Summer beaming down and lots of paperwork to catch up on, easier to engage in new activities that don't have a history or a responsibility attached. To that useful end, have been playing around with generating barcodes for various sites. The ways tech allow us to use less words to give out more info, or something like that. Attached, two attractive images of barcodes that represent this blog (howzat for meta-circles) and the little distillery website and installation.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
The following is in response to a blog posting entitled “Soft Sovereignties and Strokes of Genius: Situating the Indigenous Humanities within Canada” by Len Findlay (UofSask). In it he looks at numerous elements that both inhibit progressive action, and strategic formations to resist and change....
Thank you, Len, ascerbic and adroit as always. Your formulations of strategy are both straight-forward and entirely radical in their simplicity -- if those of us inhabiting academic posts could mix and match these in our daily interactions (or if we could even intertwine any two!), we could start the difficult yet important task of unravelling the cords of colonialism that currently bind our system.
Recently, I've been following the machinations of a process in Vancouver called the Dialogues Project, its intent apparently to bring Aboriginal and new/immigrant communities together to create some form of understanding. On the surface, and, I have no doubt, within the particular working groups, this is doing that task admirably, but it also reminds me of how those of us engaged in serious anti-racist activism in past decades were so mindfully wary of the term 'dialogue.' On whose terms was this writ, we would ask, and to what ends (and whose gains)? Dialogue seemed to be the desired start point for those who exercised considerable privilege, not totally unlike oppressive regimes proffering apology and then demanding said apology be duly accepted (sounds familiar, i know). Don't get me wrong: I'm not against dialogue, unless you think of how any of us must necessarily be 'against,' as in pressed-up-beside-and-forced-to-look-at-critically any 'thing' that is placed forward as either a panacea or an instant step in the right direction. Rather, I want to take that aforementioned criticality into the dialogues or apologies or otherwise positively-constructed actions and ask the difficult questions that can only come from, well, from the featured strategic formations you mention in your conclusion. It's a difficult path to follow, certainly not the one of least resistance, but to change our worlds, it's a must-follow path. Thanks for the words, the analysis, and the commitment.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Announced today, Shirley Bear is one of 50 new recipients of the Order of Canada. Her educational, artistic, and activist work has been instrumental in progressive arts circles in the country, so this is well-deserved and a long time coming.
Here's the cbc story on her award. And more info republished below.
Shirley Bear is an artist, writer and First Nation elder. Born on the Tobique First Nation, she has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and in Europe.
She has curated numerous exhibitions related to First Nations issues and was the recipient of the Excellence in the Arts Award from the New Brunswick Arts Board in 2002.
While living in British Columbia for 10 years, she served as cultural advisor to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, First Nations education advisor at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design and resident elder for First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia.
Bio: Shirley Bear is a multimedia artist, writer, traditional First Nation herbalist and Elder. Born on the Tobique First Nation, she is an original member of the Wabnaki language group of New Brunswick. As an artist, poet, and activist, she has played a crucial role in First Nation women’s creative and cultural communities. In 1989, she curated Changers: A Spiritual Renaissance, a national show of work by Aboriginal women artists, which toured all major galleries across Canada. The 2002 recipient of the New Brunswick Arts Board’s Excellence in the Arts Award, Bear studied art in New Brunswick, New Hampshire, Boston, and Vancouver. She has worked extensively as a lecturer, performer, activist and curator including serving as Cultural Advisor to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, First Nations Education Advisor at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and Resident Elder for First Nations House of Learning at UBC. Bear has exhibited internationally and her work has been purchased by collections across Canada including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Arts Centre, the New Brunswick Art Bank and First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia. Bear’s writing has been included in several anthologies including Kelusultiek published by Mount St. Vincent University and The Colour of Resistance from Sister Vision Press, as well as the catalogues for the exhibits Kospenay and Changers—A Spiritual Renaissance. She has been profiled for film and television, by CBC, the National Film Board and independent producers in such films as Minqwon Minqwon and Kwa’Nu’Te by Cathy Martin, Keepers of the Fire by Christine Welsh and The Sacred Feminine. She has published a book of poetry, Virgin Bones (McGilligan Books, 2006).
The Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours, was established in Canada's centennial year of 1967 to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.
In the last 40 years, more than 5,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the order.