I have to admit that I am a bit biased with this exhibit because it is exhibiting art from indigenous peoples of Mexico and child soldier refugees from El Salvador (those who were forced to fight in the Civil War of the 80's). As many of you know, my cultural background is immersed with indigeneity from Oaxaca and El Salvador. On top of that, unfortunately, my father was a child soldier during El Salvador's civil war.
I attended this exhibit with my younger brother who was also thrilled to be there as it is a museum that is known for its cultural diversity and proper acknowledgement of the indigenous peoples of B.C. It is important to note that students get a discount, so do not forget your student ID as it is necessary to receive the discount.
The exhibit was indeed titled arts of resistance and it had a translation of several sub-titles in Spanish. I wish this was more in the indigenous languages of the peoples from Mexico and Central America as their huipiles (regalia) was also on display. This is one of the suggestions I have for this phenomenal exhibit.
The theme of this exhibit is "resistance" and it was beautiful to see how they highlighted indigenous peoples of Latin America—as we tend to not get a lot of recognition or showcasing in North America due to our sovereignty and lack of treaties. I loved seeing some huipiles (Regalia) from my region that I proudly own and they looked beautiful on display due to the rigorous weaving that goes into each huipil.
The part of the exhibit that indeed was more personal to my brother and I was seeing the art pieces the museum was able to collect done by children who were seeking refugee outside of El Salvador during the civil war. It is important to note that in this war, the children who were forced to fight in the guerilla were poor and the children who fought in for the government or were able to avoid being drafted (by flying out of the country) in the war had more money. As a result, the first group of children forced to become child soldiers were poor—indigenous children. This is why it did not surprise me the art they did during their time at refugee camps were weaved, as it is something indigenous children of El Salvador are often exposed to at a young age.
Several of the pieces above were "anonymous" and this makes sense as during refugee camps children's information was not obtained or kept a secret as after all, most of the children were being chased by the government or were ordered to be executed.
Overall, this is an empowering exhibit if you come from an indigenous community of Mexico and Central America and it is beautiful to see these cultures sharing a space with a lot of First Nations art and culture that is highlighted in this museum.
Go visit it!!!
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