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Sep 2, 2015

America, Land of the Free*

* If you thought (like I did) that Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor's parents emigrated from Puerto Rico to the US, you–like most every news network–would be wrong. They "moved" from there. Because they are US citizens, too. Or rather, they are US citizens without citizenship, since they cannot vote, though of course they're perfectly "welcome" to pay taxes, like you and me. The horrible 19th century racism that colonized the US Territories (Guam, American Samoa, etc.) while refusing their natives US citizenship due to their being "alien races" (no, really–that is the language!) persists today. Those inhabitants can fight in the US military for US "freedoms" but cannot vote and have no vote in congress.

I must confess I didn't know about this at all until I saw John Oliver's brilliant comedy segment! Lord help us for, a) carrying such blatant racism unto the 21st century, b) lying about that "land of the free" bit and c) forcing us to get such crucial information about our own nation not from civics class, but from a COMEDIAN! And a British one at that! (Though I see we did allow him to emigrate and even vote. But then he's not of an alien race, is he?)

We have got to turn this around right away. We've already embarrassed ourselves on the world stage enough! Let's do the right thing and let these people vote with us! Write to congress and ask for their full citizenship. Enough already of alien races!

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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.