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Dr. Lisa Pieraccini, History of Art Department, University of California-Berkeley: "Colonization and Indigeneity: Etruscan Pasts and Native American Futures"

Event Type
Department of the Classics
wifi event
Feb 25, 2021   3:00 pm  
Dr. Lisa Pieraccini, History of Art Department, University of California-Berkeley
Brett Kaufman
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

Abstract: In the 1990's, Tuscan artist Giovanni Gorgone Pelaya interlaced ideologies of indigeneity between two seemingly unique cultures - Native American and Etruscan - in highly evocative prints. These works of art juxtapose images and text to communicate a strikingly original visual rhetoric highlighting indigeneity and identity. In one poster, a black and white photograph of an Algonquin young man (taken by Edward Curtis) is framed by a title in both Italian and English, Etruschi for Lakota in memory of Wounded Knee Creek, 1890. Below the image of the young Algonquin is a quote from Chief Seattle to President Franklin Pierce. How are viewers meant to process this image of a Native American in conjunction with the Etruscans? In this paper, I suggest that the pictorialism of Pelaya's print and the aesthetic aspects of the photo offer a hybrid message evoking concepts of resistance to settler colonization. For this modern Tuscan artist, the Native Americans of the new world shared common ground with the indigenous Etruscans from the old world. Because Etruscan history and their eventual domination by the Romans are rarely discussed in this context, Pelaya's prints offer tangible ways for discussing the decolonization of pre-Roman Italy. 

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