September 30, 2016

Dam

By Kaitlin Bryson
Glen Canyon Dam
September 11, 2016

What a strange place to find ourselves in. A major contrast to the places we have been and the life we have seen so far on this trip. Today I find myself agitated and unsettled, judgemental of human nature and self-conscious of my participation in it all. After we toured the Dam (and flooded the van with a river of bad ‘dam’ jokes), we had an incredible and impromptu seminar on the front lawn outside of the dam tourist trap. The biggest take-away from the discussion for me was that this contrasting experience has an equally important place at the table, and ignoring or getting agitated by it only creates another “other” and pushes the conversation out of reach.  As an artist, it is imperative to be able to look critically at the constructed systems that are woven so tightly into our collective psychological framework. This includes racism, classism, sexism, and the allowance of environmental destruction that we are all taught to think is normal or is merely “history.” The loss of the Glen Canyon’s complex ecosystem—as well as a people’s land and culture—for the “betterment” of human development is an outdated, overrated, and an incorrect way of thinking. How does this end?

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