Support for photographic and video work towards an alternate curriculum challenging existing K-5th grade California Mission studies.
The Mission Project is an ongoing body of research and work consisting of photographs, video and text that binds the gaps within historic archives surrounding the construction of California’s 21 missions, a system of religious outposts built between 1769 and 1833 by the Spanish Catholic colonial structure on stolen land and using slave labor sourced from indigenous people. Presently, California public schools require all fourth graders to produce a “Mission Project,” wherein each child researches and writes a paper on an assigned mission. Pedagogical strategies overwhelmingly omit the facts that thievery and slavery were used by the Spanish colonists to create the missions. This work reconstructs, reframes and amends archival content so that pedagogical transmission of the mission “story” can accurately reflect the barbarous tactics used by the Spanish to “civilize,” convert and enslave native populations to create an inexpensive workforce to build and maintain their mission system.