There is no one overarching narrative of any place, person or event as our history textbooks have led us to believe. History is complex and complicated, with diverse perspectives and voices, and with diverse approaches to sharing knowledge and information. I moved to Colorado a little over two years and I’m learning more and more about this state’s history from an array of sources.

It’s with great interest, thanks to Chip Thomas (aka jetsonorama), that I’ve been introduced to the short film, The Making of buffalo soldiers: reVision by filmmakers Alan Domínguez and Raúl Paz- Pastrana. The film shares with viewers the story about the current exhibition, buffalo soldiers: reVision at the History Colorado’s Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center in Fort Garland, Colorado.

About the exhibition

Buffalo soldiers: reVision promo graphic


The exhibition, which opened on June 24, 2023, exactly 165 years after Fort Garland was commissioned by the United States, is “a partnership with eight independent artists that disrupts the common narratives of manifest destiny and settlement of the American West.”

In 1866, following the Civil War, Black Army regiments were established with formerly enslaved African Americans who now had the opportunity to make a living and to support themselves and their families. These regiments were know as Buffalo Soldiers and included the 9th Cavalry stationed at Fort Garland from 1875-1879 which had a role in westward expansion and the displacement of Indigenous populations.

Serving valiantly and honorably while confronting prejudice and systemic racism, the legacy of Buffalo Soldiers, is complicated by their front line conflict with Native Americans. buffalo soldiers: reVision is a partnership of eight artists, Eric Carpio (chief community museum officer and director of Fort Garland Museum & Cultural Center), along with Buffalo Soldier scholars, descendants, community members and Tribal Partners.

Who created buffalo soldiers: reVision?

Chip Thomas, aka jetsonorama, who created the Unsilenced: Indigenous Enslavement in Southern Colorado installation on display at Fort Garland, was the lead artist for the project. Participating artists include Esther Belin (Diné), award-winning poet and author of From the Belly of My Beauty, Mahogany L. Browne, Rosie Carter, Gaia, André Leon Gray, Theodore Harris, Tom Judd.

To learn more about the exhibition and each of the artists, visit:

buffalo soldiers:reVision, is an exhibition that, according to Eric Carpio, is “a chance to look forward to the future of historical interpretation of the American West with renewed perspective and wisdom so we can tell a more inclusive and representational history.”

The exhibition will be on view for the foreseeable future. In addition to the exhibition, two filmmakers, Alan Domínguez and Raúl Paz-Pastrana, were invited by Carpio to make a short film about the exhibition including interviews with museum staff, the artists, and the exhibition opening in June 2023.

If you’re not able to take in the exhibition in person, Alan and Raúl’s film is a great way to learn some Colorado history, learn about the participating artists and the museum itself. You can watch the film below. Embedded with permission.

Alan and Raúl, who are based in Denver, formed Off the Road Productions in May 2021. They work on projects that “challenge traditional representations of BiPoC communities in the Southwest and the Rockies, a place with rich Native American, Latinx, and Black histories that are often untold.”

Their films, solo and joint projects have been featured at numerous film festivals including the Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival in Vancouver, Canada, Indie Memphis Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival, CineLatino Denver, and PBS.

Their short documentary film Las Promotoras, currently in its distribution phase, tells the story of Cultivando, a small nonprofit in Adams County, Colorado that is led by a handful of Indigenous, Latina women fighting for environmental justice against the Suncor Refinery (zip code 80216 is the most polluted area in the United States.

Alan and Raúl are in the production stages for their upcoming feature-length documentary, Commerce City which offers a “visually striking portrait of the daily life and resilience of the Latinx residents of Commerce City, Colorado where the Suncor Refinery is located. You can learn more about Alan and Raúl and Off the Road Productions by visiting their website.

Susan Heske posing with a guitar outdoors

About the Writer:
Susan Heske


Susan Heske moved to Boulder, CO, in October 2021. She previously worked as Senior Director of Communications for Student Services at The New School in New York City. She has been involved with social justice issues for many years.