Unwalking the West

Our 2016 theme takes its starting point from famous (and infamous) land journeys that helped shape the cultural and political geography of the American West as we know it today. We will undertake the symbolic act of retracing segments of these routes in the reverse direction as we research and respond to the contemporary legacies of conquest, development, and resource extraction. From Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's first foray into present-day Arizona on a search for cities of gold, to John Wesley Powell’s calamitous survey of the Colorado River Basin, our routes will look to the age of European- American exploration and aggression, and attempt to connect those formative journeys to the challenges facing the West today.

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