“Our community persists despite great obstacles and we are thriving. Our ultimate goal for this project is land return.”
–Mercedes Dorame, The Land Under the Plinth
The Land Under the Plinth dedicates an emergent place for engagement with Tongva communities and City of Los Angeles. Building upon the prior work of team members Meztli Projects, which include a Tongva-led community learning center, signage bearing Tongva language place names and ecological knowledge, and a virtual monument at the site where a conquistador statue was toppled in 2020, the The Land Under the Plinth team took the Re:Generation opportunity to carve out space and time to turn inward, centering community and cultural sustainability.
During the Re:Generation project, The Land Under the Plinth team focused on consolidating the first donations of land to establish the Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Land Conservancy, giving tribal community members access to free housing on their native land, offering artist residencies, language lessons, and holding space to gather without permission from outsiders for private community time and ceremonies. Deploying Tongva cultural practice and ceremony, ecology and ethnobotany, The Land Under the Plinth team developed community-driven strategies to rematreate the land to California native plants and Tongva people.
Team members include: Joel Garcia, Mercedes Dorame, River Garza, Kimberly Morales-Johnson, and Samantha Morales-Johnson.
Local Organizational Partner: Meztli Projects