The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 is a historic event that has little significance to most Americans unless they live in specific regions of the Southwest. I grew up hearing stories of the revolt from many Pueblo elders and historians. I was bewildered that hardly anyone seemed to have heard of it as I traveled around the United States. Yet, when I would travel overseas, it was part of the cultural history, and people would question me about it.
I have been developing a screenplay titled Revolt 1680/2180 for the last two decades. It is not just a story of persecution and revolt but also of resilience—one that seems more critical than ever in today’s political and cultural climate. With every exhibition, I reveal more details surrounding the events and repercussions of the revolt—the First American Revolution. The rebellion remains a significant part of Pueblo history—I have always felt it my duty to cultivate and share it with the world. It is important to pay respect to the past in order to advance into the future.
The storyline happens simultaneously in two different time dimensions: 1680 and 2180. Kuan of the Recon Watchmen are the key provocateurs within this context. They are deployed to orbit adjacent to Earth’s realm to conduct covert surveillance on Castilian activity or advances to bring their automaton army closer to the Pueblo lands. The Watchmen aid the Puebloans in rebuilding traditional life on new sacred ground that the invaders once destroyed.
Mopez is also vital to the storyline. This clay bust is him in his animal, cardinal bird form—he is a warrior and protector. In battle, he transforms from a human to his cardinal form and detonates in a crimson-red explosion of 1000 birds who can attack the onslaught of invaders and pierce their metal armor. Shu-Hah, a healer, provides the people with guiding visions using telepathy through his headdress and can heal the injured.