Welcome to the #StudyRepast Edition. In brief, from May 5-16 Debajehmujig Storytellers, IPAA and NAC English Theatre, collaborated on a project dedicated to exploring and celebrating the Indigenous Body of Work. Salient among the many emerging themes were: the weight, import and brilliance of the stories, and what it means to open a door and to keep it open. I co-edited this issue with Editor-In Chief Michael Wheeler. He asked me to write this note because I had a clear idea for this edition and because I was there. Michael and I co-created SpiderWebShow to be able to respond quickly and forcefully to the events that shape our performance ecology and we want #CdnCult to act as the digital record of these times.
I want our country to understand itself. Theatre and Live Art are the tools our #CdnCult readership collectively employ. A literary manager brings to the attention of the artistic director and producer the plays that want to be produced. Thinking about this nationally, I encourage all of us to think like literary managers, and for the well being of our shared futures to advocate for the stories that -first and foremost – underpin who we are. To say what happens on the Rez stays on the Rez is like trying to run in quick sand. You can do it, for awhile, but eventually you just might drown. We need to learn how to run on this land, we need the full knowledge to know how this land works, we need the whole body and we need to own up to the full story. New stories are great, but as storytellers, we need to know our past before we can tell fully realized stories about our collective futures.
Each of the contributors speak to these ideas. Each speaks personally, but they are able do so because each of their companies were part of this historic collaboration. Jillian Keiley comes to a personal revelation regarding our need for story, Joseph Osawabine’s gives voice to the hard core realities of maintaining an Indigenous life in a country that does not uphold Indigenous values and Cole Alvis walks us through The #StudyRepast and leaves us with a personal recommitment to surveying who is and is not at “the table”.
Click here for more information about the whole cycle that includes The Summit at Banff in April 2014 and the #StudyRepast at Debajehmujig Storytellers on Manitoulin Island in May 2015.
Sarah Garton Stanley
SpiderWebShow Artistic Director