& Made with Stephen Godfrey.
the late part of World War II, the government and Enrico Fermi began
to test atomic bombs in New Mexico. Needed for the bombs was uranium,
also available from that area. The yellow sandstone was blasted
from the soil, leaving behind the rich uranium for government use.
Both the Navaho and Hopi tribes were affected by this action; they
were hired to work in the mines without protection from the dust,
the radiation, and from uranium poisoning. Many developed cancer,
and a lung disease known as silicosis from the glass-sharp fragments
in the dusty air.
mask tells the story of these fatal mines, when the yellow dust
was removed from the earth, of the fruitless fight in Congress during
the 40’s, and then again the win of the Radiation Exposure Compensation
Act more than 50 years later, in 1990. Steve and Hannah were researching
American Indian myths when they ran across a book on the law suit.
Further, it tells of the fatal diseases that the testing,mining
and pollution left for the Indian Nations.
Cow skin Suede, wood, glass, amber, moss agate, horn, fish vertebrae,
snowflake obsidian, fossil, clay, brass, jasper, amethyst, tourmilated
quartz, Biwa pearls, ostrich egg beads, waxed linen, diodes, resistors,
copper wire, Turkey & Coque Feathers, Gas Mask.