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Lily Mengesha: “Material Remains, Settler-Colonial Hauntings”
November 13, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Material Remains, Settler-Colonial Hauntings: Comparative Indigenous Aesthetics in Performance
This talk considers the decolonial significance of material in the performance work of Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore. Mengesha offers a reading of Belmore’s 2014 performance-sculpture, One thousand One hundred & eighty One, a work that reckons with the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women in Canada (MMIW). Using performance studies methodologies, Mengesha suggests ways in which we can consider her work alongside transnational embodied practices of hammering nails into wood, which often signify a sacred contract. Drawing from critical writing in both Black and Indigenous studies, Mengesha situates Belmore’s work within a history of unkept promises, as well as the performance’s manifestation of a livable, sovereign future for Indigenous people.
Lily Mengesha, Fletcher Foundation Assistant Professor of Dramatic Literature and 2019-2020 CHAT Faculty Fellow