Time, Colonial Construct

A half-hour after logging on for the kickoff of From Land Grab to LandBack and seeing nothing but a black screen, the online audience saw an apologetic Cruz Garcia suddenly appear in the Zoom room. “Time is a colonial construct, and we are always punished by it,” Garcia, an associate professor at Iowa State University’s (ISU) architecture school, said, before turning the camera onto the Meskwaki artist Shelley Buffalo just as she was wrapping up her talk in the building’s atrium. “Obviously, capitalism must die,” we heard her say in closing.

So began the six-day-long conversation series, throughout which fourteen speakers proposed counter-narratives of different communities that have been subject to colonialism, sketching out their untold and under-documented histories. The artist Sean Connelly and architect Marakiani Olivieri spoke about struggles for demilitarization in Hawai’i and Puerto Rico, respectively. Ukrainian filmmaker Oleksiy Radynski shed light on the genocides and ecocides committed by Russia in Ukraine and northeast Eurasia in ramping up fossil fuel pr…

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