• Sussan Yáñez

Visual Arts


Collage - Paper on paper 57×87cms Actual 2016-2017 vision board transformed onto a piece of the exhibit #TheFemenineTouch from the #DowntownEastsideCentrefortheArts thanking elder Dalannah Gail Bowen. #Artsforhealing !!!! "Home

In other words, Paradise. Being originally born in 1994 in Viña del Mar, Chile but naturalized to Canada in 2003, my endless wander in the past four years made finding home a difficult task. In my efforts to create it, after moving from Montreal to Chile in 2013 and then from one town to another, between tents, houses and departments, the preconceived definitions I had of home had to evolve and transmute along with my own fluctuations between the lands that were holding space. To constantly get rid of material belongings that usually conform a household or even a common suitcase when travelling, had a grasp on my soul. To learn to not attach to anything has been one of the greatest lessons for my sometimes overthinking mind, bringing this detachment also to my emotions (I am not my emotions) and social relations (I must first love myself to love others). Allowing myself to take a step back to observe my own behaviour, position and direction made me realize that Unconditionnal Love embraces it all and that if it is in the heart, it is everywhere and there is therfore no need to posess anything nor anyone. So as a vision board, when my daughter and I just got to Vancouver, I proposed myself to do a collage. I had first done one when I was eleven years old as an art therapy learning to deal with my parents’ separation and throughout my teenage years I started to turn my life into a bunch of concepts cut out of different cultures and beliefs to form my Self, as a premature rainbow warrior. Finally coming to reencounter my heart, spirit and soul in these unceded territories in ancestral ceremonies, migrant yet native, I realized that home is nowhere else but in the heart. And once I am able to ground my roots deeply in my own center, the Great Verse that life is just plays along mellifluously. Home is a ten months work reflecting my deepest wish to see the Earth taken care of and transformed into a great garden for Humanity, so we may sooner than later, with toolboxes like Permaculture, finally enable ourselves to truly Be. "

'Prayer to the Salmon'

Mixed media collage, 78 x 123 cm, upcycled paper, felt, wool, cedar, corn husk, horsetail & turkey tail on canvas.

Mari mari lamgen,

This prayer to the salmon is to honour the diversity in the fight against salmon farms, from the fight for wild salmon of Coast Salish peoples here in North America, to the Lafken Mapu in South America. While salmon farms are devastating to wild populations of salmonids on Unceded Coast Salish waters, poor working conditions for peoples in politically known Chile expose the worse death rates in the global employment of salmon industry, where between 2016 and 2019, 28 deaths have incurred within salmon facilities. This collage intends to conscientize about these issues, which ripples from one continent to the other in the hand of colonizers, while exposing a story of resiliency and an attempt to honour the wild salmon. Since on these Coast Salish and interior lands and waters the Sts’úḵwi7 (Skwxwu7mesh), sθ'áqʷiʔ (hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓), or sts̓úqwaz̓ (St̓át̓imcets) is known as a relation that offers themselves to the peoples, I give thanks for its sacrifice and offer this piece as a reminder of our commonalities. As a fundamental part of the kinship clusters in their relational support to other species, they feed us, they also feed animals such as the bear, keystone species for the coastal and interior ecosystems of the bioregions we live in. But it does not end there, the salmon people also feed the land in their travels back from the sea when they come to rest indeterminately, bringing life to the forests in unperceivable ways and it is thus of utmost importance that we recognize as visitors and immigrants how fundamental the salmon is for all biodiversity in these places and to collaborate in the raising of awareness of the Indigenous and ecological causes to protect the health of peoples, salmon peoples and human peoples included. The ultimate purpose is to bring awareness that capitalism predates on the next best opportunity to continue with its gains, and how Canadian salmon industries such as Cooke Sea Food are affecting Indigenous communities in southern territories of Mapuche and Lafkenche peoples. This is thus a call for peoples of all colours and creeds to collaborate together on Unceded lands and waters and beyond for the protection of all relations.

Here is an extract of the public statement of several organizations against salmon farms in Chile:

“The massive productions of industrially farmed salmonids, amounting to 842,679 tonne in 2018, places Chile as the world’s second largest producer of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and as the world’s largest producer of Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The farming of these predatory fishes, introduced into Chilean waters, is associated with intense use of natural resources (sweet water, coastal territories, cheap energy and labor, and wild fish used for fishmeal), along with the use of financial capital, biotechnology and a variety of chemical and pharmaceutical supplements.

The high densities of salmons in the sea cages used for farming coupled with the intensity of the production processes make these fishes very vulnerable to viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases. To overcome this, the industry applies massive and indiscriminate amounts of a variety of chemicals, such as antibiotics, antiparasitics, coloring agents, disinfectants, antifungal substances and antifouling (antiadherent) agents. This generates devastating impacts on the environment and the marine and terrestrial biodiversity of the archipelago Chiloé and the Patagonian regions of Aysén and Magallanes. In the last 20 years, the territorial and productive expansion of this industry has introduced more than 20 bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases in Chilean waters.”

Consulted online on September 8th 2020: https://www.salmonquimicofuera.cl/statement-eng/

A full report on the Salmon farms in Chile can be found in Spanish here:


#salmonquimicofuera #chemicalsalmonout

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