Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Oral history, the practice of documenting historical moments through audio interviews with the people who were a part of them, is a particularly critical tool for preserving the stories of Indigenous communities. Many of these cultures rely heavily on the oral transmission of knowledge, lessons, and tradition across generations.
Recognizing the importance of these records, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) in New York has announced more than $1.6 million in grants to make the Indigenous oral histories from its vast collection widely accessible to the public.
As part of the Doris Duke Native Oral History Revitalization Project, a group of universities has received a total of $1.359 million to digitize, translate, and index materials representing 150 Indigenous cultures. The project has also allocated an additional $300,000 grant for the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM), based in Oklahoma, to coordinate the project and create a website where visitors can access the archives.
The foundation collected its archive of more than 6,500 recordings over a period of nearly five decades. In 1966, Doris Duke began awarding grants for universities to start collecting oral histories from Native leaders and community members across the nation. Graduate students and faculty were selected to conduct interviews on a range of subjects, from traditions and customs to life on reservations.
“The recordings, now over 50 years old, represent a treasure trove of unique stories told in the voices of our ancestors,” said ATALM president Susan Feller in a statement.
The goal of the project is not just to make the materials digitally available but to increase their visibility and use, especially by originating communities and tribal colleges. The archives are an invaluable and authentic record of Indigenous history. As noted by Lola Adedokun, a program director at DDCF, they “provide Native communities with a continuing connection to elders.”
Grant recipients include the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona; the University of Florida; the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; the University of New Mexico; the University of Oklahoma; the University of South Dakota; and the University of Utah. ATALM will also work with Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship to train universities in Mukurtu CMS, an open-source content platform created with Indigenous communities.
An SFMOMA exhibition raises questions about what it means when museum board members have ties to politicians who support border wall policies.
The exhibition at the Jewish Museum delves into “degenerate” art and art made under duress as part of a thought-provoking yet diffuse exhibition.
In Philadelphia, a series of solo shows delves into the interdisciplinary practices of graduates whose work explores identity, familial bonds, political constructs, and nature’s fragility.
Despite his work’s apparent abstraction, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe insists that “I don’t invent anything, everything I do is my jungle and what is there.”
David Uzochukwu, Kennedi Carter, and Kiki Xue are among the 35 artists whose work will be displayed online and at the festival in Milan, Italy.
On November 14, join Columbia University School of the Arts for virtual information sessions with the program chair, faculty, and staff.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
To do so before they have returned the Maqdala treasures and the Benin Bronzes and the Easter Island statues and the Maori heads, before a coherent set of precepts for decolonization has been articulated, would affirm the wrong principle.
“Everybody in Mesopotamia, as far as I understand it, believed in ghosts,” said Irving Finkel, a curator of the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department.