Biennale of Sydney

Demian Dinéyazhi and R.I.S.E.

GIVE BACK ALL ABORIGINAL LAND, 2020, digital print, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Demian DinéYazhi´

Born 1983 in Gallup, New Mexico
Lives and works in the ancestral lands of the Diné, Chinook, Clackamas, Wasco, Multnomah, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, and many other tribes


Demian DinéYazhi´ is a transdisciplinary Indigenous Diné Nádleehí artist, poet, and curator. They are a survivor of attempted European-inspired genocide, forced assimilation, sexual and gender violence, capitalist sabotage, and hypermarginalisation in a colonised country. They live and work in a post-post-apocalyptic world, unafraid to fail. @heterogeneoushomosexual

R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment is an Indigenous initiative dedicated to Indigenous issues of decolonisation, survivance, dismantling white supremacist heteropatriarchal structures, and amplifying the voices of Queer, Trans, Gender Gradient/Non-Conforming, Two Spirit, and Matriarchal communities. R.I.S.E. is a collective resistance created, nurtured, and led by Indigenous peoples. @RISEindigenous

R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment was initiated with the intention to create free, accessible, and politically charged artwork for Indigenous peoples. Ever since our first exhibition, BURY MY ART AT WOUNDED KNEE: Blood & Guts in the Art School Industrial Complex, we have made it our mission to support and educate the public about Indigenous issues of matriarchy/feminism, queer/trans visibility, sovereignty, decolonisation, and philosophical concepts tied to cosmology, Land reverence, sustainability, and Indigenous futurism. We have successfully infiltrated colonial institutions to empower our communities and reclaim space, as well as interrogated social media outlets to challenge the settler colonial brainwashing project through subversive and critical tactics that refuse to comply with the normative cultural mores that silence and erase Indigenous self-determination, survivance, and resistance to evolving setter colonial terrorist campaigns. We understand that western art was used as a political tool of warfare to attract and advertise on behalf of the settler colonial project to colonise Indigenous lands by any means necessary. Our battlegrounds exist in the art institution, because there is no safe space in a colonised place!

Exhibited Artwork

Demian DinéYazhi ́ and R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, A NATION IS A MASSACRE (FUCK MAN CAMPS), 2018, digital print. Presented by the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from NIRIN 500 patrons. Courtesy the artist

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre