What: The Earth is my Elder
Who: Exhibition by Krista Arias, curated by Toby Lawrence
When: May 12 to 28, 2021
Where: FINA Gallery, UBCO Okanagan Campus
The Earth is my Elder is centred around the film, poetry and installation-based work of artist, poet and earth alchemist Krista Arias. Her work explores the complexities of reconnecting, as a woman and mother, to ancestral homelands, while living as an uninvited guest in Indigenous territories in the USA and Canada. As a member of the Xicana diaspora, Arias’ direct connection to Indigenous land, language and culture has been broken over generations of migration arising as necessity from colonial structures.
She explains: “My greatest resource in cultural recovery and transmission as a mother, of finding belonging even in the liminal space of home-not-home without traditional Eldership, has been my own body-as-earth connection and awakening.”
Krista has focused much of her attention over the last 20 years on grassroots food, justice, security and sovereignty through permaculture and sustainability praxis, and education via the Tierra Soul Village Farm and the Folklore Foods & Farming permaculture and traditional foods educational program. During this time, she has also been involved in community arts and collaborative media publishing through the work of La Palabra Café-Press, now Tlatolli Café-Press, as well as the restoration of Indigenous birth and mothering practices through her training in traditional midwifery and The Indígena Project—a four-day residency for Indigenous girls, women and mothers. Her commitment to interdisciplinary research ceremony is rooted in the deep intersection of arts-based and Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies, social justice, poetic imagination, creative praxis, phenomenology, depth and liberation psychologies. Her current research centers on the re-indigenization and rematriation of Indigenous birth and mothering practices through community land-based performative ceremonial activism that encourages restoration of natural identity through trauma resolution.
Krista Arias is a PhD student at UBC Okanagan, The Earth is my Elder is part of Krista’s final dissertation.