I have included the academic/artist, Karyn Recollet (Plains Cree), because of her focus on decolonization through the reclamation of space and imagery in connection with grassroots artistic and activist practice. Her writings, nicely position Indigenous resistance through remix culture in context with the historical resistance against settler occupation.
The below articles, can be accessed through UBC library.
Here Recollet connects two movements, Idle No More Flash Mob Round Dance and the Walking with Our Sisters Movement to the historical usage of glyph making. In her writing, she argues that these forms of resistance are not new to Indigenous culture; rather, extensions of traditional practice. In this way, these forms of resistance through art and movement help reposition and reconnect Indigenous cultures.
In this article, Recollet uses the work of Ay I Oh Stomp as a case study to investigate the possibilities of a the remix as an artistic tool to decolonize settler identity constructions and ultimately create new identity possibilities.
Code Switch is an NPR podcast, and blog that focuses on race and identity. Through the lens of journalists of colour, code switch aims to challenge the mainstream construction of identities by giving underrepresented voices a chance to be heard. Code Switch’s intention is to give people information about race and identity so that they can use it as a resource to for conversations that happen in everyday life.
The 1491’s is an all indigenous sketch comedy group that focuses on the creation of videos, mainly distributed through YouTube , that challenge false Indigenous identities through satire work that exposes mainstream settler culture. What is particularly interesting about the group is their powerful commentary towards cultural appropriation.
In the below video ‘I’m an Indian Too’, the group depicts how hipster/fashion cultures appropriate false images of Indigenous folks. This clever video mixes, real images of appropriation with a satirical performance – all under the backdrop of Don Armando’s remixed version of Ethel Merman’s highly offensive song I’m an Indian, Too.
Remix: New Modernities in a Post Indian World is an exhibit curated by artists Joe Baker (Delaware) and Gerald McMaster (Plains Cree). Featuring Indigenous artists from all over the western hemisphere, the exhibition focuses on creating works that challenge identity. They distinguish their views on identity by removing the focus of tribalism and emphasizing the fact that they are living in a post tribalism world. With a post-modernist world view, these artists challenge traditional representations by focusing on other aspects of their identity outside of placed based knowledge. Their aim is to reconstruct or remix a multitude of experiences to form a more individually constructed concept of being Indigenous. For the most part, they do not believe that tribalism fits their experience in a globalized technically connected world. Hence their usage of “Post Indian World”.
It is important to note that this exhibition is produced by the non-Indigenous organizations: National Museum of the American Indian and Heard Museum. In my opinion these organizations websites describe Indigenous culture as a singular entity. The reason I posted this resource is so that people are able to compare the remix process of identity when it is set within the context of settler focused institutions. I find it interesting that individuality is stressed and Indigenous tribalisms are described in the past tense.
In praise of nonsense is a book written by interdisciplinary artist Ted Hiebert. This book focuses on how art and the construction of identity is often disconnected from truths, history, and location. In particular, it puts into question the remix world of cultural identity by examining the artistic works of willing participants.
In chapter 4 titled ‘Playing Dead’, Hiebert focuses on the Jackson 2Bears remix of Ten Little Indians. This is a remix that I highlighted in module one. Hiebert astutely analysis’s Jackson 2Bears’s work and offers an analysis that distinguishes 2Bears work from simple political commentary or satire. It challenges the notion that individual artistic works, especially media, do not fit within the framework of tribalism.
Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society is a peer reviewed online journal and blog that focuses on the reconstruction of Indigenous identities by providing writings and resources that go “both against and beyond the Western Academy.” The journal and blog have a very inclusive submission practices that are not tied to a specific discipline of the academy. There are 5 components to their practice: articles, editorials, interviews, reviews and continuations. Continuations are works that to not fit the mould of peer reviewed academic constructions. As part of their inclusivity, all material is available in an open access format.
I found this resource while I was looking for information about remixing as a political strategy. This search led me to the above sites and the article: Remixing: Decolonial Strategies in Cultural Production. This article positions the practice of remixes as a way to “signify the past as a means of informing the present, and provide a frame for the future.” The article is definitely worth the read.