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Mona Gazala

This project began with research and reading on the concept of visibility and power dynamics, as they relate to indigenous Palestinians in art, media, surveillance, and agency. In Gil Hochberg's book "Visual Occupations," she describes the literary works of Israeli writers who use the "mysterious" abandoned Arab villages in Israel as the settings for narratives, without fully acknowledging the violence of Palestinian erasure. I felt compelled to visit the likewise "mysterious" indigenous places in Ohio where Hopewell earthworks once stood, as a study of architectural and cultural erasure. This project explores indigenous solidarities and human relationships to land that are interrupted due to colonial projects. The work exists in many iterations including published essays, media-enhanced readings, photography, performance, and text art. The videotaped performance, "Goldenrod Dance," took place on the banks of the north fork of Paint Creek, Chillicothe, Ohio. Once the site of the largest Hopewell geometric and burial earthworks complex, it has since been largely destroyed by colonial agriculture. The blue banner project is an homage to the Arabic word "Ard" and its many nuances of English translation, from the elemental to the geographic.

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