I COLLECT SNOW GLOBES FOR A CLOSE FRIEND. ON A RECENT TRIP ALONG THE NEW ENGLAND COAST I WAS HARD PUT TO FIND ANY UNDER SEVEN DOLLARS, AND I WAS ON A FIFTY DOLLAR A DAY BUDGET. IN PLYMOUTH ROCK I FOUND ONE FOR $1.79. THERE WERE PLENTY OF OTHER SOUVENIRS TO BE PURCHASED. BUT I SUPPRESSED MY INNER KITSCH CONSCIOUSNESS AND LEFT THE MORE DUBIOUS ARTIFACTS TO LIE ON THE SHELVES OF A GIFT SHOP ON THE EDGE OF CAPE COD BAY AND ONLY METERS AWAY FROM THAT FAMOUS LITTLE ROCK. AFTER LEAVING PLYMOUTH I COULDN’T GET THE LYRICS TO THE COLE PORTER SONG, ANYTHING GOES, OUT OF MY HEAD. WEEKS LATER THEY STILL COME BACK TO HAUNT ME WITHOUT WARNING – AND A STRANGE NEW COLONIALIST NARRATIVE THAT I AM SURPRISED, AND HALF-ASHAMED, THAT I NEVER NOTICED BEFORE.
The first afternoon and evening of the reworks gathering, off to a stunning start. Couldn’t get by, though, without first noting how the more things change, the more, well…. This is a movie poster from a somewhat dated film (and concept) found on Queen Street in the downtown of the Soo. Saw this while wandering with David Garneau (our keynote tomorrow), Steve Loft (one of our curatorial organizers) Ayumi Goto (fresh from finishing the written component of her comps only yesterday), and Robinder Sehdev (who some of you will have seen published in Cultivating Canada).
But that is the small of it. The large is the site we’re on, and we have Don Jackson, a tireless worker and organizer here on the Algoma campus, to thank for the tour he gave our group members this afternoon. As always, he was engaged, articulate, and passionate about his work. And as always, a pleasure to have here as such a foundation. That’s him at the pulpit (or almost) regaling our crowd with some of the histories that came to shape Shingwauk. A reverse shot looks out at the street on a beautiful fall day, framed by a church entrance that has seen many histories pass through its doors, undoubtedly.
We finished off the tours and then moved to talks and performances that told further stories of the land and its people. A powerful way to start to comprehend a lot of the pasts that create our presents, formational in their intricacy, and sometimes ugly detail.
We close in a short bit with a celebration. A launch of the Reconcile This! issue of West Coast Line. We’ve had the online version up for a while but this is the first display and distribution of the hardcopy version, wonderful of design and powerful of content. This truly allows us new ways of considering those pasts and how they might develop our futures.
The problem with the politics of reconciliation, it seems, is that we all too often begin with the expectation of too much. We should nurture a politics of an expectation of enough. For and by whom, uncertain, and necessarily so.
The flight in from toronto island, a drift of cloud and water, accented by colours outside the spectrum of normal vision as we hovered precipitously between lakes huron and superior, a blast of oranges and reds that exceeded senses.
The first arrivals from the west coast, meeting downtown to dine and connect, a leaking out of thoughts and sensations, on what we do here, and how we can possibly proceed. Not the first day, but the eve. We pause and reflect, and think of where to begin.
This video was included in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibit this past summer on Indigenous Hip-Hop Culture. To me, it confronts viewers/listeners with an audiovisual collage of representations of First Nations peoples from mainstream media, thereby both critiquing those representations and inviting reflection on how First Nations peoples and cultures are being represented in mainstream media culture today.
Claire at Isuma.tv (an online Inuit media community) asks an open question to viewers of her video blog: how can we get creative in using art to inspire activism and alternative thinking? She mentions several projects in Africa and elsewhere that may be of interest to followers of ReWorks. Also, Isuma.tv in general is a fantastic media resource. Feel free to explore it!
If you haven’t yet had the chance to take in CBC’s well-produced documentary series, “Eighth Fire,” I’d highly recommend watching its most recent installment, “Indigenous in the City.” With engaging host Wab Kinew facilitating, the episode takes a fascinating look at the realities of urban life, where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are living in close proximity in greater and greater numbers. This series is tremendously exciting because it provides viewers of all cultures with a focused look at various aspects of the lives of Indigenous people in Canada. Kinew talks with elders, digital artists, scholars, and rappers, all of whom weigh in on “reconciliation” as a concept and a lived reality.
As we approach the gathering in Sault Ste Marie, thought it might be worthwhile to reflect a bit on recent activity in the field of ‘reconciliation art’. Recently, at Arnica gallery in Kamloops, Chris Bose curated an exhibition that featured four artists who were/are intersested in this topic, taking it to new levels with their media and multi-media productions. Further info here: http://www.gallerieswest.ca/events/official-denial-the-art-of-the-apology and below, the curator’s words on the show’s concept. Watch for upcoming tours to different venues.
An exciting and invigorating day, just a fortnight before we all descend on the Soo for the reconciliation work(s) in progress symposium and incubation. We tripped the lights on this reworksinprogress.ca site at noon today (PST), promoting through facebook, twitter, email lists, and all other forms of social media that came to mind. This included ripping a qr code (that’s it on the left) that we can use for site promo — feel free to distribute to interested parties — and a series of facebook ads and commentaries that will show up to those who have expressed interest in truth/recon discourses. While we don’t anticipate growing the numbers in attendance at the symposium by very much, owing to time and distance, we do hope a significant group of folks will check in to the reworks site periodically to investigate developments. This site will grow, too, during the incubation as we try to feature not just the showcased work of attending artists, but the ongoing work(s) in progress and associated questions, problems, and concerns. To that end, if folks have any thoughts toward said development, please do let us know — a comment or note would be most valuable and quite appreciated. And onward we go.
where the 1924 American rugby team was attacked with rocks and bottles and fled the field with a police escort after defeating France in Paris.. Hey, the Packers must be doing something right. So I […]
We’re working hard to transform our reworks site into an active Massive Open Online Course focussed on Art and Reconciliation. This will be a no-fee, non-credit course whose purpose will be to create a learning […]
Originally blogged at artistic-inquiry.ca Oppenheimer Park, downtown eastside, Vancouver. Uncharacteristic bright sunshine, and warm, middle of Februrary. Around the perimeter of the park are 88 red balloons, weighted to the ground and tied off with […]