Feathered Flags: A Lecture by Paul Chaat Smith

Jan 19, 2018

Drawing on his decades-long association with Jimmie Durham as well as his recent curatorial projects at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Paul Chaat Smith explores the contradiction at the heart of the American national project. He argues that even though the vast majority of the people of the United States have little contact with Indians, they know their lives are shaped by a fundamental truth: the country’s existence is inextricably tied to the dispossession of the original inhabitants. The ubiquitous place names and imagery that surround Americans throughout their lives are constant and powerful reminders, and a kind of meditation on that unresolved past that continues to shape our present.