Manifest Differently 2023/24

CAMP is thrilled to announce the launch of Manifest Differently, a new project developed, curated, and led by artist/poet Kim Shuck and artist/writer Megan Wilson. Over the next year, Clarion Alley Mural Project, a project of Independent Arts & Media, will be working together with 38 diverse, multigenerational visual/media artists and poets to interrogate the history of Manifest Destiny and its legacies of inherited and perpetuated violence, trauma, and addiction, and the outgrowth of resistance and resilience – giving fire to movements for social/ culture change. The project is also supported by California historian Barbara Berglund Sokolov, humanities advisors Mary Jean Robertson, Kyoko Sato, Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Anita Chang, and David A. M. Goldberg.

Participating poets and artists include:

Poets: Aileen Cassinetto, Avotcja Jiltonilro, Clara Hsu, Dena Rod, E.K. Keith, Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Genny Lim, Josiahluis Alderete, Kim Shuck, Lauren Ito, Linda Noel, Lourdes Figueroa, Mahnaz Badihian, Maw Shein Win, Mk Chavez, Stephen Meadows, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Tureeda Mikell, Voulette Hattar

Visual and Media Artists: Adrian Arias, Afatasi The Artist, Amy Berk, Anita Chang, Barbara Mumby-Huerta, Biko EisenMartin, Carolyn Castaño, Chris Gazaleh, Katayoun Bahrami, Kim Shuck, L Frank Manriquez, Marcel Pardo Ariza, Megan Wilson, Rene Yung, Shaghayegh Cyrous, Shonna Alexander, Vaimoana Niumeitolu, Victoria Canby

Manifest Differently will be presented 2023/24 at three locations – Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP), Artists’ TelevisionAccess (ATA), and Minnesota Street Project (MSP), accompanied by a mobile-responsive website to be designed by Aaut Studio, with a book to follow once the project is completed. The openings of each location will be staggered over the course of the exhibition, and the website will continue following the exhibition period as an archive of the project to be built upon.
Deep gratitude to our funders: Creative Work Fund, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Family Foundation, CCA Center for Art and Public Life, and SF Grants for the Arts.

More about the project:

Using literary, visual, and media arts storytelling in conjunction with public programming, the collaboration will explore the expansionist ideology of Manifest Destiny, its continuing impact on multicultural and multi-ethnic communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, its legacies of inherited and perpetuated violence, trauma, and addiction, and the outgrowth of resistance and resilience – giving fire to movements for social change. As recognized in Argentina’s National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons in 1983, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996, and others that have followed, we must acknowledge and witness the impacts of our history before we can move forward and ensure the same injustices are not repeated. Storytelling is a powerful tool to help provide deep witness, compassion, and inspiration to manifest differently.

Writing about the ongoing dispute with Britain over boundaries and the right of the United States to claim Oregon, journalist John L. O’Sullivan coined the phrase “Manifest Destiny” in 1845, but his words had much deeper implications and assumptions about the morality, divinity, freedom, and presumed superiority of a white America. Through the lens of Manifest Destiny, western expansion was viewed not only as a triumph for the spread of liberty, but it was also seen as foreordained and inevitable. This litany of legislation and the trauma it inflicted starts to flip the script, to shift the focus to the people who were the subjects of these laws that codified the removal, enslavement, displacement, and disenfranchisement that Manifest Destiny’s vision of progress through landed empire necessitated. Manifest Destiny left Indigenous people, People of Color, and many wage workers outside of the body politic, without rights or rights that needed to be respected. It is from this position, of recognizing the histories and experiences of those who have not benefited from the legacy of Manifest Destiny, that Manifest Differently begins; to see a world that manifests differently.