Ep. 11: Aedan, Keegan, Kole, Matt and Summer with Anna *Season Finale!* 

Episode 11 May 29, 2023 00:58:44
Ep. 11: Aedan, Keegan, Kole, Matt and Summer with Anna *Season Finale!* 
To Be Continued: Troubling the Archive
Ep. 11: Aedan, Keegan, Kole, Matt and Summer with Anna *Season Finale!* 

May 29 2023 | 00:58:44

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Hosted By

Anna Shah Hoque

Show Notes

In this episode, Anna Shah Hoque rounds off Season 3 with a chat with the fabulous guest producers of Season 3: Aedan Corey, Keegan Prempeh, Kole Peplinskie, Summer Harmony-Twenish and Matt Miwa.  

They dive into how they have cultivated their art practices in Odawa, the push and pull relationship between sustaining a creative practice in a neoliberal capitalist economy, and how and each of their respective communities. 

Thank you so much for joining us this season! Thank you to all the participants! What has been your favourite conversation? We hope you have a great summer! 

Participants: 

Aedan Corey  

Aedan Corey is a Two Spirit writer, visual artist, emerging curator and Inuit tattooist from Iqaluktuuttiaq, Nunavut — a town of approximately 1,800 people. Author and illustrator of the chapbook “Inuujunga” (Coven Editions, 2021) and short story “Unikkaannguaq” (Nipiit Magazine, 2020), they began creating art at a young age. Aedan’s work is heavily inspired by their lived experiences as a queer, neurodivergent Inuk. Their goal is always to inspire and advocate for those within their communities through their artistic practices, letting others know that they are not alone. Aedan currently resides on the unceded Algonquin territory known as Ottawa. Check out Aedan’s work on Instagram @uviluq_by_design 

Matt Miwa  

Matt Miwa (he/him) hails from Aurora, Ontario. He moved to Ottawa in 2000 to attend theatre school. Matt maintains a theatre creation and performance art practice.  Prior to the pandemic, Matt toured his theatre piece “The Tashme Project: The Living Archives” across Canada (with co-creator Julie Tamiko Manning). This play traces the oral histories of twenty Japanese Canadian elders. Matt and Julie hope to perform this play for the rest of their lives.  Matt's dedication to this play is indicative of his broader love and appreciation for the Japanese Canadian community with whom he frequently works.  Most recently, Matt produced the event “Tomoni/Go Together” with CUAG.  Tomoni unites Japanese cultural practitioners with local non-Japanese artists in unique and surprising artistic collaborations.  @miwa.light.house   

Kole Peplinskie  

Kole Peplinskie (they/them) is an Anishinabe beader and artist currently living on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory, colonially known as Ottawa. They are a member of Kebaowek First Nation, but were raised in North Bay, ON until moving here over a decade ago.  Kole has been creating art in various capacities their whole life, but more professionally starting in 2018. They primarily create beadwork pieces through the brand Rustling Pine (@/rustlingpine on Insta), and have had their piece "Grassroots" shown at Carleton University Art Gallery in 2020 and another piece titled "Trancestors Embrace" at Take Home Gallery in Manitoba in 2021.   

Keegan Prempeh  

Keegan Prempeh is a Black, non-binary Sagittarius sun on a journey of self-discovery, radical transformation and healing. Xe practices xer art on Anishinaabe territory via music, dance and storytelling. Guided by womanism, collectivism and the pursuit of social justice, Keegan hopes to foster meaningful connections to build community.  IG @wefallforever 

Summer-Harmony Twenish  

Summer is an Algonquin person from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg who works from a queer and Indigenous feminist lens. With vibrant and playful colours, Summer's digital art and illustrations carry both Indigenous cultural traditions and self-determined visions of what's to come. Their creative expression is breathtakingly tender and fiercely anti-colonial, amplifying body positivity and Indigenous liberation. Their digital arts and illustrations are intended to be lovingly held up as mirrors for Indigiqueer femmes, reflecting back their beauty, brilliance and radical joy. Follow them on Instagram @nibinikwe.    

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 As you join us for another episode, we'd really appreciate it. If you could subscribe, leave us a rating and review. It helps our podcast get a little bit more visibility. Welcome to season three of to Be Continued Troubling. The Archive today marks the last episode of the season, and I wanted to have a conversation with our guest producers, Aiden, Corey Keegan Pree, summer Harmony, twentyish, Matt Mik, and Kolinsky. It's a conversation that centers around care, community arts practices, and how each of our guest producers felt about taking on an episode to curate and assemble whether our chosen guests come join us in a casual conversation as we wrap up this season. Speaker 2 00:00:44 Hello everyone. Welcome to what is going to serve as the last episode for season three for to be continued troubling the archive. I'm really lucky to be here today with all of the guest producers that I've had the pleasure to work with over the last sort of couple of months. Um, and I am really excited to hear about each of their individual practices, um, and the ways that they generate community spaces in the context of what's currently Ottawa. Um, I'll leave them to introduce themselves, but I want to start off with saying my name's Anna Sha Hawk and my preferred pronouns are she, and they, and I'm the producer and host of this series. Um, I think I'm gonna do a roll call and ask folks to, to introduce themselves, uh, bring you all the way back to primary school <laugh>. Um, and, uh, how about we start off with Aiden. Speaker 3 00:01:33 So my name is AAN Corey. I'm a two-Spirit Enoch from <inaudible>, otherwise known as Cambridge Bay. Uh, I use they them pronouns and I'm currently living in Ottawa. Speaker 2 00:01:44 Matt, Speaker 4 00:01:46 Hello, uh, I'm Matt Mik, uh, the he him pronouns. And, uh, I've, uh, been living in Ottawa for the last 22 years. Speaker 2 00:01:55 Summer, you're up next, Speaker 5 00:01:58 Uh, Quai. My name is Summer Tish. I'm Algonquin from GaN Zmi. Um, and my pronouns are she and they Speaker 2 00:02:07 Keegan. Speaker 1 00:02:08 Hey everybody, my name's Keegan PreK. My pronouns are they them Rozier. Um, and I've actually, it'll be 10 years that I've lived ina next September. Speaker 2 00:02:18 And Cole. Speaker 1 00:02:20 Hi, uh, my name is Cole. I use they them pronouns. I'm two-Spirit from, uh, kibawe First Nation, but I grew up in North Bay and I've been living in Ottawa for a little over 10 years. Speaker 2 00:02:35 Thanks everyone. We'll start with this. Awa just is a meeting point I find for so many of us. I've gotten to know each and every one of your work and practices, um, some intentionally, some unintentionally, and it's been all really beautiful. So I kind of wanted to start there is, you know, um, as each of you think about being in the context of Ottawa, um, or for those who had their practice begin in Ottawa, how has that experience shaped you? Um, you know, I'd love to hear, uh, the greatest hits or <laugh> not so greatest hits of, of like having to build a practice, um, in this particular city. That's a Speaker 1 00:03:15 Really great question. I don't mind jumping in to start. I think, you know, for me, most of my art has been in the form of like music and like the ring word. And so, you know, I know that, you know, in Ottawa, people sometimes, you know, really struggle to get their music off the ground. Or maybe like the music industry here, is it thriving or is it as big as it is that maybe bigger cities like Montreal or, um, Toronto or even v or even in like Vancouver. Um, and so I think for me, I really had to focus on like making meaning from my art outside of like commercial success, you know what I mean? Or outside of like, you know, number of views, things like that often feels, or, you know, especially in our like capitalistic world, we often like, you don't have to monetize our art practice to survive. Speaker 1 00:04:06 Um, or you know, like it's just, you know, such a, there's nothing else we can envision doing in the world except our art, which is awesome. But, you know, we don't, not all of us are part of, you know, groups that are typically held up by, you know, like music industries or like art industries in general. Um, and so yeah, like it's really helped me kinda shift my focus on like, you know, my art practice, my artistic expression is, you know, for me and my community and like, maybe that means it's more niche or that, you know, doesn't like, you know, maybe I won't be like worldwide fades, but that I think being enable, being able to take the pressure off of like, oh, this has to like sell quote unquote, or this has to be like, appealing to the masses. I could really just focus my artistic practice on like what I know is true and what feels authentic for me. Well, personally, that's how a work for me and my art, art practice. Speaker 2 00:04:52 Yeah. I think like you're, you know, um, it's a really important point that you're raising even at the level of like, what does our art practice do? Or what is it supposed to mean? And like, you know, part of it becomes, can become so easily conflated with the idea of like, if it has to be profit induced, right? Or it has to be tied to like getting a certain level of accolades. Um, but like for me, art is the way that I've actually survived being in Ottawa. Like, uh, it's been the community, it's been, um, the way I've made friends. It's the way that I've like had meaning developed in the every day. I mean, it's, it's priceless <laugh>, I I don't think, uh, I would've been able to be, become the person I've become without, uh, like that separation. And I, I also appreciate Keegan, what you're raising as a, as a point is like the pragmatics of it, right? Like the bills gotta get paid, the food has, the food has to come from somewhere, you know, a shelter has to get produced somehow. And how do all of those things coexist while also tending to our creative aspects? I think Speaker 5 00:05:56 It's like a really interesting relationship for me, uh, with Ottawa just because I'm from KZ and I wasn't really an artist when I was living in Ottawa. I was an art history student. And I think that experience of like being in a university, being in a classroom, learning about a bunch of like old dead white dudes, um, and being like super frustrated with that really kind of made me, you know, wanna start making art. Especially like Ottawa is really great, um, for having access. I think for indigenous artists, especially like there's, Ontario seems to have a lot more grants than Quebec does. Cause I live in Montreal now, um, where like the French language is a big barrier for me and like my whole community is English. There's some bilingual people, but even though we're in Quebec, we speak mostly English. So when I was living in Ottawa, I was seeing like, there were tons and tons and tons of indigenous artists in local art shows and at the National Gallery, which was really sick. Speaker 5 00:06:59 Um, and that kind of made me wanna start doing that, but in a way where, you know, my focus was on community. Cuz you know, like Keegan said, you, you always feel kind of pressured to monetize your, your practice. And it's, it's a bit of a complicated relationship, I think with Ottawa, but still not like a totally terrible one. Um, cause it led me to like what I'm doing now. But yeah, I don't know. I think like as an Algonquin person from kindergarten, ZV, you know, I'm, I get messages a lot from people who want an Algonquin artist on something and they want it rushed and they want me to do like a pan indigenous style and they want me to work for like $300 in like a week turnaround to do an illustration. Um, but it's like that everywhere. Um, so yeah, I don't know. Speaker 5 00:07:53 But I think like community-wise Ottawa is like really amazing. And because you have so many people from all over that are just all these different nations, especially if you're think of like an indigenous perspective, like people just come to Ottawa and the community is so tight-knit. There are so many services catered towards indigenous folks that you can really build community and, and access community in a way. Um, and I think like, like I'm still very new to Montreal and I'm looking for that. And so far it hasn't been the same experience as being at Ottawa. Speaker 2 00:08:27 Yeah, I think like, um, you're also helping me reframe, uh, you know, we know Ottawa, the, as the sea of institutions, like it's the land of institutions. Um, it's also where, you know, so much of like the formal spaces of like the grant world and all of these things are there. But then, um, how are those spaces either inclusive or how do they make it possible in the context of like even the disparity between Ontario and Quebec? Um, so what you're, what you're talking about in terms of spaces for indigenous artists, um, and creatives, how, how, like within the span of a two hour window, um, how that experience is so different and so like vastly disproportionately like geared towards like francophone, like where there's the language privilege, um, that's coming into play along, uh, which is ironic because we're in like gunning haga territory and it's like that's not the language battle that we're having. Um, it's the tension between French and English, um, once again. Um, so no, I do appreciate what you're bringing into this space. Speaker 4 00:09:25 Can I just jump on that? Because of the French English thing and the, my personal history with that. So I've now passed, like where I've lived in Ottawa, uh, longer than where I lived when I grew up. And, uh, I took to French when I was young, I was in French immersion. I just kind of really liked it and, and it always kind of lit some kind of flame in me. That's why I came here for school and I was drawn to the French kids, uh, maybe cuz of their, uh, antagonistic nature, kind of punky kind of attitude towards being, you know, in this place. And I, I loved working with them and through theater and uh, I still do that to this day. Um, so a lot of my formative youth years were, you know, kind of chasing after cool French people. They might had have noticed that, but, uh, I thought that, so that's what I was doing. Speaker 4 00:10:13 Um, and now it's turned, uh, completely the other way. Um, well just in a new direction, uh, having, you know, further kind of, uh, embraced and stepped into, uh, my Japanese heritage and working a lot with the Japanese community, um, here in Ottawa. We're trying to, um, reach out to new Japanese immigrants. Our community is shrinking and we need, um, new blood and new energy for that. So now I'm, I'm I, I don't speak Japanese, but uh, I interact a lot with new, uh, Japanese immigrants and, uh, I dunno, it's a lot to do with, um, uh, minority languages here through my time and my practice in, in Ottawa. And, uh, it's, it's, uh, it's always been a positive experience for me. That's what I'll say about that. Speaker 2 00:11:01 Yeah, it's, uh, like I've taken French my whole life. Like I, I, I was born in South Asia and I had French there as well, even though the British colonized this particular geography that I'm from. Um, and, and coming to Canada as a political refugee and in Ottawa especially, you couldn't imagine a future if you didn't know both languages. Like you couldn't actually get a job that addressed or dealt with the public if you didn't know both French and English. Um, and lo and behold, no matter how much I tried <laugh> because I wasn't in French immersion, I blame my parents on this. I'm like, why did you not put me in French immersion if you wanted to in this week? Um, you know, uh, but the, the French struggle, um, and you know, I'm at U of O right now, uh, which is supposedly like the largest bilingual university in in North America. Speaker 2 00:11:47 Um, and it, the language doesn't stick. But at the same time, um, I find like it oftentimes acts as a, as an invisible barrier as soon as you want to build a practice that's outside of you, right? Like, so you can go into a space and be like, I speak four other languages, but where do any of those fit into the context of like the fr the French and English mandate? And in that sense, it can be so alienating, um, and, and like, you know, summarize, you're talking about, um, being in Montreal and like, I'm, I'm now based here and it's like the conversation about, uh, French is on another level, um, right? Like, uh, the mandates where there's very little access in things that are in English, like, um, from like if you've got kiddos at school or if you're trying to access medical care, um, the, the way that language functions as a way to just like keep, keep either you in or keep you out, um, is extremely severe. Speaker 2 00:12:50 And Matt, as you're talking about it, I'm like, you know, it's, it's like we're, we look for certain pockets of mirrors and ways to try to bridge into a community. And like if the majority community makes you feel alienated, then you try to find other avenues into making some sense of yourself. And I love that you're breathy, you're like, you know, the, if they were kooky and cool and I wanted to be around that kook cool vibe, and how do I get into that? And that was again, like an avenue is to a language experience, you know? Speaker 1 00:13:18 Yeah. I think that's interesting how you talk about that. And I think we can talk about it from a different lens, but almost from like a queer lens of like, you know, looking for that place and community, um, and like carving it out yourself when there's no space, like when spaces like that don't necessarily exist. And I'm sure like all of us can kind of relate to that within ro os spaces too, because yes, there are a lot of opportunities for indigenous folks, but a lot, often time they lack intersectionality. Um, and they lack that lens that like accepts the, like, multiplicity of people and like all the experiences they bring to the table. So I just, I find that interesting. Like, yes, Ottawa is like a hub for creativity, but again, like, like how you're talking about the language being a barrier that like keeps people in and out, so is like a ver like all those other intersectionalities as well. Speaker 1 00:14:20 And I've found that hard to na navigate in Ottawa. And then like, talking to what kind of Keegan was mentioning earlier about like community, I know that's something that I struggle with is now is like, I grew up away from my home community. I grew up urban. Um, and it's like how, yes, I'm getting these resources and these supports, but how can I extend those beyond myself? I feel not only responsible a responsibility to myself to like provide and, um, find my own success, but like, how can I spread that or, um, pass that to someone who maybe doesn't have those same privileges, but like, I often struggle with like how to find that balance of like making a living, but also like turning down the offers that maybe don't speak. Like finding that balance of like, as a small creative and a small business of like, how do I make it work, but how do I, but I know there's people counting on me back home, or like p words, Speaker 3 00:15:30 I can also speak to that. Um, like when I originally moved to Ottawa about four years ago now, um, like I feel like when I was in my home community, there was this kind of aspect of like, oh, I don't need to like actively engage with the culture. It's already engaging with me. And then when I moved to Ottawa, um, that kind of became it. There was a different relationship there where I felt it was necessary to more actively engage with my culture. Um, and so it became a very big aspect of my life. Um, but trying to find community here was a little bit difficult, especially coming out recently after I moved to Ottawa, maybe like a year or two in, um, and those intersections that Cole was talking about made it a little bit more difficult because like, there is the queer community in Ottawa, there is the indigenous community in Ottawa, but finding the indigenous queer community was a little bit more difficult because there's not a lot of spaces that, um, are inclusive of those things. Speaker 2 00:16:28 Yeah. There's like a, what's it called? There's like a raging, um, queer community that's very represented by whiteness. And so when you're trying to access or even like be in the space, it already feels so alienating. So whether, you know, you're at the, at the point of like baby queer and out or like fully in your, you know, your experiences and trying to meet other people, meet other community members, um, Ottawa, despite the fact that it's, you know, a place where there's so many different communities coming together at the, at the sort of everyday level feels like it's consumed by whiteness. And so it just is so difficult, um, to like, to make sense of yourself and make sense of the communities. And then there's this constant influx and influx <laugh> if, if that's the work to choose what, like people flowing in, people flowing right out, you know? Speaker 2 00:17:21 And, um, that makes it so much more challenging to be like, where are my, where are my queer weirdos that I can be around and be with, you know, all the time? Um, and there's so much of, there's so much labor attached to that. There's so much invisible labor attached to, um, I'm trying to reach for a community, but it's not like a one press stop or it's not like a, when the yellow pages were a thing where you could like look up the thing and be like, this is where I go to meet all the other fellow, you know, indigenous, black POC queers in the city. Speaker 4 00:18:03 Um, I think you have to make your peace continually with, uh, uh, Ottawa. It's a very repressed place. Uh, luckily I have a lot of skills in repression and I'm comfortable with a lot of it. I don't know. It's the way I grew up and also the, just who I am, I can repress a lot and I'm happy to repress a lot of emotion, a lot of instincts, impulses, anger, <laugh>. But it is, you know, I I'm sure it's tied to overwhelming whiteness as you put it, but it, it is, you know, it just the energy of, of um, how you, you know, you walk through the city of what you expect from its, uh, events and what you expect from its policies, whatever, you have to quietly accept a great deal of, of repression. And, you know, that's horrible in a way. But if you can live your life, uh, here for over a long period of time, you figure out, uh, ways to draw from it. I don't want to be too good at it as I have become. And I think that's, I might have to change it up in the coming years. I've absorbed Ottawa now for a long time. Anyways. Speaker 2 00:19:04 I was going to say that, isn't it time for Ottawa to make space for the, the, the different, the variant season seasons of you? You know, like I think there's an element of like, of course, uh, all of the sort of code switching that each of us do depending on our respective professions and spaces. Um, but then the other element of it is where do we get to unapologetically be the weirdos that we are? And, uh, I feel like at least in the context, and Otta is not an exception to this, but there's something about the arts community, there's something about the creative community that lets us sort of anchor ourselves in the most niche of ways. And you know, Keegan, it's making me think of you as you're speaking about, you know, developing a music practice and, and like, again, how like the niches where many of us exist are at the niches that are actually quite rich in productive spaces. Um, they just don't happen to be amplified or, or be held to the same sort of level of like center stage, but that's, it's each of our orientations that is where our center stage is. Um, and I I, I would love for you to bring a little bit more of that in Keegan, um, because it's, it's an important, you know, um, beaches are nothing to be, uh, to shrug at. Uh, they're where we thrive. Speaker 1 00:20:19 It's true though. I agree. And I mean, I think, you know, especially being like a queer and trans black person who is dark-skinned, who is fat, like, there are a lot of ways that I would never fit in, like literally, literally do not fit in and also figuratively. Um, and so I, yeah, I do, I definitely do relate to what Matt said a lot about having to like, you know, having to have a certain amount of distance or like repression to like, just to survive from the day-to-day because, so there's so much violence everywhere, but it's also helped me to realize like, you know, like I, or like, I think one thing that I've had to realize over my life is that like, I'm not going to be for everybody. Like, you know, like there are people in this world who I don't like, they don't like me, or like, not even the baby necessarily, they don't like me, but they're just indifferent to me. Speaker 1 00:21:05 Maybe some of 'em actually hate, you know, like, who knows? And that, that doesn't mean that I need to change or that I need to be more palatable. It means that I just need to find my people, my niche of people, my like small section of like individuals who I can create and cultivate authentic, uh, connections with in a way that, you know, oftentimes in mainstream spaces, you know, or mainstream art spaces, you know, you just can't really do, um, for your own kind of safety and then just Yeah, I know. So people just won't let you. So yeah, I'm really having to lean into, you know, I, I'm like, think about how a lot of queer trans people that I know kind of like love monsters and like relate to monsters and like, there's this like, you know, this idea of like, oh, I too have been rejected from society. Speaker 1 00:21:51 Like the monster people find me important and scary and terrible and like, hell yeah, I'm a monster. One of it. Like, and also like, here are my cool things, or like, whatever it is, you know, that makes you like you're individual cool monster. I think it just speaks to like how yeah, like the world is gonna see us in a lot of different ways. A lot of those are gonna be wrong. Um, and like obviously we must continue to like, you know, to advocate for ourselves and to push back, but also recognize that like, not everybody is for me, my art isn't for everybody and that's okay. My artist for me, my artist for her to get it. Like, that's, that's crystal, that's my perspective, Speaker 2 00:22:25 You know, it's making me think about like the way where, uh, just trying to like fit our many pieces into one space and like being like, what do we call into that space as the thing that's gonna make me feel at home? Where do I, how do I silence a certain part of me in order to like let another part shine or have more space? Um, and how contradictory those, those sort of moments are. Speaker 4 00:22:50 Is there a place in the world that, where that doesn't happen though, every city, every dynamic from every, you know, community of, you know, or larger metropolis or whatever, is it po is the ideal possible where you are able to like be your best self? Not every day, but more often than not. Cause I don't know where else to move. I don't <laugh>, but that may be speaking to my lack of adventurism. You know, Speaker 2 00:23:11 <laugh> is everyone owed, every part of us is like the other question, right? Uh, like part of the ways that white supremacy works, part of the ways that like power functions is that somehow that all of our stories, every bit of us is expected to be available for consumption. And where do we then at the individual level and at the collective level for each of our communities or many communities, draw those lines because not everyone's meant to hear our stories. And even if they do, they don't always have the nuanced context to understand the value and the, the meaning behind all of the nuances. Speaker 1 00:23:48 I think that kind of brings me to like thinking about, and this is like huge in indigenous like spaces, but how the pandemic, like how you kind of touched about it earlier, Anna, but like how the pandemic is changing the shape and the scope of our, the way we interact, the way we create art, the way we make. And I think the internet as like, especially like over the pandemic, like, you know, there's Zoom workshops, there's like beating groups and like everyone got into crafting, um, like over the pandemic cuz they had all this time to kill, like when they were at home. So it's just how do we create, continue to create those spaces that, um, make like that we have those important, those like important conversations. I, I was also thinking about, uh, polarization between like the business side of things and that success piece and the like, being able to like be marketable or palatable or like, I'm, I'm currently in a program right now, it's like for indigenous makers, by indigenous makers. Again, there's, I'm like the only two-spirit person there. Only parts of my identities are represented as also like, how do you make like, success within a framework that doesn't necessarily reinforce white supremacy and colonialism. Like how do I make like still have success as a business or as like an artist, but like not continue to play into those things. And I think that's something that I'm like struggling with. Speaker 5 00:25:34 If I can jump in, I find that really difficult as well. Like a lot of what I do, I'm an illustrator, so I work just like by myself, but I also work in the classroom with youth. And when I first started teaching, um, like a few years ago I was teaching an art class at a high school and I was always torn between like, okay, I'm in a northern community, um, I'm working with youth. Do I come out to them? And you know, in the beginning I was like, I can't, you know, I don't know how parents are gonna react. I don't know what the culture of the community is like, well how will the students react? And then I started like really teaching, um, and like working with the youth and they all just started coming out to me. They all started playing with pronouns. Speaker 5 00:26:18 They all started like trying new names and um, it was like so amazing. And like, I still didn't fully come out to them. I would drop hints and I think they just kind of had a radar. Um, but now I'm like back in community as like an artist visiting for six weeks. And I was like, okay, well I know now. Um, there's so many queer kids in this classroom, queer, native kids especially that want to see positive representation and want to see an adult that they can kind of grow up to be, especially if they're, if they wanna be artists. So, um, now I approach it like, okay, well that's, that's who I'm here for. I'm here for my art practice more than anything I wanted to be community driven. I wanted to be focused on like engaging youth and empowering them. Um, and like those are the, the spaces where I feel the safest is in the classroom with a bunch of like teenagers who are telling me their, that their pronouns are changing like every other week, which is amazing. Speaker 5 00:27:21 And there, there's like a few students here who, um, are trans and like their whole class just uses their proper pronouns, their proper name. They don't even like second guess it. And then if things change they'll just adapt. And that kind of is what gives me hope because the art world trying to, the business side of things, the client side of things, um, there's so much pressure to like be a queer indigenous artist and to be making queer indigenous art. And when I get in the classroom it's like, let's just paint like tentacle monsters and talk about how you're asexual. I love that for you. Like whatever. Um, that's like the only thing that I think keeps me, gives me a little bit of hope. Cuz as soon as I start doing like the admin side of things, I'm like, I feel like my life force is being drained out of me, um, <laugh>. Speaker 5 00:28:13 So like, I definitely feel you like finding that that balance, like you said, and I don't know, white supremacy is so gross and even in the arts community, it's everywhere. And, um, well, not everywhere obviously, but you know what I mean. Um, yeah, I don't know. I think for me, the thing that keeps me in it is thinking there's gonna be like a little queer native kid that sees what I'm doing or sees me on social media, um, or in the classroom and they're gonna be like, hell yeah. Like I can do that in 20 years Speaker 3 00:28:48 To jump in on that. I think it's like, um, for me I feel similarly, like a lot of my work ISS is based off of what I think younger me would need to see or like younger kids in from my community. Um, because like I think that representation is so crucial, especially when you're still isolated from everyone else, um, and isolated from these kinds of topics, these kinds of representations that might exist in Ottawa but not elsewhere. Um, so yeah, I think it, that is a big influence on my art. Um, and just, yeah, the intersectionalities of my identity, I try to like not have them. So it's like they all inform my art and they all inform who I am as a, as a person obviously. But I try to distance myself from the idea that I'm creating art, um, for the masses that like feed off of those intersections because like then it just becomes about them and not so much about giving back and not so much about representing who I am as a person. Speaker 3 00:29:57 And there is like validity I guess. Um, and as we were talking about earlier and trying to make money to afford rent and groceries and all these kinds of things, and I think that those two things kind of play off of each other, but it's, it becomes detrimental to my mental health to like just give everyone what they want all the time. And that's like a big part of like, masking as an autistic person is like trying to give everyone what they want all the time. And that just leads to burnout. And I I think that qualifies or is, um, is relatable as an artist as well. Speaker 1 00:30:34 Yeah, I really, I think I have to really once again return to authenticity as, and I feel like I said, I said that word like three times now, but I feel like it's so crucial because like Aiden was just saying like, you know, like so many of us who are neuro divergent, who are disabled, like spend our whole lives having to pretend that we aren't who we are, you know, that it doesn't, like we have to pretend that it feels good to do certain things or be around certain people and it just does it and it really does drain our life force. I feel like colonialism, that's colonial's function is to drain us of our life force and like pull us out of community, pull us out of our true selves and put us into these boxes of like, you are here to make money and to serve the machine and like, you know, it's miserable, but like that's what you just have to do. Speaker 1 00:31:20 And I, I, as hard as I can to reject that and to, it's not easy. I definitely struggle. I definitely, you know, time myself worse to capitalism or to my output or productivity all the time, which I'm really, really trying to stay away from because I know that that is not helpful for me. It's not like, you know, it's not actually in line with what my values of how I want the world to be and how I want things to be. And I think that like, yeah, we, like art is really just like it, well it can be just like this purest expression of self of just sharing of, you know, just like spirit coming alive and coming through you and into your work. And I think, you know, art is so sacred in that way and I think, you know, by really producing art that speaks to us and makes us feel good, we, you know, can be more connected to our culture and ultimately ourselves in the world. Speaker 2 00:32:15 Yeah, there's, there's quite a few threads that like each of you as you're speaking, I'm like, you know, there's the element, the massive element of like positive representation at, at the individual level of each of our, uh, each of our respective practices. But then also, um, you know, the, um, the space that our practices also help to generate like meaning and healing for us to make connections. But then I go back to like, you know, cool, you were talking about, you know, life in panorama times and uh, really thinking about how, um, part of the shift over to digital has come with its own sort of bo in the sense that you're able, we're we're able to be in spaces in a myriad of accessible forms. Like it's not completely reliant on like you have to physically be somewhere and even if you're not at like the same capacity in order to have a particular experience or to be exposed to something or to learn something. Speaker 2 00:33:13 And I think there's something about this, you know, people are now talking about, oh, you know, COVID is over. I'm like, we're still in a global pandemic. And at the same time, like what kind of world did we, did we make space for, for those of us who deal with disabilities, you know, um, who are further immunocompromised, pre pandemic, and now in pandemic, um, are able to actually access events and are able to go to things because of its hybrid modality or because of its exclusively digital modality. And I wonder how, um, for each of you has, uh, and I know Cole, you've mentioned this already, like how it's also been like very extractive because everyone's like, I can reach you whenever you're, you're, you're only an email away from like doing the thing. What else are you doing? Uh, you know, and so there is that element of like immediacy that's extremely toxic and harmful. The other end of it is the ability to be able to go into spaces across geographies through a digital format. And I wonder if any of any of those elements have like, you know, positively impacted the way that your art practice has shifted and morphed over the last little bit? Speaker 1 00:34:22 I think definitely, you know, like, like music practice is, looks very, very different online. Like, you know, like, you know, trying to do a choir rehearsal via Zoom is like pretty challenging. But then also I think about how, you know, increased aerosols or people breathing hard or singing like, you know, like can also, you know, really, um, increases the risk of covid 19 transmission. So it's been quite some time since like, you know, like, you know, been, I've listened to live music or performed live music or anything like that. And so, um, yeah, it's been like challenging in that regard, but of course, you know, like I understand and it's, you know, worthwhile for me to recognize or, you know, it's worthwhile to me to like have to take this break or to like, you know, just to shift my practice because of like, you know, the consequences that can happen if we don't. Speaker 1 00:35:11 But one thing that I did really love to see and that I feel like is a great modality for when you have like actual nice equipment for like recording and stuff at your house is just like the, like in a intro, like home concerts, like, you know, like the beginning of verses like when it was just two people in their basements, like, you know, with their like max, like stick it on like Instagram live or whatever. Like, I thought it was fun and wholesome. It was like a fun for me to watch and just like seeing like, yeah, like just seeing people being able to be, being able to devote more time to their art, you know what I mean? Especially like, you know, if they were fortunate enough to kind of like have more opportunities for remote work or weren't like, you know, considered essential workers. Speaker 1 00:35:52 But yeah, I think like it's unfortunate that like, you know, that so many sacrifices had to be made and I think that, you know, we continue to have to make so many sacrifices because our government doesn't care <laugh> or, you know, like the goal is like, you know, profit over keeping people safe. But I think, you know, that's why we as artists really have to call for that intentional support of the arts and of like providing artists with the resources that they need. And I actually have seen quite a number of grants for, or like, you know, just micro grants like, and we could talk about how that's like, you know, not sustainable or whatever, but artists who have lost money during the Covid 19 pandemic, you know, who otherwise wouldn't be, you know, cons like wouldn't fall under like, or wouldn't qualify for a Serb or other types of like provincial or, uh, national kind of like financial support because you know, whatever those, um, qualifications can be so stringent. Um, but yeah, that's what I think is that we should invest in our communities and in art for people to do it in a safe way, in a way that like is accessible for them. That's my thought on how my art practice has changed <laugh>. Speaker 3 00:36:59 I think, um, yeah, the accessibility front has been really something that has like, been positive to come out of Covid. Um, it just, this is a very short thought, but it's just, it sucks that it was, it had to take like covid to be like, oh, disabled people can attend events now. And it's like, well that wasn't even the reason behind it. It was just a kind of a like a side thing. Speaker 2 00:37:34 Yeah. Like the shift over to, oh yes, now you can work from home. Um, whereas in the before it was like you needed to have like basically a library of documents to be able to be like, you know, twice a week I need to work from home in order to attend to my other sort of health issues. And it's like there is this disconnect in the context of like North America, um, I mean, and, and other geographies as well where the shift to normal, the shift to like, let's go back to it, is also so steeped in privileged, like it's so steeped in like accessibility where, you know, we've got massive vaccine inequities, um, where particular geographies haven't gotten even round one of vaccines, you know? Um, but somehow it's passe to talk about it, you know? Um, so there's all of these elements and I, um, yeah, so it's like when we consider like what does art and art practices in general do in trying to imagine a different world for each other, for, for each of ourselves individually but also collectively. Um, how does that sort of carry over, um, when we're thinking about it in our newer context? Cuz this context isn't going anywhere. It's, uh, it's something that we're having to work with. Um, but who are we working with? Who do we continue to bring into the spaces? Um, it's something that like, I, I don't have an answer, but it's something that I'm certainly thinking of a lot, um, at the everyday level. Speaker 1 00:38:58 Yeah, I mean, I would just, um, love to jump in here again. Like from my understanding of like, what I've seen disability justice activists talking about is like, you know, having, once again, the option for hybrid events. I know that can be increased, like, you know, kind of logistics, but I think that is, that's something that we can offer people that I think it's worthwhile to do. Um, you know, like requiring masks, which I know is like, people have been fighting this so much, and I'm still gonna say it, I'm still gonna be 10 tools down on it because we need to be wearing masks aside. I don't care. Like, like I don't need, I don't need the government to tell me to take care of myself, you know? And so that I know that's important. And then I think, yeah, just calling on increased ventilation indoors so that we, people can come to the space and trust that they'll be safe there, that they'll could actually have a good time instead of having to worry about is this gonna kill me and my family in the long run? Speaker 1 00:39:45 Or give me like another chronic condition to manage on top of the 80 other chronic conditions. I agree with what Keegan said, especially just wanna echo the masking <laugh>, like, of like taking care, like when we're talking about community care, we're not just talking about like our individual selves. We're like talking about everyone regardless of access needs. And I think there comes a lot of privilege in being able to disregard those things. Um, I also think art creates those spaces to like, explore those accessibility in those new worlds. And not only to like in a very, like tangible, like making hybrid spaces, but even just like the subjects and the boundaries that like our content push the performances or the ways in which like things are satir or questioned or like, even just the ways in which we share information now and the ways in which we can like, um, also create, um, laughter and like that laughter medicine in some of the like harsher real like, lived experiences that we all face. But like, I think art allows us to create a space that goes beyond those like, kind of rigid things, but uh, also allows us to like tangibly fight like inequalities as well. Speaker 2 00:41:20 Although like that Keegan had mentioned that they're, one of their creative practices is music and I think one, one and like summer you've talked about, um, digital work. One of the things that we didn't explicitly talk about is like, what kind of mediums do each of you play with, um, in your own respective practices? Um, you know, Cole and I have a longstanding relationship where we met a few years ago, um, and we were, you know, I was curating a show in Cole was one of the artists that I worked with, and so they're an incredible bead maker and beating artist. Um, and they've got a commercial practice as well, so I'm familiar with, with their work. And Aiden, you know, you and I have crossed paths through the last few months and like I've gotten to know your artwork, but I'd love for, you know, you to share a little bit about that as well as Matt, tell us a little bit about what you're bringing in as well through your creative practice. Speaker 3 00:42:09 Yeah, sure. Um, so I kind of dabble in a lot of things. Um, and I love to learn like new different forms of art and ways to practice art. Um, I started out as a writer, um, mostly in poetry, but I started doing digital art. Um, and from there went on to learn how to do printmaking, but I also work with textiles sometimes. Um, I was taught to sew by my grandmother. Um, and that kind of plays, um, a role in my art as well. I do a bunch of different stuff, um, at different times and I, I feel like that's fulfilling for me in the sense that I get to bring out, it's kind of like the intersections of identity conversation where these are, there are these different forms of art that I feel like represent different parts of me and, um, come together to create something that I feel is like an accurate depiction of whatever topic I'm discussing within the art. Speaker 4 00:43:11 Um, I'm gonna try and balance a lot of things in this answer. So I do a lot of, uh, theater performance, art, uh, cultural connection stuff, but, uh, I, and I always work from project to project. I never plan more than, you know, six months ahead. But, um, what I would like to invest in my art practice, you know, it's, I think it should be part of a, a gift economy. I don't think arch should ever cost anything. I don't know how to reconcile that with, you know, that, that the artist should be paid, you know, and but an arch exists in a, you know, as part of this capitalist society, but you know, what you decide to give and the value that it has to you as you're creating it and as you're sharing it with someone or with the public. I, I think it has to be an act of generosity, of intimacy. Speaker 4 00:43:56 And you were talking about amplitude and we aren't given like, you know, the large stage sometimes in this place so that we are, but I don't know what to do with ambition in art. I don't know what to do with remuneration in art to move it always towards the altruistic, which isn't an ideal and never, you know, you can't accomplish that. The gesture has to be worth whatever, whatever you think it's worth. And, uh, and, and no more, I don't know, I'm speaking nonsense now, but I'm trying to reconcile all these big ideas. Um, my practice is just to move from project to project, and I never want to be bigger than that or be more ambitious than that. Sometimes it, one work of art can take a lot more from you than you expect, do damage even, and sometimes something's very easy can have a, an impact on yourself and the people who are looking at it, but I don't think that you can depend on art to save your life, you know, in, on a grand scale, but it can also save your life minutely from action to action minute to minutes. Speaker 2 00:44:56 None of these things are fully answerable. They, uh, they're not meant to be. I think if we, if there was one, then it would, I mean, it'd be lovely. Um, also, I have to first of all say the idea of the sixth month. I'm like, my, my anxiety attack cycle is like, what, how do you do that? Like, how does that work <laugh>? Speaker 4 00:45:14 Um, keep me anxiety the other way, <laugh>, Speaker 2 00:45:17 But I think there's something, I don't know, I like, I, I do ha like the art not saving lives. Like, and I can only sweep from the personal, but like, um, I've only been able to connect to my different heritages through the presence of art. Um, or even to make sense, some sense of it, even in my own sort of convoluted way of like the mishmash jamaya pot of whatever, the different histories and heritages and stories. Um, and art is the sort of space that lets me do that without it having some clear sort of outcome or expectation, but that it's like the space of suspension that's not punish punishable. Like, uh, I don't know if that's making sense, but it just doesn't feel like there, there's some sort of like reward punishment cycle attached to this place of suspension, but that it's like somehow I'm muted with like hope and possibility while also agony, <laugh>, like all of those things coexisting in the exact same time. Speaker 4 00:46:15 You can just never be assured whose lives will be saved by whatever art, and that's your intention and bring it from a super deep and, uh, vulnerable place. And you, you can never be assured of its impact. It's all Speaker 2 00:46:30 I want to, um, if if no one else has anything to sort of add to the conversation about wherever we're at, I want to kind of ask each of you, you know, I am, I'm very thankful that like, speaking of like the grants and whatnot, um, that the, the grant that funded the show helped me be able to bring five rad people on board to guest produce an episode. Um, and I wanted each of you, if you, if you'd like, I'd love to know what your process was like, you know, um, what kind of hopes and aspirations as we speak of more hope, uh, we're tied to it, you know, what did you get out of it, uh, what did you plan to carry forward with it? Um, not all those questions need to be answered, however, in however you wanna take it. Um, but I'd love to hear a bit of the, about that experience of, um, of guest producing. Speaker 1 00:47:18 Um, it was a really special experience. One of the gifts I have is, you know, is storytelling. And like, I like, you know, something that stick around my family for generations, like been responsible for. It's something that like, you know, we've had to carry. And so it's always meaningful for me to kind of create opportunities for story, for conversation, um, especially in this world that we live in, where we can feel so isolated where we're so separated from one another, being able to, you know, think about Hulu, my life. I wanted to reach out to, you know, who is doing art that speaks to my soul and that whose work I really wanna highlight and platform. And so, you know, I'm grateful that, you know, I've gotten this opportunity because I think that, you know, I couldn't have imagined when I was a kid that I would ever like allow my voice to be recorded and put on the internet for everybody to see. Speaker 1 00:48:03 I was so shy. I was so like, afraid of like everything. Like, and for good reason. I had lots of good reasons to be afraid of everything. But, you know, it's just, it's a different world now. Like, I'm a different, I'm a completely different person. And so, and yeah, for somebody especially who, you know, has had their voice taken away in so many different ways, or like, you know, of being part of communities that often are silenced, you know, forcibly, um, it really is like, I think a testament to like the strength of my ancestors and our collective ancestors like that, you know, that we're all here today to be able to share our stories and to talk with one another and to highlight this. So yeah, that makes me happy. I Speaker 2 00:48:40 Mean, and it's, it's a joy to work with you Keegan. It's, uh, our third, our third season together, and I'm just like always so grateful and appreciative, uh, of what you bring into this space. Um, so I can't thank you enough for that. Speaker 1 00:48:53 I appreciate you, Anna. I appreciate you. Speaker 4 00:48:57 You know, I'm cultivating artistically collaborative relationships, so I think that this, uh, opportunity to talk to my two guests, uh, who were my friends, but, um, hopefully will evolve into more <laugh> not romantic artistically Correct. Collaborative Speaker 3 00:49:13 <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:49:15 Aiden, what have I knew? Speaker 3 00:49:17 Yeah, for me it was also like a collaborative process in the beginning and throughout actually, uh, the guests that I had invited, um, to speak with me, we kind of had a phone call a couple of days beforehand to discuss like what we wanted to talk about and just things that were very important to us, um, in regards to like longing as indigenous people away from our communities. Um, and that we really wanted to discuss that on a personal level, but also on an artistic level. And I think that's what we accomplished. So, um, yeah, it was, it was a great opportunity, uh, for sure. Um, but yeah, throughout it was just collaboration. Speaker 2 00:49:58 Yeah, I love, um, I mean, I, I'm not gonna give any spoilers, but every single episode that I've listened to that each of you have guest produced has been, um, so beautiful and like, so thoughtful, but it's also like, um, it it invites you in, um, to more, to want to like listen more and to be more attentive to what's there. Um, yeah. And, uh, like it's, I'm very excited for, to, for folks like listen in on, um, and like follow each of your practices even more, um, you know, and see what, what else, what other shenanigans Sure. You get up to. Um, summer, what about you? Speaker 5 00:50:41 I was like super excited, uh, to be able to, to pull something together for this. I think my approach was, you know, I'm from kindergarten, Zep, like Ottawa's right there. There's a whole history there. And I really wanted to hold space for like queer Algonquin artists from my community. And, um, it was like a little tough finding. The, the only queer artists, like we had queer folks. We had artists when sometimes that those two identities weren't, um, connecting. And then I ended up bringing on, um, like one of them was my cousin. So it was also nice to kind of be able to have a conversation about our identities and our practices and then be in the same space as like a family member too. Um, but I really wanted to just like, you know, focus on on hope and joy and, you know, uh, being all gone Quinn and our relationship with Ottawa is very politicized. I think there's no denying that. Um, and then also being queer and indigenous and how that identity is so politicized, especially as like artists. Um, it was nice to kind of hold space for yeah, the, the good things and the, the hopeful things and the, all the love that we carry for our homelands. Um, so when I was yeah, gathering people and putting it together, that was my, my one goal. I want this to be a little love letter, um, to my homeland and the people on them. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:52:15 That's really beautiful. And you know what's funny is, um, how small the, the world is, um, is as Summer was looking for folks to join their episode, I was approaching someone to create a logo for the show, and I just so happened to be in conversation with Hunter, um, who, um, I was, I had DMed them, I had emailed them. I was like, come on person who I don't know, hunter, get back in touch with me. Um, and Summer sends me a voice memo and I'm like, actually there's someone I'm speaking to on Friday. I have no idea what community they're from, but I do know that they're queer. Here's their name. I can always approach them. And I meet up with Hunter and Hunter's like, wait, so Summer, this person from my community has been reaching out to me about a podcast and you're telling me about a podcast. Speaker 2 00:53:06 Are we talking about the sa the same podcast? And I was like, yeah, that's the, that's the universe that we're in. So I'm so excited to like, have worked with Hunter to like go from like concept to realization for the image that like will get launched for next season. Um, and then to know that they also are like the one person away from you. And then to hear the conversation between you and Mis Kaman and Hunter, it's just been so lovely. Like this unintentional but beautiful sort of circle that's come together, um, in such a wonderful way. Um, yeah. Cool. What about you? Speaker 1 00:53:41 Yeah, kind of just echoing what everyone else said, um, in terms of like giving the platform to someone, um, who's like art and practice I admire and also who I think could also weave those like storytelling aspects into, um, conversation. I also thought it was really important to kind of bring that queer Crip magic to the center stage of this podcast. Uh, I think oftentimes, like, like we were talking about earlier, like we are often watered down to like one identity. And, uh, I love, I love complex galaxies of people and I thought like being able to like talk about all of those things would be, is really important. And also like going back to what other people were saying about like, um, that representation being so important and just letting the little queer, disabled artist, you know, who's out there, the young artist who just like wants to, um, to know that there, there are futures out there for us. I think oftentimes we hear about all the bad and the negative and the statistics and whatever else, and it's hard to, to hang onto that hope. So I love that we were able to like all in our own ways throughout guests producing these episodes, give hope to various parts of those galaxy. Speaker 2 00:55:16 I really love that, that choice of words like complex galaxies of people. Like, it's, it's so beautiful. And, you know, I, uh, I, I think I like repeat what you've just said in terms of like the joy centric how, so oftentimes there is like an, it brings into mind like eve talks work around like, you know, desire based frameworks. And I, I'm notorious like this is, I I know it's gonna be in other episodes I've said it, I can't leave it behind it, it walks with me. But thinking really a move away from like a damage centric narrative of, you know, ourselves, of our communities because the mainstream, where the dominance sort of spaces rely on both victimization and pathologizing communities and not about, you know, uh, black indigenous POC folks like thriving, excelling, uh, centering joy while also still dealing with all of the complex realities of where we are, who we are, and what kind of structures are at play. Speaker 2 00:56:11 And so like, how important, and, and it, like, I hesitate to use the word resilient for me. Like resilient can become so toxic as a w uh, so quickly. Like it's not, it doesn't a afford or allow us to think about like the fact that like the struggle's there. Uh, it doesn't mean that like lev like, you know, lead up even more struggles in order to be like how resilient we are, you know? Um, but something about the fact that more spaces to talk about the joy and to talk the struggle and how both of those things can coexist and that complex galaxies of who we are, uh, I think is a really beautiful place where I want to kind of wrap up this episode. I, I, you know, uh, I've, I've been very fond for the last couple of months saying like, all the different seasons of us. Speaker 2 00:56:55 Like, I just, I was, I was telling my class yesterday, I was like, you know, we don't get as angry as the season's changing. Like, you know, I'm not a winter person. So there, I'm a tiny bit angry about it, but overall, you know, we don't reach with reaction severely when the weather shift. But when we go through each of our individual journeys in different seasons, and as we witness others go through their various seasons, how do we like, make room for those things from a place of generosity, from a place of kindness, from a place of compassion, from a place of curiosity. Um, and I just, yeah, I, I'm thankful to each and every one of you for bringing, you know, your own curiosity and place of joy into this, into this season. And yeah, just appreciate, I appreciate it so much. Thanks Speaker 6 00:57:39 For having a b, at least <laugh>. Thank you. Speaker 2 00:57:44 <laugh>. Speaker 7 00:57:46 Who? Yes, thank you for sure. Add to Finn. Speaker 2 00:57:49 Yes. Oh my gosh. A giant shout out to Finn for all their work. Amazing hanging. And with that, that's a wrap. Cool. Thank you. Thanks for joining us for another episode. Don't forget to subscribe. Leave us a rating and a review. It helps us get that much more of a platform Speaker 0 00:58:09 To be continued troubling. The Archive is hosted and produced by Anna Shaw Hawk. Technical support for the show comes through from Fins Sun. A major thanks goes to Hunter Dee for their wonderful work in creating the logo for the series. The Intro and Outdoor Commission works by artist Chris Bucko Binowski. The show would not be possible without the support of Q Ag and the Council for the Arts Digital Now Grant.

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