Musical Resistance to Settler Colonialism

I’m taking bits of things I really love in music, like hip hop, and putting them with classical motifs or with Indigenous pentatonic sounds, and it’s really braiding the traditional contemporary over and over and over again until it becomes something new.”

Cris Derksen, Cellist

Exhibit Introduction

As long as there has been settler colonialism, there has been resistance. This exhibit examines the rich tradition of Indigenous musical resistance across geographic boundaries, focusing on three distinct areas: Central America, Hawai’i, and the settler state known as Canada. 

Focusing on the late 20th century until the present, Redefining Modernity: Musical Resistance to Settler Colonialism highlights artists who interweave elements of modernity and tradition, asserting Indigenous rights to land, community, and shared cultural practice. Common threads emerge from these varied cultural traditions, creating connections across temporal and spatial boundaries.

Navigate the exhibit by clicking on a circle on the map below or select a region to explore from the top menu.

Visit the physical exhibit at Lilly Music Library.

Exhibit Curators

Audrey Ashbrook, Undergrad (A24), DEIJ & Collections Resident at Lilly Music Library

Anna E. Kijas, Head of Lilly Music Library