Self-portrait as Sir Nicholas Baganel, 1510-1590

Self-portrait as Sir Nicholas Baganel, 1510-1590

I Am My White Ancestors:
Claiming the Legacy of Oppression

An installation and public engagement project
Touring installation of thirteen life-size photographic self-portraits that explores European-American heritage, my family, and our role in the history of race, class, colonization, and genocide. The ancestors, real and imagined, span over 2000 years from the Celtic Iron Age to present day Portland, Oregon. The 7 ft x 5 ft portraits are printed on fabric panels and accompanied by AUDIO DIARIES from the perspective of each ancestor. Partner organizations, congregations, and schools are invited to collaborate with the artist on programming that furthers their anti-racism and social justice goals.

This exhibit is designed to spark discussions and learning about the history of oppression. The artist is available for presentations to classes from middle school through college. Here's a guide that contains ideas for activities for a wide range of humanities and art classes.  Download the Teachers Guide here.

Artist Illustrates And Claims The Oppressive Past Of Her Ancestors, KLCC radio interview by Melorie Begay, January 30, 2019

Art Installation Visualizes Claiming One's Ancestors, and their Baggage, by Emily Weir, Northfield Mount Hermon School website, December 12, 2017

Racism, classism through the lens of white ancestors, by Emily Green, Street Roots, September 30, 2016

What 'whiteness' means: Art, essays, talks bloom after controversial Portland event, by Casey Parks, The Oregonian, October 23, 2016