THOUGHTS N FEELINGS

Thoughts on DecolonizeLA

     The past week at Human Resources in Chinatown, people gathered to consider different questions than those usually addressed in the gallery’s white cube: whose land are we on? Does being a transplanted art worker make you a colonizer? Who owns your headspace when you walk down the street or when you dream? Who is art school for? 
     The series of events – collectively known as DecolonizeLA – were born from an open call to artists and activists to explore ways to confront dominant structures. Human Resources sits at an important location for displacement battles Downtown, and the color of its neighbors often differs from the crowds that appear nightly for shows.  Members of Human Resources programming committee, along with Los Angeles-based artists, Indigenous Peoples and activists, formed DecolonizeLA and managed to wrangle arts funding for projects exploring decolonization from many angles.
     Seeing a gallery transformed within a week into both a Tongva worshipping ground and a space for formerly incarcerated artists to share their stories illustrates the ways in which colonization permeates everything from the way we eat to the way our government invests our money. We’re grateful that DecolonizeLA exists and encourages partnerships between the art world and the local community.  •

Community gathers at Human Resources during a DecolonizeLA event (image via Jimbo Times)

Community gathers at Human Resources during a DecolonizeLA event
(image via Jimbo Times)