Indigenous Art, Film, and Media

Center for Great Plains Studies Author
04/21/2022 Added
8 Plays


Todd Richardson (Professor, UNO) Indigenous Pop Art and Reckoning with Settler Colonialism An exhibition featuring the artistic work of Tom Farris (Otoe-Missouria/Cherokee) will open at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in spring 2022. This will be the first time Farris's work, which challenges static notions of Indigenous culture by blending traditional and pop mythologies together, is shown in Nebraska. This is notable because Nebraska is ancestral home to the Otoe and Farris is a member of the Otoe-Missouri Tribe, yet he has never before set foot in the state. In April 2022, Dina Gilio-Whitaker will visit UNO in conjunction with this exhibition of Farris's work. Author of As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, Gilio-Whitaker will address the ethics of living on stolen land, providing another opportunity for reckoning with the settler colonialism of the Great Plains. Richardson will discuss both of these events in the context of how Indigenous Pop Art and the Indigenization of pop mythologies offer unique opportunities for reckoning with colonial violence. George De Medts (Aix-Marseille University, France) Truth as Weapon and Medicine in Georgina Lightning's Older than America Older than America (2008) written, produced, directed and starred by Canadian Cree filmmaker, Georgina Lightning, focuses on the devastating consequences of trauma caused by the Native boarding school system in North America. Dedicated to the director's father and inspired by his personal story, the film looks at the young victims of psychological, physical and sexual abuses practiced in these institutions. However, Older than America is not a period drama retelling the story. Instead, Georgina Lightning places the action of her suspense drama in the present, in order to underline the trauma's intergenerational impact. Permeated with Native spirituality, Older than America exemplifies how art could help in healing from the wounds caused by the decades of violence, forced acculturation and assimilation by bringing awareness about the truth and promoting Indigenous traditions. Clementine Bordeaux (University of California, Los Angeles) AIM and the Politics of Nostalgia: Indigenous Representation from Wounded Knee to Standing Rock Founded in 1968, the American Indian Movement is a source of complicated nostalgia for Indigenous activists today. AIM orchestrated many actions that remain instructive touchstones, including the 1973 occupation at Wounded Knee, but the organization has also been characterized by a masculinism often found in its iconography. During the 2016 #NoDAPL mobilization, common invocations of AIM by mainstream media revealed the contrast between these moments of struggle. Analyzing this contrast through the visual record, Bordeaux argues that a dual nostalgia for AIM presents an opportunity to work through the colonial imposition of hetero-patriarchal norms. Current Indigenous media-makers have begun the work to demonstrate emancipatory gender politics that provide an elaboration of Indigenous representations of relationality, attesting to the connection between feminist, queer, and other-than-human kinship. Foregrounding the importance of tribal specificity, the author focuses on media produced on and of Lakota tribal homelands. (Moderator: Rebekka Schlichting) Part of the Reckoning & Reconciliation on the Great Plains summit

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