little bite

the last few days have felt a bit like riding a horse i can barely control, galloping at full speed. the colloquium went well, i think. a bit hard to judge my own performance, but i thoroughly enjoyed the talks and readings afterwards. fiona jeffries speaking on the politics of fear and women’s resistence in guatamala was inspiring for its down-in-the-trenches materiality and for extraordinary stories of bravery and commitment. jeff derksen– great for his confidence that neoliberalism is fading and that we have every reason to be optimistic that it can’t sustain itself. i’m really sad that shirley bear and her partner peter are moving back to new brunswick. shirley began her talk in maliseet, and then spoke about the importance of language, particularly how shameful it is that so few us of speak the any of the native languages of this land. it was a shake-up to recognize the pressure we put on the learning of english and french, but not that of the first peoples. or our own mother tongues, for those of us (and we are many) who have had them squished out of us). she also brought to the table stories from the 1993 cultural gathering it’s a cultural thing and the subsequent collapse of ANNPAC, which was great to hear because it brought back that important cultural moment, that in many ways has never been resolved. it was also really fantastic to hear candice hopkins talking about the the lubicon lake cree protests against the 1988 glenbow museuam exhibit the spirit sings to demand a recognition of living native cultures and not just their artefactual history, as though those cultures were already gone. lots of engaged discussion afterwards. and in the evening, amazing readings by rita wong, weyman chan, marie annharte baker and wayde compton. may be glen lowry will put up podcasts.

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