dying of thirst – thirstDays No.09

dying of thirst – thirstDays No.09

love, intimacy and (com)passion, in a geopolitical context
A monthly series of video, film, performance and ceremony events
Project curator/artist-in-residence Jayce Salloum

Curated by Tannis Nielsen + Jenny Fraser 

Video by & featuring: Lee Maracle (Stó:lō nation), Mique’l Dangeli (Tsimshian), Jenny Fraser (Yugambeh), Zoila Jiménez (Mayan), Jules Koostachin (Cree/Attawapiskat), Tannis Nielsen (Métis/Anishnawbe + Danish), Rona Scherer (Mamu + Kuku Yalanji), Alex Wilson (Neyonawak Inniwak Opaskwayak Cree), Rita Wong

Performance: Lori Blondeau (Cree/Saulteaux)

With this video program we affirm the urgency of defending land and water, now and for the next seven generations to come. We compel the viewer towards taking action in the protection of our planet and present some of the voices of international indigenous women’s struggle and resistance, safeguarding our inter-connectedness with the sacredness of all living things. These voices speak to the recognition and respect of indigenous sovereignty and against the colonial, capitalist resource extraction industries that rape our ancestral territories. They speak toward the seen and the known; animated in their resistance by the fires of prophecy, the love of the land, the people(s), and all of our relations. By sharing these subjectivities and prophecies we hope to begin to recognize each other, to unify and work together toward building an encyclopedia of international emancipatory strategies.

~ Tannis Nielsenn + Jenny Fraser

Stream it LIVE at:

fb event page: www.facebook.com/thirstDays_No.09
fb project compilation page: www.facebook.com/thirstDaysVIVO

Photo documentation

JENNY FRASER was the first Murri to have her video art broadcast into outer space in the 2015 Forever Now project – a follow-up to the NASA Voyager Golden Records sent into space in 1977. She has a PhD in the Art of Healing and Decolonisation from Batchelor Institute in the Northern Territory (Australia). Jenny recently received the 2016 Mana Wairoa Award for Advancing Indigenous Rights, and she received an Australia Council fellowship for her project Midden in 2012. She founded the online gallery cyberTribe in 1999, the Blackout Collective in 2002, and World Screen Culture in 2015. She is on the National Advisory Group for the Centre for Indigenous Story, and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at The Cairns Institute.

TANNIS NIELSEN is of Metis (Anishnawbe) and Danish ancestry. She holds a Masters in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation addresses the need for asserting localized Indigenous contexts accurately within the structures of the academy by illustrating the negative consequence of colonial trauma on Indigenous culture, land, language, familial relationships, and memory. Tannis’ thesis also sought to decolonize the structures of an English literacy, by repudiating the politicized devices of punctuation and capitalization. In doing this, she refused to use the language of the colonizer because “to use the language of the colonizer was to pay homage to them” (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o). Tannis is currently teaches at The Ontario College of Art and Design University.

thirstDays is a project conceived as the rain falls and covers us in a slick substance transduced from the skies, moist. How can this, how can we, contribute to the establishing of a momentum that may have once been here in waves or pieces but over time was squandered, and defeated, with the imposition of capital triumphantly declaring its colonial (un)consciousness in our enclave by the water. Surrounded by a possible serene beauty, grief and sadness, love and hate, what encounters do we inscribe into our psyches and into our beings, what can art do to fulfil a mandate of hope and agency. What can we contribute.

The project takes inspiration from the patterns of existence to look at the mechanisms which we are part of, and relate them to all we end up being, sharing, denying, repressing and preserving. We seek that which compels us: love, intimacy and (com)passion, explorations of the commons/(un)commons; empathy and subjectivities; nourishing sites and situations; modes of agency; and subjectivities of place.
We insist on diversity and threads of collaboration, strands of ‘collectivity’/affinity, emphasizing works that have a specificity of location with resonances/meanings for others within reach and beyond. There is a socio-psycho imperative here at this site – Vancouver – grounded in what is missing and manoeuvering the gaps while referencing the historic in the present(ness) – and of the moment – with the critical reimagining of the repressed and the projection of empathy and action. – Jayce Salloum

JAYCE SALLOUM, a grandson of Syrian immigrants from the Bekaa Valley (Lebanon) was born and raised on Sylix (Okanagan) territory in Kelowna, BC. His work has been exhibited in a wide array of venues, from the smallest unnamed storefronts in his dtes (downtown eastside) Vancouver neighbourhood to institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, National Gallery of Canada, Bienal De La Havana, Sharjah Biennial, Biennale of Sydney and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Salloum is a recipient of the 2014 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.