Dignity at a Monumental Scale

Dignity at a monumental scale.jpg

Showing In

Current Revolution
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Thu, Sep 13, 2018 4:00 PM

Roger Sorkin, USA. From substations to gas stations, boardrooms to military bases - America’s towering energy industry is on the brink of massive change.

Film Info
Director:Kelly Whalen
Year of Production:2017
Topic:SF Bay Area Filmmaker
Indigenous People
Pollution & Toxins
Running Time:8 min


When images of everyday Navajo life began appearing at a monumental scale on abandoned buildings, roadside stands and water towers across the Four Corners region, it was a surprise for many in the community to discover it was the work of Chip Thomas aka "Jetsonorama", a long-time resident known by many as a healer of another kind. By day, Thomas is a primary care physician at the Inscription House Health Clinic, part of Indian Health Services on the Navajo Nation, where he’s lived for 30 years. In his free time, Thomas installs massive photo murals depicting his neighbors, from sheepherders to grandmothers, and celebrating the beauty of a people whose land has been mined and poisoned, cut up and sold off. Blowing up and wheat-pasting his black and white photos onto the sides of merchants’ stands, abandoned buildings, and mobile homes, Thomas creates work that allows community members to see themselves represented at monumental scales; while his installations off the reservation help disseminate their struggles – and their resilience – to the world at large.

Expected guest: Director Kelly Whalen

Kelly WhalenKelly Whalen is a national Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Her work has explored racial injustices in America’s “war on drugs,” community organizing against hate and intolerance, rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the relationship between women's health and their status around the world. Most recently, she worked in five Central and Eastern European countries, as a Visiting Knight Chair in Visual Journalism from the University of Miami, to produce documentaries about Roma communities in Europe to promote their greater social inclusion.