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Mon Jul 16, 2018, 01:24 PM

Fifty First Nations, Inuit and Metis women artists will have their work on display on billboards ac

(for more of the art, see this link: https://www.google.com/search?q=resilience+indigenous+women%27s+art+billboards+canada+images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_hIryiqTcAhUM1oMKHZZgBtMQ7AkIMg&biw=1030&bih=534)

Billboards celebrate indigenous women's resilience in Canada

Fifty First Nations, Inuit and Metis women artists will have their work on display on billboards across Canada.

by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours




Billboards celebrate indigenous women's resilience in Canada
Fifty Indigenous women artists' work will be going on display on more than 150 billboards across Canada [Jillian Kestler-D'Amours/Al Jazeera]

Montreal, Canada - For Skawennati, it's an historic moment. She is among 50 Indigenous female artists whose work - paintings, photographs and other pieces - will be going on display together on more than 150 billboards across Canada. "There has been art on billboards before, but to have 50 indigenous women across the highways in Canada, I don't think that's been done before," said Skawennati, a Mohawk artist from the Kahnawake reserve, just south of Montreal. The project - named, Resilience - will run from coast-to-coast until the beginning of August, intended to both reclaim space for indigenous women's art and make their communities' histories and cultures more visible.

. . . .

The exhibition's organisers began working on Resilience two years ago. With a budget of about $380,000, the project is "the largest exhibition of indigenous women's art in the country's history", said Shawna Dempsey, one of the organisers. In total, 174 billboards will be set up across the country. Twenty-four will be static, paper posters, while the remaining 150 are digital and will feature all 50 images on rotation over the next two months.
In total, 174 billboards will be set up across the country. [Jillian Kestler-D'Amours/Al Jazeera]
The billboards are going up on major highways and roads, in the heart of large cities and in more rural, isolated communities, said Dempsey, the co-executive director of Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA) in Winnipeg in central Canada.

. . . . .

Native women and girls face a disproportionately high risk of violence in Canada. Native women over age 15 are 3.5 times more likely than non-native women to experience violence and in 2013, the federal police force found that nearly 1,200 indigenous women had gone missing or were murdered between 1980 and 2012.

"This project puts the creativity and the strengths and the resilience of indigenous women in the locations from which so many women and girls have gone missing," Dempsey said. "It positions those voices and those women not as victims, but as creative, strong leaders in our creative community It's a way of celebrating indigenous women artists, but also reframing indigenous womanhood beyond the statistics that somehow we just accept as a country."
Works reach 'across time, generations, distances'

. . . .

The main message of her piece is that indigenous people will "be thriving in the future". "Not just surviving, not just existing, but thriving," she said."There's going to be many of us. We're going to be happy, we're going to be well, and we're going to be bringing our traditions into the future with us."


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