Art & Oppression: Artist's Statement

Marilyn Maxwell

The Invisible Menace

This project is about not only the harm experienced by, but also, the resilient spirit of communities from Grants to Gallup and north that live near piles of radioactive waste. The poisonous gas and flour-like material from these piles is blown about by the wind, leached into the ground water, and puts human health at risk from “anemia, cataracts, fractured teeth, and cancer, especially bone cancer.” (EPA 05/01/2007).

I used strange colors in this series to make visible the unnatural toxic state of the land, which appears perfectly normal and safe to the unaware eye. My hope is that these images will inform people of the long unmet need for relief in the nearby communities and of the larger danger of an environment dotted with factory sized heaps of radioactive tailings with a half-life of 80,000 years.