Artist and Water Protector Brennon Nastacio Commissioned to create Awards for Human Rights Arts Festival

Artist and Standing Rock Water Protector Brennon Nastacio has been commissioned to create original works of art for award recipients of the Second Annual Human Rights Arts Festival. The Festival Jury will recognize eight artists for their standout artistic creativity, talent, approach to content and overall excellence of their work. Each artist will receive a unique hand-crafted dreamcatcher fashioned by Nastacio out of the razor wire used in the 2017 Standing Rock blockade during the peaceful resistance to the installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

Nastacio’s story was most recently shared in the documentary film The Eagle And The Condor by filmmaker Paulette Moore. Nastacio de-escalated the situation in Standing Rock when DAPL armed security firm employee Kyle Thompson brought a loaded AR-15 into Oceti Sakowin and was pointing it at people. After the incident, Nastacio was charged with terrorizing Thompson.

Brennon Nastacio

Also known as Bravo 1, Nastacio is a Native American San Felipe Pueblo man who demonstrated exceptional heroism while ensuring the safety of the men, women, and children at Standing Rock. Nastacio has directly experienced systematic racism and is currently learning how to combat it for himself and his community.

 

In September 2016, Nastacio’s son’s school in Colorado mobilized to bring food, clothing and other provisions to the Oceti Sakowin encampment in North Dakota. Nastacio accompanied his son and others from the school and even contributed additional supplies himself to provide materials for the kitchens and shelters at the Camp. Upon his arrival, he heard reports from his Native brothers and sisters about how they were brutally attacked with dogs as they were protesting the bulldozing of their sacred sites. He witnessed firsthand the bite marks on their chests and legs.​
 
​During the following months Brennon remained at camp and helped take care of others distributing food, firewood, and water to those who most needed them, and also helped winterize tents and campers as cold weather approached. He was sensitive to the needs of women, children, and the elderly as was his Pueblo tradition.
Brennon Nastacios’ story featured on The Young Turks

While playing a pivotal role in peacefully de-escalating the situation and disarming Thompson, Nastacio was initially charged in North Dakota state court with “terrorizing” the armed DAPL worker. Nastacio continues to face additional unsubstantiated charges by the federal government that threatens to strip him of his freedom and tear him away from his family for 15 years.

After being charged in February of 2017 with federal felony charges carrying penalties which include a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, Nastacio initially went to Colorado to support his son and to work as a carpenter. With Nastacio’s support, his son graduated high school in June of 2017. Subsequently, Nastacio obtained permission from federal pretrial services to Detroit to live with his partner, Samantha Magdaleno. Samantha herself spent months at Standing Rock and is a leader in the immigrant community in Michigan. Brennon has put his construction skills to work in Detroit, including rehabilitating buildings which include a community center that is now up and running.

Learn more about Nastacio’s story or contribute to his legal defense fund at his website https://justice4brennon.weebly.com or on Facebook.

The mission of the North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival is to educate, engage and facilitate discussion around local and world-wide human rights topics. Thirty-five artists from around the world will have works included as part of the second annual festival.

Artists who have work displayed in the exhibition include: Kinaoush Abedi’s “Alphabet”; Rachel Asher’s “Sunlight”; Kimble Bromley’s “Innocence Destroyed”; Jenny Balisle’s “Freedom”; Shane Balkowitsch’s “No Spiritual Surrender”; Kayla Branstetter’s “Innocence”; Kimberly Christianson’s “LOVE Knows no Color”; Gaurav Datta’s “Conflict and Mental Health in Kashmir: Exploring narratives of addiction and recovery”; Nancy Devine’s “The Dreamed”; James Faris’ “10 Commandments”; Kathleen Fettig’s “Shattered Hope”; Laura Forgie’s “Belladonna”; Mark Franz’s “When We Were Free”; Isaac Ruiz Gastélum’s “Iku Manieva”; Michael Genz’s “Mni Wiconi: Water is Life”; Lisa Gordillo’s “Las Cordenadas”, “Todas las poets que he” and “Prisa de Héroes”; Kay Gordon’s “I feel so honored”; Lourdes Hawley’s “Health, a fundamental right”; Glendon Henry’s “DAPL Kong”; Ken Kimmelman’s “Brushstrokes”; Joesph Larson’s “Bright Sky”; Ali LaRocks’ “Awaken”; Brett Lysne’s “The Lower Forty-Eight (HHOSTILE)”; Liz Minette’s “My Scorpio Broke”; Abtin Mozafari’s “Genesis”; Paul Noot’s “Make Music for Us to Enjoy”; Kim Olson’s “Man Made Borders”; Karen Perry-Anderson’s “A Murder Of… The Last Thing Virgil Saw”; Barzan Rostami’s “Balance”; Andrew Stark’s “Fragility”; Marilena Stavrakidis’ “I And Thou”; Beata Weber’s “Brandish”; Joyce Ellen Weinstein’s “The Blind Leading the Blind: Witness II”; Kathleen Williams’ “Ochumaré Takes On the Black Snake”; and Emily Vieweg’s “Vision”. Bios for the artists are available via the festival’s website.

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