Mishkodewenying Nibi Anokaajigan (Flint Water Crisis)

The corner of a room, with white wallpaper patterned with water bottles. There are bottles full of water on small shelves.

Pope L, Flint Water Project, 2017

Plastic water bottles, contaminated Flint water. Courtesy the artist © Pope L, What Pipeline, Detroit, Vielmetter Los Angeles and Mitchell-Innes and Nash Installation photography by Charlie Edwards, courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Art

Gichimookomaanakiing, 1955 gaa-ondaadizi

Mishkodewenying Nibi Anokaajigan

Zhiibwaasegwaanigane-omoodayan, wiinaaboo gaa-onzikaa Mishkodewenying

Nimiigwechiwenimaanaanig Gaazheninjiged, What Pipeline, Waawiyaataanong, Vielmetter Los Angeles miinawaa Mitchell-Innes gaye Nash

Mishkodewenying Nibi Anokaajigan-ing, Pope.L o’inenimaan bemaadizijin izhi-daanid Mishkodewenying Dibenindizonid ge bwaa-goopaajichiganiwinid, ge moozhag dazhinijigaazonid. Wayeshkad ogii-izhichige iwedi What Pipeline izhi-waabanda’amowaad gaazheninjigaadeg Waawiyaataanong iw apii 2017. Ogii-misawendaan bagidinaad bemaadizijin Waawiyaataanong, mii gaye dash iwedi izhi-nandoobiinid moozhag, wii-wiidookawaanid bemaadizijin wenjibaanid Mishkodewenying. Ogii-adaawenaan wiinibiig ge-debibiig maji-inaapine-biisaag dash miinigod Tiantha Williams-an. Gakina zhooniyaa dash ogii-miizhaan United Way-an Genesee aki-diba’igaadeg gaye Hydrate Detroit-an. Giwaabandaanaawaa dash adaawewigamigoons dibishkoo gaa-izhi-adaawed. Inendaagwad dash ge Pope.L gii-adaawed gaye mikomaanjiged daa-wenji-aanjiseg apii giizheninjigaadeg.

Omoodayan izhi-ayi’iing wiinibiig ge Pope.L gaa-naazibiid noongom adaawewaad omaa adaawewigamigong. Gakina zhooniyaa nwii-miizhaanaan United Way Genesee aki-diba’igaadeg.

United States, born 1955

Flint Water Project

Plastic water bottles, contaminated Flint water

Courtesy of the artist, What Pipeline, Detroit, Vielmetter Los Angeles and Mitchell-Innes and Nash

In Flint Water Project, Pope.L recasts the people of Flint as agents rather than victims, as they are usually depicted in the press. He originally staged this installation as an event-performance at What Pipeline gallery in Detroit in 2017. He wanted to give the people of Detroit, a fellow midwestern city with a history of water inequality, an opportunity to act as benefactors to Flint, thus linking them as neighbors and collaborators. He set up a store selling bottles of water contaminated with lead and E. Coli from the home of Flint resident Tiantha Williams. Proceeds of the sales were donated to the United Way of Genesee County and Hydrate Detroit. On view here is a boutique version of the original store. By raising consciousness and funds for an important cause, Pope.L’s Flint Water draws attention to the potential of art as a force for social change.

Bottles of Flint water from Pope.L’s Flint Water Project are for sale in the UMMA shop. Proceeds go to the United Way of Genesee County.

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