︎ projects


The 2014 Missouri Exhibit: A Look at Agency Here at Home

april 2014 | installation | project manager | MARFA DIALOGUES | [link]

What does agency mean when we are talking about environments? What does it mean when we are talking about the environments of our bodies, our homes, and our communities? What is an environment of justice?

Here in Missouri, many communities are fighting for the answers to these questions every day. They combat major social, political, and geographic environmental injustices committed by corporations. This tireless quest for profits creates devastation to those living in the way. The power differentials between targeted communities and corporate aggressors means that more often than not, human resources are exploited, while natural ones are polluted.

The Material Monster Collective works with Missouri’s agents of grassroots resistance to represent some of the struggles for environmental justice. The illustrations are produced by the collaborative effort of students and organizers to discuss the barriers to the empowerment of communities. Agency is further deterred by the horrors of pollution, corporate aggression and political ambivalence. However, the exhibit seeks to amplify and spread the inspiring work of Missourians organizing to strengthen their bodies, homes and communities, focusing on the pathways to action that grow their voice and power.

Often we forget that environmental issues disproportionately affect communities that already experience many barriers in the way of expressing their agency. Rural populations, communities of color, those in lower income brackets as well as urban ecosystems are impacted most often and most harshly by compromised environments through their structural marginalization and disenfranchisement. With a changing climate, marginalized communities will only have a steeper hill to climb.

Because of this, environmentalism on its own has many blind spots. Without considerations of social justice for those currently facing environmental injustices, an imagination of a better future is incomplete. By highlighting the leadership of those previously silenced, we recognize and support the empowerment of all who take action to resist oppressive and unjust structures of power. Some in Missouri, and beyond, are working to combat the racist and classist distributions of power within the environmental justice movement. 

partners: Jamie Niekamp, Caroline Burney, Julia Ho, Rachel Goldstein, Catherine Leberg, Douglas Rogerson, Charlotte Greenbaum, Hannah Walcek, Amanda Rothschild, Dan Cohn, Andrew Kay, Yuwei Qiu, Amelia Farley, Bree Swenson, Georgia McCandlish, Anya Liao, Katelyn Petrin, Ziwei Ye, Jade Hubinek, Ailing Zhang, Ted Bazil, Sam Lede, Sister Barbara Jennings, Professor Scott Krummenacher, Ed Smith, Patricia Schuba, Arielle Klagsbrun, Dawn Chapman, Mike Diel, Danny Ferguson, Harry Alper, Susana Fuchs, Students Against Peabody, I-Cares, Refab, Beehive Design Collective, and Sam Fox Art Council
honors: featured in MARFA DIALOGUES / St. Louis, The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Ballroom Marfa and the Public Concern Foundation