Scott Seekins in front of his artwork. Photo by Nikki Rykhus.

“This is art about genocide” Native community pushes back against Scott Seekins

“If Scott Seekins had taken photos of Auschwitz and inserted himself into those photos, I can’t even imagine the moral outrage,” said Anishinaabe artist and activist Ashley Fairbanks. “This is art about genocide.”

Inside the crowded Douglas Flanders & Associates gallery on May 14, one of Minneapolis’ most recognizable artists, Scott Seekins, opened his exhibit “The New Eden,” a collection of paintings and drawings depicting the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War. Many of the pieces seem to mimic Plains Indian art forms, including work created on ledger paper.  

 

Images of Seekins himself appear throughout the collection, which is typical of his work. But when Seekins, a white man, paints himself next to Britney Spears — which he did throughout the 2000s — it’s different than inserting himself into cultural work dealing with genocide and oppression. Continue Reading

Man in wheelchair, Lake Street Minneapolis. Photo by emerging artist Netsanet Negussie, 2015.

Netsanet Negussie: Telling stories in one of the nation’s fastest gentrifying cities

Netsanet Negussie is an emerging young artist exploring social justice and racial equity themes through the lens of her camera. On the streets of Minneapolis, Negussie has found compelling subjects that depict impactful, human narratives not seen in the day-to-day media coverage of the city. She shared her art, her inspirations and her process with the Daily Planet. Continue Reading

Photo by William Wesen. This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attibution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.

Partnership, white supremacy and dance: Macalester student artists reflect on Black and Asian American intersections

In October, Macalester College hosted a Million Artist Movement “Power Gathering” themed around Asian American resistance and solidarity. That event was a part of the larger and ongoing convenings across racial and ethnic groups called by MAM. Following the event and inspired by the conversation, The Twin Cities Daily Planet published a story in December discussing the different intersections between Black and Asian American history and art. However, the original story left out a key voice in the conversation: the young artists who are shaping the future of how these intersections manifest. As a continuation of the previous article, Andrea Plaid reached out to Macalester dance students Sophia Hill and Niara Williams about their experiences as Asian American and Black American (respectively) students and artists, and how those experiences intersect. Continue Reading

Our best stories of the year covered a variety of topics, cultures, and storytelling methods. Photo credits counterclockwise from top: Uche Iroegbu, Corina Bernstein, bfresh productions, Stephanie Fox and Patience Zalanga.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet’s Best of 2015

The Daily Planet’s 2015 was a time of pivoting and changing to a new direction. In our renewed mission to amplify and connect marginalized voices, we are excited to see the following stories resonated with you as much as they did with us. All stories below were chosen based on social media or website analytics to determine the most-viewed and/or most-talked-about content. But even if you take away the metrics, these stories were the ones that dug a little deeper, brought more context and empowered the communities that we serve.

Thanks for a great year. We can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

— The Daily Planet Editorial Team Continue Reading

Victoria Theater

Reviving Frogtown’s Victoria Theater for diverse community

Along the Green Line, just east of Victoria Street and University Avenue, stands a seemingly abandoned storefront with dark windows and a locked door. But to Denise Mwasyeba, a 25-year Frogtown resident and former chair of the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA) board of directors, it’s the perfect chance to turn the forgotten, historical Victoria theater into a newly renovated center that represents a diverse community greatly evolving from its roots. Continue Reading

Asian American protesters support Black Lives Matter in a Nov. 24 march in Minneapolis.

When Asian American politics and Black Lives Matter met at Macalester

When asked what is the mission of the Million Artist Movement (MAM), which calls itself the “artistic arm of Black Lives Matter,” Sandy Augustin said “We want to artfully dismantle white supremacy.” Agustin co-organized and facilitated the Power Gathering: Asian American Resistance and Solidarity at Macalester College back in October in collaboration with the Givens Foundation. That event was a part of the larger and ongoing convenings across racial and ethnic groups called by MAM. Continue Reading