As a venue or platform where things take place, Deurendis is land-based. Our projects and programming support creative work across disciplines and interests, including political ecology, traditional knowledges and vernacular architectures, histories of land use and ecocultural heritage, alternative models of ownership and stewardship, infrastructural landscapes and urban-rural connections, biocultural restoration, and practices of care, repair, and maintenance. These interests inform everything we do in and with the land that supports us.

It is with gratitude and humility that we acknowledge that we are learning, speaking and gathering on the ancestral homelands of the Muhheaconneok, who are the indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.

A large part of the northern Catskills area where we are located was also shared hunting grounds among the Muhheaconneok, the Munsee Lenape (Esopus), and the Kanien'kehá:ka nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We support legislation like New York Senate Bill S5266 which would ensure that citizens of Native nations and tribes can practice hunting and fishing in keeping with historical treaty rights.

We further acknowledge that this land once served as a refuge for a rich mosaic of freedom-seeking individuals, who formed mixed communities of Native American holdouts, free Africans and formerly enslaved persons, canal and quarry workers or other disaffected Dutch settlers, and others seeking escape from colonial structures. If this land is to be a place of escape, it is this history of free association, hybridity, and fugitivity that we seek to honor and rekindle, in contrast to forms of escape represented by this region’s famed resorts, retreats, and artist “colonies.”


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