Under Occupation

Carlos Martiel (Cuba)


Title: Under Occupation
Artist: Carlos Martiel (b. 1989, Cuba)
Medium: performance that included a flag, flag pole, and blood
Dimensions: flag pole: 18 feet (5.49 metres) tall; flag: H 27 x W 54 inches (68.6 x 137.2 cm)
Hinge Park in Vancouver
Performance Date: September 5, 2019


During his six-week Vancouver Biennale residency, Carlos Martiel created a series of performance works, each confronting the ongoing perpetuation of colonial violence in Canada against Indigenous people. Using the body as both a site and a source, the first performance, Under Occupation, addressed the colour of the Canadian flag while the second, Statute, used the silhouette of local Indigenous artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and referenced the limitations of the Indian Act.

For his third performance work, entitled Agony, Martiel had intended to focus on the effect of Canada’s Residential School System. This work currently remains unrealized.


Special thanks to the following:  

Flag Outlet Ltd., Kisos Obomsawin, Tonel, Manuel Piña, TransLink, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Park Board, Neekoo Philanthropic Society, Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation, and Member of Parliament Dr. Hedy Fry and Office.

Photo credit: roaming-the-planet.

Video credit: Moncif.