things like corporate greed, war, and prejudice will be seen as a distant lesson on what not to do. Eventually things will be all good here and there will be a perfect balance between the old world and the new. Aliens will finally decide it is safe enough to drop their invisibility shield and come hang out. My descendants will act as ambassadors to these beings and will welcome them with open arms, food and dance. Overall I’m hoping for a positive future for my descendants where they will still have their culture, be happy, and the world won’t turn to custard.
I was thinking of the archway (whareroa) in downtown Auckland that leads into Aotea Square. Aotea Square is a public space that holds open concerts, markets, festivals and political rallies. I felt that it would be a good place to reimagine. The cityscapes in this picture show the development to come in the future. So seeing as it’s not on a marae, it’s not a traditional welcoming. It’s basically a welcoming though the gateway into the city to meet the people.”
Kaia’tanoron Bush (Mohawk). Use It. 2015.
“I am a violin teacher in Kahnawake with the Viva! Sistema program. It focuses on providing a social stability for children who may come from less fortunate families or who are unable to afford music lessons. The girls in the drawing are some of my students. The drawing was inspired by these students and David Bowie’s “Starman” hence the title, “Use It”. I was also thinking about the role social media and personal devices will play in young people’s lives and how this might change their futures and of course, as you said, the importance of preserving our traditions and practices. Initially my outlook on the future of Indigenous people was bleak. We spend everyday fighting for tomorrow, it was difficult for me to imagine something beyond 50 years but doing this work made me realize that we can build a kind future for our children.”
Ray Caplin (Mi’kmaq). Hunter of Altered Game. 2015.
“16 generations into the future, where Massive corporations and industry have long since coated the planet with towering cities and factories, it was also ages ago that all of earth’s recourses had cease, and the cities where left abandoned to crumble. The density of the cities has made it difficult for nature to reclaim the earth. toxic and radiation had soak the soil, morphing any life that dwell there into mutant like. In the mist of the ruin’s, a lone hunter preyed upon the altered game that roamed. Knowledge that was passed down from generations would shape him into noble hunter. Adapting modern tools such as his power spear, combined with the teachings from his anchors, allow the Mi’kmaq hunter to strive in this rugged forest of steel skeletons with poisoned skies.”
Darian Jacobs (Mohawk). Soaring High. 2015.
“Attempting to illustrate the far future was a big challenge as I tend to not think further ahead than next week. I realized I was trying to show a dark and pessimistic world that I wouldn’t want to live in. Once I let myself let go of those ideas and paint what I wanted, I found that my future would be bright and colourful. People living high in the sky and are using technology that might be powered by solar and wind power, or maybe some kind of magic. Sometimes people forget to hope, and assume everything will go wrong, but we don’t know how the world will change. Why not imagine a happy place?”
Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinabe). Returning to Ourselves. 2015.
“Returning to Ourselves reflects our cyborg selves of the future in a spacetime when we activate interstellar travel by recognizing the depth of teachings from the past. Blood memory echoes as thought initiates form and the triangulation of breath ignites the connections of planetary traplines.”