Decolonize Education (2017)
This edition of prints appropriates from art history and the bold aesthetics of politically concerned artists in order to illuminate a specific marginalized history and furthermore to call to attention larger inequalities present in the curriculum of American public education. THE FUNERAL OF ATAHUALPA both figuratively and literally highlights the individuals in the appropriated image who have been excluded from westernized accounts of colonial history. By excluding native histories, any colonizing group retains their power to promote and re-write their own account of history.
By appropriating the painting The Funerals of Inca Atahualpa (Luis Montero, 1867) this print calls on the particular history of the Inca Empire and it’s transition from a Spanish conquest to the country of Peru. The European tradition of history painting began in Peru with this work, effectively westernizing the visual historical accounts of Inca people. The Funerals of Inca Atahualpa dramatically portrays Atahualpa's Christian burial, where the Inca is surrounded by victorious conquistadors and friars; compositionally opposed by several Inca women either crying, begging, or protesting Atahualpa’s burial.
This scene and furthermore, the story of Sapa Inca Atahualpa, his reign, the Inca empire, and overall the history of this region is unjustly overlooked by Western education curriculums as standardized by the State of Ohio and the U.S. Department of Education. Specifically within the standardized World History components of public school curriculums, these histories and narratives are missing. This disparity is reflective of the larger issue that is the colonized education structure in the United States. When we illuminate marginalized histories, this print series validates the heritage of not only Peruvians but also Latinxs and other marginalized populations who are otherwise partially or completely excluded from the State and Federal content standards for public education in the U.S.
The Funeral of Atahualpa | Screenprint on Stonehenge, 10 x 12 in, edition of 20. Screenprint on Newsprint, 10 x 12, endless edition.