The intent of this Massive Open Online Course is to provide a multi-platform environment to explore the various possibilities of understanding the concepts of ‘reconciliation’ through artistic and creative practices. Facilitators and participants will have the opportunity to explore, develop, and share in multiple ways. While this course runs over a limited time frame — July 15 to Sept 30, 2013 — to accommodate particular events that will be key to the material available, the other elements of the course are fluid and malleable. Without fixed weekly content or defined assignments, participants are free to investigate the topic through posting on their own blogs, comments on shared spaces, and uploading creative projects, among myriad other possibilities.
From July 15 to Aug 15, 2013 a group of artists will be convening at Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, B.C.) as part of an ongoing project that began in 2011. At initial discussions with Aboriginal artists at that time, it was proposed that artists needed time and space to reflect on the process, to determine how to make work that even began to address the complicated terrain of ‘reconciliation’, and to decide if such work was even appropriate or required a different approach. Then, in 2012, a large group of artists and researchers gathered at Algoma University to hold a two-day symposium (see the program and videos) discussing the subject, followed by a five-day ‘incubation‘ period where artists began to talk to each other and to develop artistic-research models. Many of these artists will be now attending the four-week residency this summer, and we plan to highlight this work in an ongoing fashion through online conversations, photographic analysis, and video documentation. Our MOOC will continue past the end of the residency, and will include further discussion and analysis of the sixth annual gathering of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools, which will be held in Vancouver from Sept 18-21, 2013.This site was originally struck to host a platform entitled “Reconciliaton: work(s) in progress,” focusing on art works that address ‘reconciliation’ in various manifestations. As a platform for incubating images, ideas, and discussion, our organizing team created a reflective space through project meetings, symposia, and a large gatherings, held from Sept 27 to Oct 3, 2012, which explore reconciliation theory and practice, and the role of art, artists, and artistic and curatorial practice within reconciliation, as they relate to the current Canadian context, particularly the presence of the Indian Residential Schools (IRS) Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), through a collaborative process of Western and Indigenous research methods, artistic practice, and curatorial practice. A further focus, in keeping with the notion of reconciliation as “right relations” was a cross-cultural dialogue, particularly Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration. Video recordings of the symposium and incubation sessions show the type of work we encouraged, and intend to continue with this MOOC.