• Vigilance

Fairy Creek: Resistance Art Says It Best.

By Karen Moe.




The Old Head Quarters after the RCMP raid on August 9th, 2021.





Introduction: Always Again

Along with my photographs of the heroism of the Forest Defenders at the Fairy Creek Blockades as they fight to protect one of the last intact eco-systems on earth, I’ve photographed what I call ‘resistance art,’ mostly temporal art that is installed by truth and dismantled by lies—and always rises again.


Soft-Block barricades built across logging roads so that industry cannot easily access the frontline camps are also art installations composed of stones, dead-fall and branches. In the early days of the Teal-Jones injunction that gave industry permission to have peaceful protesters often brutally arrested, the RCMP removed the soft-blocks by hand; after the deceptive proclamation on June 7th, 2021 by the NDP government and the colonized band councils that “all old-growth logging is protected,” the RCMP were given unspoken permission to increase their aggression and brought in excavators and bulldozers to more easily remove the protesters and their barricades.


Like the soft-block installations, the protest placards come and go. Some are brought by the people who support the Frontline Defenders and others are built by the core community as revolutionary invitations announcing the logic of protecting the ancient trees and all that lives there.


The Sacred Site of the Red Dresses will not fall; even the RCMP do not dare remove it (such an act would definitely give Canada's colonial police force bad press). Dozens of red dresses in memorial of the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, not only of Canada but internationally, are hung in a clear-cut—a fierce installation connecting the ongoing exploitation and murders of Indigenous women and the rape of their unceded land. The Sacred Site of the Red Dresses enacts the fact that, in white-supremacist, patriarchal hierarchy, all exploitation is connected.


During the fall of Head Quarters on the one year anniversary of the Fairy Creek Blockades on August 9th, 2021, the RCMP finally succeeded in smashing the epicenter of the movement (0r so they thought). As supporters celebrated the one year of tenacity and spirit of Fairy Creek and protested the continued indifference and hypocrisy of John Horgan and the NDP, the RCMP enacted their version of ‘enough is enough’ by increasing their level of aggression and taking HQ. They crushed the buildings, shredded personal belongings, dumped out water during a record-breaking heat wave, raided the kitchen and threw protest placards into piles and onto clear-cuts. Despite the efforts of the RCMP and the extraction industry they serve, though, they could not crush the resilience of the Forest Defenders who immediately regrouped and continue to block the roads that lead to a pristine forest that is on the next Teal-Jones cut block. Fiercer than ever.


The resistance of the forest defenders and their hundreds of thousands of supporters internationally—represented by the art here—will always return because the truth will never go away.


Here is the first installation in Vigilance Fierce Feminisms of resistance art that both documents and honours these undying messages and acts of resistance at Fairy Creek.


Karen Moe.

Editor & Senior Writer.


*



Detail from a Community Message Board at Head Quarters June 4th, 2021.





On the way to River Camp June 6th, 2021.





The Sacred Red Dresses. An installation of never-forgetting the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and of the world.





Just after the fall of the old Head Quarters August 14th, 2021.





Approaching Waterfall Camp early June 5th, 2021.





Just after the fall of the old Head Quarters August 14th, 2021.





Between the Sacred Red Dresses and the Old River Camp August 29th, 2021.





Land Back Camp August 29th, 2021.





The Frontlines at the Sacred Red Dresses August 30th, 2021.





The Frontlines at the Sacred Red Dresses August 29th, 2021.





Between the Old River Camp and Land Back Bridge August 30th, 2021.





Between Red Dress and Land Back Bridge August 29th, 2021.





On the way to River Camp June 6th, 2021.





*




About the Artist:


Karen Moe is a writer, visual and performance artist and a feminist activist. She has been published in such magazines as Border Crossings, ArtSpace, WhiteHot and Revista 192. She is the editor and founder of the magazine Vigilance: Fierce Feminisms. Karen has exhibited and performed across Canada, in the US and in Mexico. Her first book, Victim: a feminist manifesto from a fierce survivor, is being published in Spring 2022. Karen lives in British Columbia, Canada and in Mexico City.







235 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Ribbons.