The CFAT Aboriginal Media Arts Screening that I curated was a success! Approximately 80 people attended, and the program was followed by an engaging conversation.
“Our creative expression sustains a connection to ancient ways, places our identities and concerns in the immediate, while linking us to the future.” — Hunkpapa Lakota filmmaker, photographer and performance artist Dana Claxton
Aboriginal artists are at the forefront in the process of reclaiming and reinventing cultural knowledge and traditions as well as challenging stereotypical notions that have been active since colonization.1 In order to represent ongoing negotiations with identity, history and resources,
Aboriginal artists are continually adapting and employing new strategies for art making, such as media art. The works in this program showcase Aboriginal media artists who are representing individual and collective identities through storytelling and the exploration of personal, environmental and cultural narratives. Created at CFAT, with CFAT’s support or by its membership, the selected works, while contemporary, embrace the continuity of Aboriginal art and culture.
From Alan Syliboy who revitalizes ancient Mi’kmaq petroglyphs in The Thundermaker to Tina Young who calls on her ancestors for guidance in Untitled, the artists honour how the past is always present and alive in the land and its people.
Thank you to the following people and organizations who helped bring this project to life: The Centre for Art Tapes (Kristy Depper, Thomas Elliot, Barbara Jessome, Keith McPhail, James McSwain, Ann Verrall and the CFAT Programming Committee), Debbie Eisan, Carla Taunton, Vtape, Peggy Wentzell, and the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, our funders and all the artists: Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Zachery Longboy, Mike MacDonald, Catherine Martin, Alan Syliboy, Tina Young and Students of We’koqma’q Mikmaw School in Whycocomagh, NS.