Under Occupation

Carlos Martiel (Cuba)


Title: Under Occupation
Artist: Carlos Martiel (b. 1989, Cuba)
Medium: Flag, flag pole, blood

Dimensions: flag pole: 18 feet tall; flag: H 27 x W 54 inches 
Hinge Park in Vancouver

During his six-week Vancouver Biennale residency, Carlos Martiel created a series of three 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. Martiel’s third performance, Agony, will focus on the effect of  Canada’s Residential School System and will be realized when Martiel returns to Vancouver.


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.