We take this journey into Digital Activism and resistance through the lens of collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.
How do we engage ideas of reconciliation, resistance, and colonization in Canada today? How do we work together to engage our common struggles and navigate the differences – both in the art we produce and the process of production itself?
Moderated by artist, Archer Pechawis, this panel welcomes some of the most thoughtful artists bringing their vast experiences together through exciting collaborations.
We feature the pairings of Kiley May and John Greyson, Sara DeCarlo and Kehinde Bah and Melisse Watson and Amber Williams King. Each pair will share their collaboration and process.
About the artists:
Our moderator, Archer Pechawis is a performance artist, new media artist, filmmaker, writer, curator and educator. Archer Pechawis was born in Alert Bay, BC in 1963. He has been a practicing artist since 1984 with particular interest in the intersection of Plains Cree culture and digital technology, merging “traditional” objects such as hand drums with digital video and audio sampling. Of Cree and European ancestry, he is a member of Mistawasis First Nation, Saskatchewan.
Kiley May is a Hotinonshón:ni Mohawk and Cayuga storyteller, actor and artist from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (aka “the rez”), and is now settled in the gathering place called Tkaronto, or “Toronto.” Kiley is a two-spirit person, who also identifies as trans, queer and genderqueer. They do education and facilitation about and with two-spirit, LGBTQI and Indigenous communities. Kiley is currently a student at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, training in acting, singing and dancing. She was the 2017 Toronto Pride Youth Ambassador
John Greyson is a Toronto film/video artist whose award-winning features, shorts and installations include Murder in Passing 2013, Fig Trees 2009, Proteus 2003, Lilies 1996 Zero Patience 1993 and The Making of Monsters 1991. A board/advisory board member of Vtape, Toronto Palestine Film Festival and Cinema Politica, he teaches film at York University
Sarah DeCarlo is a mixed blood (Ojibwa/Italian) multi-media artist and facilitator born and raised in Nogojiwanong. She has worked in
Indigenous communities locally, and across Canada, for 20 years with a focus on youth and the arts. She has released two albums of original music as a singer/songwriter, and her films have been screened at festivals across North America.
Kehinde Bah has been involved with supporting community development for almost 20 years. He has taken his experience as a resident of Blake/Boultbee to the Toronto Youth Cabinet, a community liaison at the Laidlaw Foundation, and David Miller’s Mayor’s Panel on Community Safety. He’s a co-founder of the Remix Project and currently works as a Coordinator of youth justice services in Regent Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Melisse Watson is a disruptionist, earthworker and multidisciplinary artist, utilizing direct action, performance, visual, aural and installation art to provoke experiences that work to shift a viewers’ course. Through the archiving of activism work done by Black and Indigenous peoples in Tkaronto, and exploring access, gender, conflict, Melisse explores speculative futures and their preparations.
Amber Williams-King is a multi-disciplinary Antiguan artist practicing in Tkaronto. She seeks to challenge notions of a monolithic Black experience; exploring sexuality, gender, race, representation and the intersections of identity. Most recently she was a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award.