Arts Brief | Toledo, Martinez named ‘Soul of Nations’ 2022 advocacy and research fellows
The 2022 Soul of Nations Foundation advocacy and research U.S. fellows are Veronica “Yang” Toledo, Diné, and Povi Martinez, Santa Clara Pueblo.
They served as lead fellows for the BIPOC Advocacy Campaign in New Mexico, collaborating with local Indigenous community advocates.
Together, they worked on an advocacy concept called “Decolonize Our Future,” a virtually interactive social media campaign for Indigenous community members to share stories and raise awareness about the climate crisis in the southwestern region.
This campaign was made possible by funds donated from Apply Stickers and contemporary artist Jeffrey Gibson through a new sticker release that emulates themes held at the core of Gibson’s work.
“Decolonize Our Future” is a virtual call to action for frontline communities to share their stories and bring awareness on social media.
Martinez said, “My advocacy campaign is connected to a research proposal written by Veronica Toledo to educate and bring awareness.”
Steps taken to complete the campaign were to create the flier for the virtual call to action; create a poster for the image, and take photos for the project.
A project description from Toledo and Martinez said, “This project is a virtual call to action inviting communities to photograph themselves holding handmade signs in their homelands. The homemade signs will be expressing their voices that will bring consciousness to the environmental issues we face and the changes we want to see in our communities.
“Through art, imagery, and words, we can take to social media to decolonize our future and help bring awareness,” the description states. “This project highlights the community’s concerns for the future, the representation, and how we should move forward.”