Artist Books

Entanglement

What does it mean to live on stolen Indigenous land in the 21st century? In this collaborative artist’s book, Entanglement, two women of white European ancestry reckon with being modern-day settlers in the place where they live, where Indigenous people are actively reclaiming their land and lifeways. That place is known today as Kensington, CA, and the Indigenous people are the Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation. The Lisjan Nation invites everyone living in their territory to join them in the work of rematriation: returning Indigenous land to Indigenous hands. While Entanglement considers that invitation in a specific location and in a deeply personal way, the inquiry is relevant to white settlers living anywhere on Turtle Island. When we become curious about living on stolen land we begin to notice, to feel, how we are bound up: in the truth of Indigenous sovereignty and colonization, and in our own origin places, migration stories and family histories; our social identities; our lives structured by private ownership and more. How can we navigate this entanglement toward collective liberation? 

Entanglement was created in the territory of Huchiun as an expression of solidarity with the people of Lisjan Nation. It is both an evocative object and call to action in support of rematriation.
 

How you can support rematriation

Below are just a few actions that you can take, focused on rematriation in Lisjan Nation land (five counties in the San Francisco Bay Area). 

  • Listen to and learn from the Indigenous people of the place where you live. Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, which supports Lisjan Nation rematriation work, has an extensive website that shares their vision, work, a Resource Library and the How To Come Correct guide. You can also follow them on social media. (If you don’t know the name of the Indigenous people where you live, Native Land is a helpful tool.) 
  • Develop a direct relationship with the land where you live: find your watershed on a map; spend time at your nearest waterways and mountains; identify your plant and animal neighbors; plant a garden; notice how the land changes with the seasons.
  • Contribute financially to the Indigenous people of the place where you live. Settlers living on Lisjan Nation land can pay Shuumi, a voluntary land tax. Both individuals and institutions can pay Shuumi.
  • Show up for Indigenous-led actions in the place where you live. In Lisjan Nation land, help protect the sacred West Berkeley Shellmound
  • If you own land, give it back to the Indigenous people of that place. There are many ways to return land, and it’s happening more and more all over the country. (Google “landback” to learn about some of them.)
  • Learn about the history of colonization in the place where you live, past and present. Emphasize Indigenous voices and sources. 
  • Study settler privilege, and notice how it operates in your life. A good starting point is this article by Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes)
  • Become familiar with your settler story: your origin place(s), ancestry and migrations to the place you currently call home. Consider how your people crossed paths with other peoples, and what took place during those encounters, including any harm that was enacted
  • Join other settlers who are already doing this solidarity work, following the leadership of the Indigenous people where they live. Good Guest Kensington and Jews on Ohlone Land are two groups who are organizing their communities in Lisjan Nation land. 

     

Structure and materials

Inside of an organic wood sculpture, seven chapter booklets are suspended within a tangle of jute twine and copper wire. Readers are invited to reach into Entanglement, remove a chapter to read and then place it back inside the frame. The book hangs on a metal stand and is housed in a custom wood box. Each booklet contains narrative and factual text; words in English and Chochenyo shared by Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation leaders Corrina Gould (Tribal Chair and Spokesperson) and Deja Gould (Language Keeper); collage, illustration, embroidery, digital and letterpress printing.


Content Chapters

Entanglement’s seven chapters were created with an order in mind, listed below, but the reader can choose to experience them in whatever way they wish. We are deeply honored to offer chapter titles in Chochenyo, the language of Lisjan Nation people, thanks to translation by Deja Gould, Language Keeper for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation.

  • Chapter 1 | entangled — tippi
    Kensington is beauty and abundance, entwined with precarity and harm. It is also Lisjan Nation land. If we are non-Native, we live on stolen land. We live in an entanglement.
     
  • Chapter 2 | homeland — warep
    This place, the homeland of the Lisjan Nation people, was radically different before colonization. If we are non- Native, our homeland is somewhere else. Remembering and reclaiming our origin places and our people can help us navigate entanglement.
     
  • Chapter 3 | sovereignty — no Chochenyo word exists
    We are living on Lisjan Nation land. Through the Chochenyo language, we can get a sense of the particular, deep and unending connection between Lisjan Nation people and this place.
     
  • Chapter 4 | settler — sultaawukma
    The profound harm of colonization is ongoing. Violence against Indigenous people, including the violence of separation and ownership. Kensington is shaped by colonization. We are settlers here.
     
  • Chapter 5 | rematriation — no Chochenyo word exists
    Rematriation emerges from Indigenous sovereignty and survivance. It is a response to the harm of separation and ownership. Indigenous land returns to Indigenous hands. Reciprocal relationships are more important than exclusive ownership. 
     
  • Chapter 6 | reciprocity — karki
    Returning to living in Kensington, but in a different way. Lisjan Nation invites everyone living in their territory today to be good guests on their land. Rematriation is a path towards collective wellbeing and liberation.
     
  • Chapter 7 | healing — ‘ookwe
    The entanglement of living on stolen land isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s a condition to be navigated. We can try to see our circumstances clearly, orient towards life and Lisjan Nation leadership, and then discern how to move.

     

How to Access Entanglement

Entanglement is currently available as a 16-book variable edition. To purchase a book, get in touch.

Over time, we envision creating more accessible formats of this work, and designing new projects inspired by the book’s intentions and ideas. If you would like to receive updates about that future work, or even help us dream what’s possible, please send us a note.
 

Creators

Entanglement consists of narrative and factual text by Laura Callen; words in English and Chochenyo shared by Confederated Villages of Lisjan Nation leaders Corrina Gould (Tribal Chair and Spokesperson) and Deja Gould (Language Keeper); narrative text, collage, illustration, embroidery, digital and letterpress printing by Camden M. Richards; and wood sculptures by Kirk Frye.  


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Entanglement
is set in P22 Typewriter, Phoreus Cherokee and Wild Things, letterpress and digitally printed on Asuka and Glama Natural Translucent papers. The seven chapter booklets are based on a single-sheet zine format, are bound with cotton thread and magnets, and are suspended upon jute twine and copper wire weavings within a wood sculpture hanging on a metal stand. Entanglement is housed in a custom wood box with a supporting materials for navigating the work.

30x20x18" with seven 3.25x5" booklets, housed in a custom wood box. Edition 16, variable. 
 



This book has been included in the following exhibitions:

In this Moment, Book as Witness: An Exhibition of Artist's Books at the Environmental Design Library, UC Berkeley. 2024

CODEX IX, HJK Convention Center, Oakland, CA. 2024

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