Interview with Chip Thomas
Dec
10
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Chip Thomas

Chip Thomas has lived on the Navajo Nations Reservation for over 25 years working as a family-care physician. Chip is also an artist and activist who, under the street artist name Jetsonorama, pastes his blown-up black-and-white photos depicting Navajo community members on structures visible from the road in a public art project he has described as a “love letter to the Navajo Nation”. He is also creator of The Painted Desert Project, a project which invites street artists from around the world to put up their art on the reservation, creating connection and sharing visual language. 

Chip Thomas. August 2013. Photo by Tom Fowlks  


Chip Thomas. August 2013. Photo by Tom Fowlks
 

" The question I’m asked most frequently is how a black doctor in his 50s working on the Navajo reservation started doing street art.  In retrospect, it was only natural for this evolution to occur. I started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987.  I’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after my arrival on the Navajo Nation.  My passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka and others.  By going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, I have come to know them as friends.  In return these home visits enhance my doctor/patient relationships helping me be a more empathetic health care practitioner.I’ve always been drawn to street art, graffiti and old school hip-hop. I was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s and though I was miles away from the epicenter, I thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation. I would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings and in galleries. I did some tagging in the 80s before coming to the Navajo Nation and participated with a major billboard “correction” on the reservation shortly after my arrival attempting to make a connection between diet + health in a community where the incidence of diabetes is approximately 1/4. My early interventions on the street were largely text based writing saying things like “Thank you Dr. King.  I too am a dreamer” or “Smash Apartheid.” In 2009 I took a 3-month sabbatical to Brasil which coincided with a difficult period in my life.  Though I wasn’t looking for an epiphany, I was fortunate to stumble upon a passionate group of artists working in the public sphere on the street who befriended me.  It was during this time that I appreciated how photography could be a street art form.  Inspired by Diego Rivera and Keith Haring, I’d become disinterested in showing my photographs in galleries isolated from the people I was photographing and wanted to pursue a more immediate relationship with my community hopefully reflecting back to them the beauty they’ve shared with me.  I started pasting in 2009 using the medium to amplify voices advocating for change within the community and celebrating the culture.  The highlight of my work thus far was being invited to join the activist printmaking collective Justseeds this fall.      In beauty it is finished." -Chip Thomas www.jetsonorama.net

Installation done June 2014 in Hotchkiss, CO (population 923) Photo by Nelly Higginbotham  


Installation done June 2014 in Hotchkiss, CO (population 923)
Photo by Nelly Higginbotham
 

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#callresponse final episode: interviews and reflections from grunt gallery
Nov
15
2:00pm 2:00pm

#callresponse final episode: interviews and reflections from grunt gallery

#callresponse places the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists in a central location, giving proper respect and support to their roles as knowledge keepers, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, teachers and creators.” -Tarah Hogue from#callresponse: Situating Indigenous women in re/conciliation

This episode completes the series regarding the #callresponse project and provides interviews and reflections from the culminating exhibition held at grunt gallery in October 2016 with guest respondents, accompanying programming, and a catalogue.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.


EXHIBITION: October 29 - December 10, 2016

OPENING RECEPTION: October 28, 7 PM, grunt gallery

PERFORMANCES: OCTOBER 28
1 - 4 PM: Maria Hupfield, IV Castellanos and Esther Neff
Motion Capture Studio, ECUAD (Room 285e, 1399 Johnston St, Granville Island)
4 - 7 PM: Ursula Johnson with Charlene Aleck, Audrey Siegl and Cease Wyss
park behind grunt (E 5th Ave @ Brunswick)
8:30 PM: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq
Native Education College (285 E 5th Ave @ Scotia)

ARTISTS
Christi Belcourt, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Tania Willard, and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory

GUEST RESPONDENTS
Isaac Murdoch, Esther Neff & IV Castellanos, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Marcia Crosby, and Tanya Tagaq

ORGANIZERS
Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield, and Tania Willard
in partnership with grunt gallery


CALL
To support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists through local art commissions that incite dialogue and catalyze action between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non.

RESPONSE
To ground art in responsible action, value lived experience, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to accountability and community building. To respond to re/conciliation as a present day negotiation and the reconstruction of communities in the aftermath of colonial trauma. 

This multifaceted project brings together five art commissions that have been taking place across Canada and into the United States throughout 2016 in dialogue with various publics. A touring exhibition will open at grunt gallery in October 2016 with selected representations of each project. Each artist will invite a respondent to contribute a response to their work, which will also be included in the exhibition.

Moving between specific sites, online space and the gallery, #callresponse focuses on forms of performance, process and translation. An online platform utilizing the hashtag #callresponse on social media connects the geographically diverse sites and provides opportunities for networked exchanges. A dedicated project website will act as an online hub (to be launched October 2016) with artist statements, documentation, contributions from invited respondents, and integrated social media, including a series of interviews with the lead artists and their respondents on the Broken Boxes Podcast.


#callresponse is produced in partnership with grunt gallery and generously supported by the British Columbia Arts Council and the {Re}conciliation initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Additional presentation partners include BUSH Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, FADO Performance Art Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, OFFTA live art festival, the National Arts Centre, and the Native Education College.

http://www.callresponseart.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/callresponse/
https://twitter.com/callresponseus
https://www.instagram.com/callresponse/
http://www.brokenboxespodcast.com/

Use the hashtag #callresponse to get involved in the conversation!

For more information visit http://grunt.ca/exhibitions/callresponse/ or contact tarah@grunt.ca

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Interview with Tarah Hogue
Oct
20
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Tarah Hogue

#callresponse places the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists in a central location, giving proper respect and support to their roles as knowledge keepers, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, teachers and creators.” -Tarah Hogue from#callresponse: Situating Indigenous women in re/conciliation

Tarah Hogue (Project Curator) is a writer and curator of mixed Dutch, French and Métis ancestry. She holds a BA(H) in Art History from Queen’s University and an MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. Hogue is the Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at grunt gallery since 2014, where she is working on exhibitions, programming and developing a cross­Canada project, #callresponse, with Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard that builds upon her research on Indigenous feminisms. She has curated exhibitions at the Satellite Gallery (2011) and Or Gallery (2012) and was co­curator on two exhibitions about the India Residential School system: Witnesses: Art and Canada's Indian Residential Schools at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and NET­ETH: Going Out of the Darkness, organized by Malaspina Printmakers (both 2013). In 2009, she co­founded the Gam Gallery, an exhibition space, studio and boutique located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She has recently been awarded the Audain Aboriginal Fellowship with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and is curatin an upcoming exhibition for SFU Gallery in 2016. She has written texts for e­fagia, Capilano University and Presentation House Gallery, Artspeak, Decoy Magazine and the 2015 MFA Graduate Exhibition at UBC.

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Interview with Christi Belcourt & Isaac Murdoch
Oct
1
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Christi Belcourt & Isaac Murdoch

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode the 9th installation in a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse.  

"All I want to do is give everything I have, my energy, my love, my labour – all of it in gratitude for what we are given. I’ll never be able to give back enough. My love for this world overwhelms me. My love for this world, and my love for everyone and everything is what drives me." -Christi Belcourt

#callresponse Artist Project Details:

Christi Belcourt's project is to work with traditional teacher and collaborator Isaac Murdoch to hold ceremony with plants and animals as her community with The Onaman Collective. Just as the natural world is depicted symbolically as medicine in her work through the act of painting she aims to take action in an effort to restore balance as a human being amongst many living beings. Her project stems from the believe that we as people are not ready for reconciliation. She does not consider the first step towards reconciliation as starting between native and non­natives but rather as something that needs to take place between humans and the plants and animals. Pronounced ah­nah­min, The Onaman Collective was formed in 2014 by Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt and Erin Konsmo out of their deep care for youth and the future of community. The collective was formed for the express purpose of finding ways to connect youth to land, traditional knowledge, language and Elders through art and land­based activities. 


Christi Belcourt (b. 1966) is a Michif (Metis) visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the Metis historic community of Manitou Sakhigan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, Canada. Raised in Ontario, Christi is the first of three children born to political Indigenous rights leader Tony Belcourt and Judith Pierce Martin. Her brother Shane Belcourt is a respected filmmaker and her sister Suzanne is a graphic designer and emerging visual artist. Christi Belcourt is the author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010), Christi’s work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall. Christi is a past recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Family Fund and the Métis Nation of Ontario. In 2014 she was named Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and shortlisted for the Premier’s Award. She is currently the lead coordinator for lking With Our Sisters. 

Visit Christi Belcourt's Website


 Isaac Murdoch , whose Ojibway name is Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik is from the fish clan and is from Serpent River First Nation. Isaac grew up in the traditional setting of hunting, fishing and trapping. Many of these years were spent learning from Elders in the northern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Isaac is well respected as a storyteller and traditional knowledge holder. For many years he has led various workshops and cultural camps that focuses on the transfer of knowledge to youth. Other areas of expertise include: traditional ojibway paint, imagery/symbolism, harvesting, medicine walks, & ceremonial knowledge, cultural camps, Anishinaabeg oral history, birch bark canoe making, birch bark scrolls, Youth & Elders workshops, etc. He has committed his life to the preservation of Anishinaabe cultural practices and has spent years learning directly from Elders.

Issac Murdoch. Onaman Collective.

Issac Murdoch. Onaman Collective.

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Interview with Marcia Crosby
Sep
21
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Marcia Crosby

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode featuring Marcia Crosby, Tsimshian-Haida writer, art historian, and educator from British Columbia and respondent for Tania Willard. This is the eight installation in a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse

Marcia Crosby is Tsimshian-Haida writer, art historian, and educator from British Columbia. 

“I can hardly speak your words because I think you might not forgive me for telling the story you wanted kept a secret. Yes, some of our leaders, some of our old people and others on our communities want us to be quiet about life on our social and geographical reserves. They want us to be silent and if we are not we are not family. But your silence deadened me gram. This is about love and anger. This is about sadness and joy. About strength and total collapse of the spirit." -Marcia Crosby

This quotation included in “The Implication of Restorative Justice for Aboriginal Women” is reinforcement for how dedicated Crosby is in making works that offers a spirit, honor and resistance. (sourced from wikipedia)

#callresponse project details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. 

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Interview with Tania Willard
Aug
7
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Tania Willard

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode as the seventh installation in a series of interviews featuring artists and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse

Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard was Aboriginal Curator in Residence with Kamloops Art Gallery from 2013­2015 and previously with grunt gallery 2008­2010. Recent curatorial work includes CUSTOM MADE/Tsitlem te stem te ckultens'kuc; this is Willard's culminating exhibition for her curatorial residency with Kamloops Art Gallery and features 20 contemporary artists working with ideas of that bisect the binary of contemporary and traditional. Willard's curatorial work also includes, Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, co­curated with Kathleen Ritter, Vancouver Art Gallery, featuring 27 contemporary Aboriginal artists which toured Nationally. She is currently working on co­curating a solo exhibition (May 2016), Unceded Territories, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun with Karen Duffek at Museum of Anthropology, UBC.

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswapwww.landoftheshuswap.com)

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswapwww.landoftheshuswap.com)

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Interview with Esther Neff & IV Castellanos
Jul
8
1:00pm 1:00pm

Interview with Esther Neff & IV Castellanos

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode featuring Esther Neff & IV Castellanos, respondent Artists for Maria Hupfield, as the sixth installation in a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse. 

ACTION I  This action was created at Panoply Performance Lab in Brooklyn, NY. In collaboration with Esther Neff the action was created based on two objects and two tasks. 

ACTION I  This action was created at Panoply Performance Lab in Brooklyn, NY. In collaboration with Esther Neff the action was created based on two objects and two tasks. 

More about the artists:

Esther Neff:

Esther Neff is the founder and co-director of Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL), a collective making operas-of-operations and a laboratory site for performance projects. She is a collaborative and solo performance artist and independent theorist and a member of Feminist Art Group, Social Health Performance Club and Organizers Against Imperialist Culture. Her current work and research is a series of operations entitled Embarrassed of the Whole

www.panoplylab.org/estherneff

http://estherneff.tumblr.com/

http://www.thefenserf.tumblr.com/


IV Castellanos:

"Abstract performance art has been the vein for my physical memory to thrive. Simply, I create objects and destroy them. In creating this gesture I am able to articulate ideas that I shifted and bottle necked down one resonating path. All of the information is channeled but visually clear, concise and often under 15 minutes. The interest is in transforming energy and the route has been moulded over the course of performing by trimming the fat and getting the job done. Labor is a source for my work, the physical body moving through day to day direction and carrying an othered body under constant critique and observation. There is power in focused action. Timing allows the intensity to maintain saturation for the viewer to barely digest in the moment."

ivcastellanos.com

Photo: by Laura Bluer

Photo: by Laura Bluer

 

#callresponse project details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. 

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Interview with Maria Hupfield
Jun
2
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Maria Hupfield

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode as part of a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse.  

"In live performance I insert myself into new conversations, activate space, and locate the body in relationship to self, collaborators, objects and place. My hand-sewn creations function as tools; jingles track body rhythms and modified industrial felt items are both shield and screen. These sculptures are carried on the body, recall everyday contemporary life and reflect upon sight, and sound, using the unexpected to shift meaning." - Maria Hupfield

Maria Hupfield. It Is Never Just About Sustenance or Pleasure, video installation video still 2016 Photo: Julie Nymann


Maria Hupfield. It Is Never Just About Sustenance or Pleasure, video installation video still 2016 Photo: Julie Nymann

Maria Hupfield  is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, currently based in Brooklyn NY. A featured international artist with SITE Santa Fe 2016, she received national recognition in the USA from the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation for her hand-sewn industrial felt sculptures. Hupfield was awarded a long term Canada Council for The Arts Grant to make work in New York with her nine-foot birchbark canoe made of industrial felt assembled and performed in Venice, Italy for the premiere of Jiimaan, coinciding with the Venice Biennale 2015. Recent projects include free play Trestle Gallery Brooklyn with Jason Lujan, and Chez BKLYN an exhibition highlighting the fluidity of individual and group dynamics of collective art practices; conceived by artists in Brooklyn and relayed at Galerie SE Konst, Sweden. She was a guest speaker for the Distinguished Visiting Artist Program, University of British Columbia, Indigenous Feminist Activism & Performance event at Yale, Native American Cultural Center and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Indigenous Rights/Indigenous Oppression, Symposium with Tanya Tagaq at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, MD. Like her mother and settler accomplice father before her Hupfield is an advocate of native community arts and activism. The founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, a native youth arts and mural outreach program in downtown Toronto she is the current Co-owner of the blog Native Art Department International. Hupfield is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montreal.

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Interview with Tanya Tagaq
May
11
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Tanya Tagaq

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to present this episode featuring Tanya Tagaq, respondent Artist for Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. This is the fourth installation in a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse. 

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

Tanya Tagaq’s music isn’t like anything you’ve heard before. Unnerving and exquisite, Tagaq’s unique vocal expression may be rooted in Inuit throat singing but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture.

This Inuk punk is known for delivering fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Her shows draw incredulous response from worldwide audiences, and Tagaq’s tours tend to jump back and forth over the map of the world. From a Mexican EDM festival to Carnegie Hall, her music and performances transcend language.

Tagaq makes musical friends and collaborators with an array of like-minded talents: opera singers, avant-garde violin composers, experimental DJs, all cutting edge and challenging. Tanya’s albums make for complex listening, but her string of Juno nominations attests to her ability to make difficult music speak a universal tongue.

Animism was produced by west coast shape-shifter Jesse Zubot (Dan Mangan, Fond of Tigers) with additional production by Juan Hernandez. The record features Michael Red (Low Indigo), a live programmer whose wild northern field recordings often serve as Tagaq’s de facto backing band, percussionist Jean Martin and Belgian opera singer Anna Pardo Canedo.

Animism has received major critical praise and attention in Canada. The album won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize, a prestigious annual award (based on the UK’s Mercury Prize) that judges albums based on “the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history.” Tanya’s unforgettable gala performance and acceptance speech have further amplified the impact of this win, and her victory has been heralded a turning point in Canadian music and culture. Animism  has also been nominated for in “Pushing the Boundaries” and Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year categories from the Canadian Folk Music Awards (winners have not been announced at this time).
Resource: Six Shooter Records

“Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.” —THE WIRE, UK

#callresponse Project Details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. 

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Apr
16
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Laakkuluk Williamson­-Bathory

mage: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

mage: Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory and Tanya Tagaq performance, 2015. photo credit: Front of House Photography.

Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory a uaajeerneq performer of Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum­dancing, storytelling and acting. Her career has allowed her to travel all across Canada and to many wondrous parts of the world. Laakkuluk’s poetry was recently commissioned for the exhibit Fifth World (2105), Wanda Nanibus Curator, Mendel Gallery, Saskatoon. Her collaboration om the Belly to the Moo(2012), a six part postcard exchange project connecting performance art in Iqaluit to New York was a Fuse Magazine artist project. In addition to her poetry, theatre and uaajeerneq, Laakkuluk is founder and Executive Director of Qaggiavuut, Iqaluit’s first performing arts center. She also curated projects that challenged outdated museum exhibition practices for Inuit culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario including: Inuit Art in Motio(2003) and litarivingaa? Do You Recognize me?(2004), which additionally brought youth together across urban and rural environments through Tauqsiijiit an onsite residence youth media lab located at the heart of the exhibition with participants from: Igloolik Isuma Productions, Qaggiq Theatre, Siqiniq Productions, Daybi, Tungasuvvingat Inuit Youth Drop In Centre (Ottawa), 7th Generation Image Makers (Native Child and Family Services of Toronto), Debajehmujig Theatre Group (Wikwemikong) and Qaggiq Theatre (Iqaluit). “m an advocate for the deep human need for all people, but especially post­colonial Indigenous people to express themselves at a level of creative excellence. I am a mother, wife, writer and performer based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. My three children speak Greenlandic, Inuktitut and English – all languages part of their heritages. I am passionate about spending time on the land – hiking, snowmobiling, boating, hunting, camping, eating wild foods, building cabins and cultivating raccoon tans are all activities that figure largely in my family.” 

Artist Project Details:

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory:ujimajaaqtuqanngiguuq "they call it traditional knowledge" is a 30 minute performance piece to take place at the Nunavut Legislature, based on Greenlandic mask dancing and incorporating storytelling and electronic music. Uaajeerneq is a clownish dance that is highly sexualized, frightening and hilarious. It is a type of entertainment that teaches children about panic, adults about boundaries, or the lack thereof and examines the limits of human experience in the unknowable immensity of the universe. Every Uaajeerneq dancer sees the performance as a self­realization in the face of decolonization. “As I develop my practice, I'm looking for ways of people, both Inuit and non­Inuit to see art as an individual exploration of identity, culture, politics, ugliness and beauty and not as a pageantry of "Inuit art." This project is taking a meaningful part of my practice right to the centre of Nunavut politics ­ the legislature, addressing this idea full on.” Laakkuluk works with a group of seven politically minded Inuit on community actions and political discussions, who will collectively act as the respondent for this project, creating an audio recording of the group’s dialogue for the project’s exhibition at grunt gallery. This group comes together to challenge themselves and support each other to make political change at a community and a territorial level, acting as a safe zone for political discussion and often collaborating with each other for other projects. Professionally, the group is comprised of artists, bureaucrats and in various positions of emerging leadership.

#callresponse Project Details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples. 

 

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Mar
31
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Cheryl L'Hirondelle

Cheryl L'Hirondelle (Métis/Cree-non status/treaty, French, German, Polish) is a multi/interdisciplinary artist and musician who creates in a variety of artistic disciplines including performance art, music (voice, percussion, keyboards, songwriter, arranger, producer), theatre (actor, writer), performance poetry, storytelling, installation art (site-specific, earthworks) video and new media (net.art, pirate radio, audio art).

This episode is part of a series of interviews featuring participants and their respondents from the socially engaged project #callresponse.  
 

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Mar
14
4:30pm 4:30pm

Interview with Ursula Johnson

Broken Boxes Podcast is proud to feature the first in a series of interviews featuring participating artists from the socially engaged project #callresponse.  

About The Artist:

Ursula A. Johnson s a performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw descent. People who attend her performances are often surprised to find themselves no longer spectators, but actors in a social situation. Instead of the private, contemplative response we usually expect from the encounter with a work of art, we become participants in collective interpretations and collaborative actions.

Ursula Johnson, Ke'tapekiaq Ma'qimikew: The Land Sings, Cape Breton Visitation 2015. Photo: Dr. Marcia Ostashkewski. Courtesy of the Artist.

Ursula Johnson, Ke'tapekiaq Ma'qimikew: The Land Sings, Cape Breton Visitation 2015. Photo: Dr. Marcia Ostashkewski. Courtesy of the Artist.

https://ursulajohnson.wordpress.com

Project Details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples.

An online platform will utilize the hashtag #callresponse on social media and a dedicated project website will serve to connect the geographically diverse sites and to generate discussion. An exhibition will be held at grunt gallery in October 2016 with guest respondents, accompanying programming, and a catalogue. The project is led by Tarah Hogue (French/Dutch/Métis), Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe) and Tania Willard (Secwepemc) and features five lead artists working in the following locations: Maria Hupfield in New York NY, Tania Willard in Secwepemc Territory BC and invited artists Christi Belcourt (Métis) on Manitoulin Island ON, Ursula Johnson (Mi'kmaw) in Vancouver BC, and Laakkuluk Williamson­Bathory (Inuk) in Iqaluit NU.

Artist Project Details:

Ursula Johnson Ketapekiaq Maqamikew – The Land Sings follows from an audio­based endurance performance wherein Johnson collaborated with a Mi’kmaw singer/songwriter in Antigonish, NS to create a song for the land. The land is recognized as a feminine body and a matriarch by several Indigenous nations. Urban development and the disregard to the natural environment resonated with the artist in the development of this series. Children who attended residential schools were distanced from their homes, territory and the land. The traditional songs and voices of many First Nations were also displaced because of this process. Johnson’s project posits song as a positive force that brings people together in the act of singing. The premise of the piece is to create a song that is an apology to the land for the ways in which our human impact has shifted and shaped the landscape. The original work was created by mapping a line on a topographical map from the customary land territory of the local Indigenous peoples to the closest, largest urban centre, from which a score was developed. Building on this, Johnson will perform the fourth visitation of the project in Toronto ON in collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Metis/Cree) as part of MONOMYTHS, programmed by FADO Performance Art Centre. The fifth visitation of the work will take place in Vancouver BC sited in the traditional territory of one of the local First Nations (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil­Waututh) as a way of addressing the history of division caused by the residential school system and colonialism more broadly. The points of connection created through song span the country from its eastern to western shores, coming full circle to encompass both the diversity and specificity of the Indigenous nations within its boundaries. Johnson will collaborate with a local singer/songwriter to create a song of recognition and apology to the land, focusing on four themes related to this: a survey, an intervention, a celebration and a mourning. The performance will occur shortly before the exhibition opening (October 2016), presented as a continuous live vocal performance that will run for the duration of 4­6 hours. The water and land of the surrounding territory will witness the song along with being open to the public. An audio recording and visual representations of the topographical score will be included on the project website and exhibition.

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Introduction to #callresponse featuring interview with Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard
Feb
21
2:00pm 2:00pm

Introduction to #callresponse featuring interview with Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard

For our Two Year Anniversary, Broken Boxes Podcast is honored to host a series of interviews with the Artists involved in the project #callresponsea socially-engaged work bringing together 5 site-specific art commissions across the country. #callresponse focuses on reconciliation as an action that demands both talk and response, and is based on the spirit of the the talking stick as a tangible device and symbol that when performed, activates the restoration of balance by acknowledging the act of give and take, taking turns, or call and response.

This Episode will serve as an introduction to the #callrepsonse project series and will feature interview with Artists Tarah Hogue, Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard. Each episode released through August 2016 will highlight an artist involved in the #callresponse project.

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswap www.landoftheshuswap.com)

Tania Willard, Silence and Tongues, digital still from The Shuswap Indians of British Columbia by Harlan Smith (1928) and text (Text-excepted from Memories of the Kamloops Indian Residential School - as experienced by Irene Billy, Secwepemculecw, Land of the Shuswap www.landoftheshuswap.com)

“#callresponse places the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists in a central location, giving proper respect and support to their roles as knowledge keepers, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends, teachers and creators.” -Tarah Hogue from #callresponse: Situating Indigenous women in re/conciliation

 

Maria Hupfield, Artist Tour Guide: McCord (2014), performance, McCord Museum, Montreal. Photo: Aimée Rochard.

Maria Hupfield, Artist Tour Guide: McCord (2014), performance, McCord Museum, Montreal. Photo: Aimée Rochard.

Project Details:

#callresponse presents the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and artists as central to the strength and healing of their communities. This multifaceted project brings together five site­specific art commissions that invite collaboration with individuals, communities, lands and institutions. This socially engaged project focuses on the "act of doing" through performative actions, highlighting the responsibility of voice and necessity of communal dialogue practiced by Indigenous Peoples.

An online platform will utilize the hashtag #callresponse on social media and a dedicated project website will serve to connect the geographically diverse sites and to generate discussion. An exhibition will be held at grunt gallery in October 2016 with guest respondents, accompanying programming, and a catalogue.

The project is led by Tarah Hogue (French/Dutch/Métis), Maria Hupfield (Anishinaabe) and Tania Willard (Secwepemc) and features five lead artists working in the following locations: Maria Hupfield in New York NY, Tania Willard in Secwepemc Territory BC and invited artists Christi Belcourt (Métis) on Manitoulin Island ON, Ursula Johnson (Mi'kmaw) in Vancouver BC, and Laakkuluk Williamson­Bathory (Inuk) in Iqaluit NU.

 

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Interview with Micah BlackLight
Feb
9
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Micah BlackLight

"I am a light-working, illustrating, dancing, singing, rhyming, designing, writing, performing, fashion designing, motivational speaking, empowerment coaching Inspiration Engine. I’m a song masquerading as a poem wearing my skin like a temporary coat. 

I am a full-time papa, a loving partner and an intuitive listener. 

I am bent on positively impacting the world through beautiful interactions and the bringing of my unique art. Part of what I get to do [by being a cultural innovator] is give the world a different perspective on what it can look like to be a black man, what it can look like to be a man period, and what it can look like to be a self-employed, powerfully positive creator who doesn’t necessarily fit within anybody’s box and doesn’t feel the need to.

I am here to create the most brilliant, evocative, challenging, innovative, impactful art I am capable of, to have THE most fun while doing it, and to leave a trail of empowering, inspiring interactions in my wake like a spirit boat traveling the lake of existence." - Micah Blacklight

Micah BlackLight is aiming to transform the face of fiction:

"Long have I been a fan, an avid reader of sci-fi/fantasy. Just as long, I have harbored a bit of a grudge, a chip on my shoulder if you will. I wondered why, if this was fantasy, if these were new worlds and alternate realities, why I continued to see the exact same gender dynamics, power dynamics and sexual dynamics playing out over and over again. 
I wondered where the heroes of alternative gender and ethnic heritage were hiding, and above and beyond all of that, where was all the sex?! No one seems to blink at giving multiple pages of violent, line-by-line descriptions of bloody warfare and enchanted blades wreaking havoc against the flesh of their enemies, but in almost every case, I’d be fortunate to get a fraction of a paragraph about someone’s flesh being pleasured. What is that all about? 
Somewhere along the line, I decided that if the kind of erotica I’d always craved was nowhere to be found, I’d have to create it myself. I wish to fundamentally transform the entire genre of erotic literature with a brand new genre—my own—Fantasensua: explicit, graphically illustrated character and plot-driven erotic fantasy that takes readers beyond mere entertainment and into the realm of the spirit, leaving them empowered, inspired, AND aroused." -Micah BlackLight

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Interview with Jason Lujan
Jan
27
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Jason Lujan

"I believe that artists have a responsibility to be cultural producers and agents of social change; my art practice is an effort to invest contemporary Native American culture with an international sense of place. My work is informed by the experience of living alongside immigrant communities in New York City, a place typically characterized by sentiments of anonymity and heterogeneity. Currently over half of the total Native American population in the United States now lives in major metropolitan areas. For me, notions of reservation-based or rural lifestyles no longer accurately describes the contemporary Native experience, and arguably privileges a connection to reservation life as a marker of indigeneity that denies other more productive, specific means of locating Native culture.

The recurring motif of my artwork is centered on the themes of trans-cultural and trans-national exchanges: the delivery of Indigenous content operating in conjunction with, or subsumed by, larger global contexts. I use conventional painting and sculpture methods with common and ready-made materials, often combining Eastern and Western visualities; I want people to view my work and consider multiple meanings regarding cultural assumptions." -Jason Lujan

http://www.jasonlujan.com

http://registry.bricartsmedia.org/profile.php?aid=6017

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Interview with Dylan McLaughlin
Jan
12
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Dylan McLaughlin

Dylan McLaughlin (Diné) is a digital media artist and filmmaker,
primarily focusing on documentary, narrative video and photography.
His work ranges from co-organization of the Attention Span 30 Second
Film Festival, documentary style artist and community portraits, narrative
short filmmaking, to more experimental interactive works and video
installation.

invisiblelaboratory.com

vimeo.com/dylanmclaughlin


Directors - Nicholas Galanin & Dylan McLaughlin
Director of Photography - Dylan McLaughlin
Timelapse star footage - Renan Ozturk
Woman in Water - Merritt Johnson
Woman in Car - Liberty Yablon

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Interview with Rulan Tangen
Dec
16
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Rulan Tangen

Artist Rulan Tangen holds a deep and thorough understanding of dance as a cultural, artistic, educational and commercial medium that can renew culture, cross-pollinate other art forms, express diversity, inspire social/personal/environmental healing, strengthen communities, integrate language and other components of worldview.

Rulan is a true pioneer of the Indigenous contemporary dance movement. Working in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brasil, and Argentina within Indigenous cultures, she relates the human experience through the art of movement. Rulan shares her craft through lecture and workshops and is the Founder of DANCING EARTH-Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations among many, many other impactful accomplishments. 

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Interview with Te Rawhitiroa Bosch
Nov
28
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Te Rawhitiroa Bosch

Māori artist and photorgrapher Te Rawhitiroa Bosch evokes the magic and intensity of the human experience with his work. Te Rawhitiroa has a unique and empowering photographic style which focuses on people, performance, and our relationship to place. 

Te Rawhitiroa is currently on a connective journey from Canada to Hawai'i, from Holland to Morroco and beyond, documenting the human experience and connecting our stories through imagery. In his journey, Te Rawhitiroa captures the beauty of humanity within daily existence while celebrating the importance of indigenous peoples and their connection to place. 

"As I travel around this world of ours, I reflect, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I have to connect with such a diverse range of beautiful people, epic places and rich cultures. I’ve been loving reconnecting with old friends from throughout the years and meeting new friends as I move from place to place. It reminds me that regardless of what is happening around the globe, this world of ours is full of beautiful people and for that, I’m grateful...

E kore aku mihi e ngū ki a koutou e te whānau, mō koutou e tautoko nei i ahau i runga i tēnei haerenga āku. Tēnā koutou e pupuri nei i te ahi kā o te kāinga, kia pai te rere haere o te waekaikapua nei.

I am grateful for all of your generosity and support, and for all the magic that is yet to come!!" - Te Rawhitiroa Bosch 

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Interview with Lauren Higgens
Nov
6
11:00am11:00am

Interview with Lauren Higgens

Lauren Higgens is a creative producer, artist, and strategist committed to innovative design and change serving 100% of humanity. Lauren ignites experience, pioneering new ways of working in organizations and enterprises that help both teams and leaders respond to the challenges and opportunities of the sustainability era.

Lauren is known for her interdisciplinary work in organizational development and design, event production and curation, economic innovation, and her focus in collaborative governance, and learning in organizations and society. Her passion lies at the intersection between creativity, collaboration and strategy, inspiring her to develop large-scale visions into meaningful projects.

Lauren is currently part of Impact Hub Global, helping to orchestrate large network-wide projects in brand, technology, and events. She sees her role as helping build the foundation for the tools and experience that enable network collaboration. 

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Interview with Cannupa Hanska Luger
Oct
7
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Cannupa Hanska Luger

When this podcast project first began, one of the first artists interviewed was Cannupa Hanska Luger. The episode was an insight into artist Cannupa Hanska's past and how he came to practice his art as we see it evolve today. (Listen to ABC Episode 2)

Now as this podcast develops further, we loop back around and touch base with Cannupa Hanska again to hear about where his art is now. In this episode we will dig deeper into the context of Cannupa's current work, and hear his perspective on being a working artist today.

"Every piece continues to take a lifetime to create, so that life itself is a material. And so, art should represent this moment in time, an interpretation of right now. What is created is an attempt to be as honest as possible. Truth is static and fragile. Honesty and sincerity has plasticity. " -Cannupa Hanska

Cannupa Hanska Luger was born in North Dakota (1979) on the Standing Rock Reservation. His genetics are derived from Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian. He graduated with honors from The Institute of American Indian Arts in 2011 with a BFA focusing in studio ceramics.

Cannupa Hanska is currently creating socially conscious work balanced with a high standard of craftsmanship and his sculpture has been added to various museum collections and shown in exhibitions worldwide. Cannupa Hanska is represented by Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.

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Interview with Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos
Sep
15
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos

Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos is currently the Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico. In this role, Alma Rosa is committed to creating a space that provides service to UNM students, faculty and staff of all gender identities and sexual orientations through support, advocacy, education and safety. She has also been a community organizer in her hometown of Albuquerque, NM since the late 1990’s, and has worked throughout New Mexico facilitating local and rural communities to self-organize for social justice. She has worked with many local, statewide, regional, national, bi-national non-profits and currently is part a member of the Board of Directors for the Transgender Resource Center of NM (TGRCNM). She is also a co-founding member of Young Women United, local grass-roots non-profit organization founded in 1999. Alma Rosa continues to organize and advocate for social justice while working towards LGBTQ* recognition, acceptance, equal rights and liberation.

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Interview with Watermelon7
Aug
27
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Watermelon7

Watermelon7 was born in 1980 to an amalgamation of cultural diversity. Of mixed ancestry, including Isleta Pueblo, Dine, Sapponi and African American heritage, he was brought into the world with a dynamic perspective. 

Throughout his youth living in Michigan and Isleta Pueblo, Watermelon7 found refuge in his art as early as two years old, exploring the creative process and finding messages in different mediums, including music, painting, dancing and social communion. Immersing himself in Graffiti culture in 1991, he found a means to share his creative eye with a larger, more diverse audience.

Return of the two headed Zia serpent. Watermelon7

Return of the two headed Zia serpent. Watermelon7

In his life, Watermelon7 has inspired social dialogue through muralism, renegade arts, break-dancing, music and collaborations with various artists and communities.

His detailed, focused, and animated works continue to incite methods of cultural and ethical realities, while energizing youth cultures and ancestral heritages. 

He currently lives and works from Isleta/Albuquerque, NM.

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Interview with Cara Romero
Aug
11
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Cara Romero

Cara Romero is a Chemehuevi photographer whose work reflects her diverse training in film, digital, fine art, journalism, editorial portraiture and commercial photography. Currently Cara is creating monumental fine art works that are representative of her editorial and photo documentary background. Her work is a response to current events and issues in Indian Country from environmental impact on indigenous communities to cultural appropriation to the portrayal of indigenous women in popular culture. She is a dedicated photographer, cultural activist, wife and mother. 

Born in Inglewood, CA in 1977, Cara was raised on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation along the California shoreline of Havasu Lake in the heart of the Mojave Desert.

Cara shows at both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Indian Art Market. She has won several awards including ribbons at both major markets and the “Visions for the Future “ award from the Native American Rights Fund. Her work is featured year round at the Robert Nichol's Gallery of Santa Fe.

Cara lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is married to Cochiti potter Diego Romero.

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Interview with  Demian DinéYazhi'
Jul
21
10:00am10:00am

Interview with Demian DinéYazhi'

Demian DinéYazhi’ is a Portland-based transdisciplinary warrior born to the clans Tódích'íí'nii (Bitter Water) and Naasht'ézhí Tábąąhá  (Zuni Clan Water's Edge) of the Diné (Navajo). He received his BFA in Intermedia Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2014. He is the founder and director of the artist/activist/warrior collective, RISE: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, which is dedicated to the education and perseverance of Indigenous art and culture. He has contributed to the successful curation and organization of multiple exhibitions, including "WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: HIV/AIDS-Related Art & Activism, BURY MY ART AT WOUNDED KNEE: Blood & Guts in the Art School Industrial Complex, Survivance: An Indigenous Art & Poetry Intervention, and One Flaming Arrow: an Inter-tribal Art, Music, & Film Festival.

Demian's work as an artist can be understood through the lens of curatorial inquiry, zine production, street interventions, education, workshops, and transdisciplinary methods of art production. Between his artwork, poetry/writing, curation, and his work with R.I.S.E, Demian is continually researching, exploring, and implementing innovative ways of addressing complex concepts that are the blood and guts of his work. Growing up in the colonized lands of the american southwest, the evolution of his work has been influenced by a heavy exposure to traditional Diné culture and spirituality, matrilineal upbringing, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. His work is rooted in Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist politics, landscape representation, memory formation, HIV/AIDS-related art and activism, gender, identity, and sexuality, Indigenous Survivance, and Decolonization.

"High resolution 12″ x 18″ poster of an Apsaalooke’ woman photographed by Cree photographer Richard Throssel in the early 1900s. As with all our posters, feel liberated to print out (http://burymyart.tumblr.com/) and wheatpaste at will!" -R.I.S.E.

"High resolution 12″ x 18″ poster of an Apsaalooke’ woman photographed by Cree photographer Richard Throssel in the early 1900s. As with all our posters, feel liberated to print out (http://burymyart.tumblr.com/) and wheatpaste at will!" -R.I.S.E.

The late artist David Wojnarowicz once wrote, "If I were to leave this country and never come back or see it again in films or sleep I would still remember a number of different things that sift back in some kind of tidal motion." A similar thought process is activated in the creative practice of Demian's work; most notably when contemplating how an Indigenous Queer body navigates space in post-apocalyptic Native america. Whether he is broaching topics adjacent to Decolonization, Survivance, and Queerness in written or visual language, Demian is caught in a narrative that is informed by romanticized notions of belonging and the alienation experienced through centuries of forced assimilation to white patriarchal capitalist supremacy.

Through his indoctrination into the privileged white walls of the Art School Industrial Complex, Demian acknowledges the importance of critiquing mainstream contemporary art spaces. By participating in the contemporary art world, galleries, and museums, he also recognizes how crucial the existence of non-traditional, alternative spaces are to helping disrupt the white noise of modern art. In order to deconstruct the contemporary art movement and the fortification of western historical narratives, Decolonizing and working outside the jurisdiction of these institutions becomes a critical component in assisting in the affirmation and evolution of the art, culture, history, and lived experiences of marginalized peoples.

Follow the work and projects of Demian Diné Yazhi':

https://www.facebook.com/RISEIndigenous

http://heterogeneoushomosexual.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/OneFlamingArrow

http://burymyart.tumblr.com

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Jun
20
10:00am10:00am

Interview with Razelle Benally

Razelle Wiyakaluta Benally is an indigenous filmmaker creating impactful and memorable films from the Native perspective. Benally has produced content ranging from music videos to experimental pieces to short documentaries. Having been fully immersed in the indie film culture for over ten years Benally recognizes she is still only at the start of her cinematic career and speaks to Broken Boxes about where she is in her process. 

"I feel it is a creative duty of mine to represent native women in a positive manner, and to show the world that we are still here, that we still have a voice. Our stories are important and so are our people and history. I intend to explore filmmaking as an art form and create collections of moving images as a voice of visual poetry." -Razelle Benally

 

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Interview with Nanibah “NANI” Chacon
May
21
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Nanibah “NANI” Chacon

Nanibah “Nani” Chacon, is a Diné (Navajo) and Chicana artist who was born in Gallup, New Mexico and grew up both in Chinli, Arizona and Corrales, New Mexico. Her clan is To dich iini (bitter water) and born for Nakai Diné (Mexican/ Spanish people.) 

"My current work is based upon notion of the integration and balance. I use this concept to propel both imagery and the content behind the work. The imagery of my work will often consist of two or more images, weather “subject” based or abstract, and allow them to interact with one another on a single plane. In doing this I explore the concept of balance. I integrate the images until I find the harmonious precipice in which they can aesthetically interact, and become one thought. 

The content of my current body of work is an exploration of integrating Dine Philosophy and creation stories with in the context on contemporary culture. I explore this idea by examining symbols within textile patterns of Dine rugs and using them to create a symbolic narration for the characters within my work. Often times the basis coming from traditional areas of thought with in Dine culture, such as Deities, nature, women, animals and creation. These symbols are then put into context by the characters with in the paintings which are depicted in a contemporary style. 

The characters in my work which are often women provide a commentary on women within traditional and contemporary cultures. The subjects become a piece to embrace and confront the natural attributes women possess and add to the forefront of society. I aim to provide a glimpse at women not only in contemporary culture but throughout time, as I feel it is inherent to provide an image for our natural grounding to history, culture and ideologies, and how that has a dialogue with the world at large." - Nanibah "NANI" Chacon

Connect with Nanibah and her work through her WEBSITE or INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
 

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Nihígaal bee Iiná :: Journey for Existence
Apr
13
2:00pm 2:00pm

Nihígaal bee Iiná :: Journey for Existence

Broken Boxes will be honored to share interviews and information regarding the purpose, experience and people of Nihígaal bee Iiná, The Journey for Existence. 

"As young people, we realize that we can’t continue on like this. We need clean air, water, and a viable lifeway for our people. In facing this crisis of our future, the idea of walking to raise awareness was born."

Current Journey:

YOUNG DINÉ INSPIRE HOPE WITH 350-MILE WALK

At dawn the morning of March 21, 2015 from Prewitt, NM, a group of Diné people and their supporters embark on a 350-mile journey on foot as an act of cultural revitalization. The walk is the second of four that will occur this year. The first leg concluded in late February after the young activists walked 225 miles from Dził Naa'oodiłíí (Huerfano Mountain) to Tsoodził (Mount Taylor). The movement, entitled Nihigaal Bee Iina (Our Journey for Existence), will begin near Tsoodził (Mt. Taylor) and end at Dook’o’osliid (San Francsico Peaks) and will last about a month and a half.

The walk is occurring at this place and time for several reasons. First, this year marks the 150th anniversary of Hwééldi, a period of time when 9,000 Diné people were incarcerated for four years at a concentration camp at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The walk is an honoring and a celebration of the resilience of Diné ancestors and a prayer that Diné people can have that same resilience today in the face of a very difficult colonial legacy.

The walk is also meant to further expose the disproportionate amount of resource extraction and contamination suffered by Diné people for the benefit of others, which not only contributes to local and global environmental problems but also runs contrary to traditional Diné values of protecting Nihima Nahadzáán (Mother Earth). Walkers believe that the burden placed on Diné people through oil, gas and coal extraction should be exposed and challenged as a form of environmental injustice as water contamination, increased violence and safety hazards to young women due to massive imports of oil boom workers affect Diné people on a daily basis.

The walk begins at the chapter house in Prewitt, New Mexico where the proposed Piñon Pipeline would end after transporting oil extracted from the Navajo Nation's Eastern Agency. Prewitt is also where uranium was first discovered in Diné Bikeyah (Navajo Homeland). Roughly half of the uranium used to build the infamous atomic bombs, which destroyed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, was mined from this area. Walkers mourn and challenge the exploitation of sacred places for nuclear-based energy and weaponry.

Walkers will travel along segments of the Transwestern Pipeline, which spans from St. Michaels, AZ to Luepp, NM, as well as Church Rock, New Mexico, where, in 1979, the greatest nuclear disaster in American history occurred. At that time, roughly 90 million gallons of radioactive waste washed down the Rio Puerco throughout many Diné communities. Walkers hope that by praying and walking in these affected areas they can help heal, inspire and unite the land and people.

Amidst the heaviness of these many issues, walkers also want to bring joy and laughter to each of the communities they visit through music, art and poetry. Walkers believe that one of the most important things at this time is to gathering Diné people together. Through this unification walkers believe Diné people can confront and overcome these many challenges and co-create healthy communities based on the principles of k'é (kinship, interdependence) and hozhó (inner/outer harmony, inter-beauty).

The tentative starting points for the first week of the walk are as follows and are subject to change: 3/21 Prewitt Chapter House, 3/22 Smith Lake Chapter House, 3/23 Crownpoint Chapter House, 3/25 Mariano Lake Chapter House, 3/26 Pinedale Chapter House, 3/27 Church Rock Chapter House, 3/28 Gallup, NM.

All respectful peoples are invited to join the walk and can call 949-536-0988 for specific information.

###

For more information please contact Nihigaal Bee Iina Organizers by email at nihigaalbeeiina@gmail.com or by phone at 949-536-0988


Photo Caption: Walkers begin their journey this morning amidst the áha (mist) [photo credit: Lily Trienens]

Photo Caption: Walkers begin their journey this morning amidst the áha (mist) [photo credit: Lily Trienens]

"We have been blessed by the holy mist (áha) this Spring morning as we greeted the dawn with white corn. We have embarked on the 350 miles from Tsoodził to Dook'o'osłid today. We met at sunrise at the Baca/Prewitt chapter house. This is the location where the proposed 130 mile Pinon Pipeline will end. If this pipeline is approved it will increase the fracking of sacred lands 5 to 10 times the current operation.

The area we will be walking through is where uranium was discovered in 1939 and subsequently placed Diné people at the forefront of the nuclear energy chain. Half of the uranium used in the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was mined from our beloved Tsoodził. To this day there are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines and thousands of radioactive tailings that have yet to be cleaned up. Another threat to Tsoodził is the Roca Honda uranium mine which will use as much water as the entire city of Santa Fe, NM every single day!!

If we value our language and culture there is absolutely no room for this type of 'economic development' on our land. Doodá means no. Let us pray for the healing of our land. 
Łeetsoh, Łeejin, Ák'ą́ Łizhin Doodá!"-Nihígaal bee Iiná


From the first Journey: “The Navajo Nation sits on one of the richest energy corridors in the United States, and for close to a century, we have been on the frontline on resource colonization to provide cheap energy and water to the cities in the Southwest. Since the 1920’s, our land and people have been sacrificed for energy extraction for oil, gas, uranium, and coal, which is poisoning our land, water, air, and people. Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 1/4 of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of about 60%, and our young people are leaving due to lack of opportunity. Now our people and land are facing the onset fracking and a proposed pipeline, which will transport crude oil through 130 miles in Dinetah in the name of “economic development”.

As young people, we realize that we can’t continue on like this. We need clean air, water, and a viable lifeway for our people. In facing this crisis of our future, the idea of walking to raise awareness was born.

We are walking to honor the legacy of our ancestors during Hwééldi, who, a 150 years ago, were forced to walk hundreds of miles in the winter during away from our homelands in the winter to be imprisoned for four years in the name of American colonization. During this time of great suffering, our ancestors thought of our homeland, mountains, and prayed that future generations would carry on our way of life. It is in their memory and out of this profound love for the land that we are walking. It is time to heal from the legacy and trauma of colonization that we having been living under for too long.

It is our intention to walk throughout the Navajo Nation to document both the beauty of land and people and how this is being desecrated by resource extraction. We will do this through a social media campaign and a documentary films. Along our route, we will visit communities to listen to the issues our people are facing and share information about the state of water, air, land, and health, as our communities often have very little access to media or information about these issues. Our hope is that we can help to inspire our people to become engage in the care our land, air, and water, and culture so that we will have a future as Diné.

On January 6, 2015, we will start from the fireplace and doorway of Diné Bikéyah, at Dził Nahodiłii and Ch’ool’i’i, the emergence place of our people, which is threatened by fracking. There are over 400 proposed drill sites and within the past couple months over 100 have been started in the region. From there we will walk to communities through the Eastern Agency, and then to Tsodzil which also threaten by uranium mining. In the seasons to come, we will extend our walk to the other mountains and regions of Diné Bikéyah. To Doo’o’k’osliid in the Spring, the Dine Ntsaa in the Summer, and in the fall we will go all the way to Sisnajini.

We are calling out to our people in K’é. We need your support, guidance, and prayers. To our young people, we are calling on you to come home and stand up for our land and way of life.

NihíDiné’e, if we don’t do this, no one else will. It’s is up to us. T’áá Hwó’ Ají T’éego!”

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Interview with Ian Kuali`i
Mar
21
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Ian Kuali`i

Ian Kuali`i’s creative process is "The meditative process of destroying to create". Blending the contrasting elements of loose Urban Contemporary techniques with detailed hand cut paper to manifest unique compositions. His work is a balance between the rough and delicate while exploring ideas of modern progress dependent on a foundation in one’s own history. His art is influenced by his ancestral ties to the Southwest United States and Hawaii, as well as esoteric symbolism, mysticism, global politics and themes of urban decay.
www.iankualii.com

Ian Kuali`i. Photo by Andy Kim

Ian Kuali`i. Photo by Andy Kim

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Interview with Rose B. Simpson
Mar
12
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Rose B. Simpson

Rose B. Simpson was born in Santa Fe, NM, and raised among an extended family of artists in Santa Fe and Santa Clara Pueblo. Her mother; Roxanne Swentzell, a known ceramic sculptor within the Indigenous art world, and her father; Patrick Simpson, a contemporary artist in wood and metal introduced her to the art world at a young age. 

Of both Indigenous and Anglo descent, with art and philosophy primary in both families, she has pursued the pure expression of truth through many forms of art including sculpture, printmaking, drawing, creative writing, music, dance and most recently auto mechnics and paint. Her work often signifies the constant struggle between the two worlds that most modern Indigenous peoples survive through; traditional and the colonist perspective/assimilation. 

"I am realizing that everything that happened, happens, or will happen to me is my manifestation. Instead of feeling like a victim to my predicament, I actively take the initiative to become aware of it, and have the “tools” to deal with whatever comes my way, mostly because I am paying attention. When I pay close enough attention, I realize that I have what I need to deal with even the scariest and most intimidating of circumstances. These tools are not weapons, they are energy- represented in the piece by objects that have been made with intention, actively energized, and placed with vigilance." -Rose B. Simpson

Maria. By Rose B. Simpson Photo by Kate Russell

Maria. By Rose B. Simpson Photo by Kate Russell

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Interview with Chris Pappan
Feb
21
2:00pm 2:00pm

Interview with Chris Pappan

Chris Pappan is a Chicago based artist of Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux heritage, and a self described Native American Lowbrow artist. Currently his artwork is based on American Indian ledger drawings of the mid to late 19th Century with his own 21st Century twist.  Chris has lived in Chicago for the past 20 yrs with his wife Debra Yepa-Pappan, and their daughter Ji Hae.  

Chris Pappan recently returned from the United Kingdom where he and his wife Debra Yepa-Pappan exhibited their work to a receptive audience in the city of Bristol with support from Dr.Max Carocci of the British museum. Pappan was also the featured artist on the cover of the July/August 2014 issue of Native Peoples Magazine (and the cover of the Santa Fe Indian Market version along with his family).
Last year, Pappan was invited to Australia as one of 4 artists chosen for the Landmarks Fellowship project with the world renowned Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque NM.  The fellowship consisted of an arts and cultural exchange with the Yngul people of Northen Australia, and creating lithographs at the Tamarind Institute. Chris is also the winner of the prestigious Discovery Fellowship from the Southwestern Association of Indian Artists (SWAIA) in 2011 and the Heard Muesum’s Best of Class (Paintings, Drawings,) and Best of Division (drawing) at the 52nd Annual Indian Market 2010. Chris’ work is in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.; The James T. Bialic Native American art collection at the Fred jones Jr. museum of Art in Norman Oklahoma; The North America Native Museum in Zurich Switzerland; The Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence Kansas; The Schingoethe Center for Native Studies in Aurora Illinois and private collections around the world.  

Tune in for Episode 26, interview with Chris Pappan, airing February 21, 2015.

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