ABSTRACT / This presentation will examine the polysemic overlap of two Halq’emeylem concepts: sqwálewel (thoughts, feelings) and xwélalà:m (listening, witnessing), and the ways in such concepts might impact the creation of written spaces for gathering. Drawing on David Garneau’s concept of Irreconcilable spaces of Aboriginality, artists/curators who employ Indigenous methodologies of visiting (Cheryl L’Hirondelle; Jordan Wilson), and Indigenous-led gatherings I have organized over the past two years, the presentation will outline the ways in which the physical and material aspects of Indigenous gathering might be translated upon the page. What forms of writing enable us to move beyond the colonial extraction of concepts and voices that writing habitually enacts? Defining a decolonial politics of inscription here involves moving beyond settler colonial logics of writing as well as a mere emphasis upon Indigenous citational community. Indeed, a decolonial politics of inscription asks that we reorient the page as a space where Indigenous epistemology, protocol, and legal orders might be witnessed, listened to, and felt.
BIOGRAPHY / Dylan Robinson is an writer and artist of Stó:lō descent who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. His recent research documents histories of Indigenous public art in relation to the embodiment and spatialization of Indigenous rights and settler colonialism. His publications include the edited collections Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action in and Beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016), and Opera Indigene (Routledge, 2011). Most recently, he has been working with the Nisga’a artists and members of the Nisga’a government to address breaches of Nisga’a and other First Nations protocol in compositions that appropriate Indigenous songs.
Making Space, Place and time Through Art Writing
Dylan Robinson, Jane Rendell, Helena Reckitt, Sara Raza, Susan Cahill
September 16, 2:30 – 4:20 PM
Engineered Air Theatre, 234 9 Avenue SW