Corn is People | 2022-current

Corn is a miracle plant whose invention and success are attributed mainly to human labor and knowledge. Corn’s reputation as an essential food staple and origin of native cosmographies demonstrates its critical 10,000-year socio-cultural role.

Like indigenous nations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the Puebloans and other Uto-Aztecan nations that blanketed the North American Southwest depended on corn culturally and agriculturally and used corn to develop more complex societies.

The cultivation of corn was a critical factor in health and success and relationships with surrounding tribes. However, corn was much more to these nations than just a foodstuff; it was equally significant within their spiritual beliefs and literature.

Corn has played a vital role in colonization, industrialization, and overproduction. The Midwestern American Corn Belt is the epitome of this nexus. Much like it advanced into a tool of domination and control in Mayan culture, corn’s influence intensified and became something new inside Western society. European colonization of both Africa and North America may not have happened without the cultivation of corn.

Corn helped cement European colonialism and capitalism, enabling these structures to dominate the globe further. The narratives of numerous old and new world cultures and the story of modern Western cultures offer a stunning examination of corn’s current position in western society: a commodity intimately connected to systems of control and capitalism.

The far-reaching impacts of corn on our socioeconomic and subsistence systems reveal a great deal about globalization, commodification, and dominance.

The work featured in this project examines the far-reaching impacts of corn through a narrative lens to reveal corn’s relationship with humans.