Blog 4: Decolonizing the Gaze

Image result for dayna danger

I decided to spend my Monday morning learning about two local mixed indigenous artists talking about decolonization among other topics such as gender identity, bodily recognition and sovereignty and also their art that they make in relation to these topics. The presentation started out with a queer, two spirited woman named Dayna Danger and later another two spirited individual named Faye Mullen. Though, I will be focusing on Dayna Dangers part of the presentation.

To begin, Dayna Danger is an artist from “so called” Manitoba and she creates arts using mediums such as sculpture, photography, performance and video. The key message of Dayna’s presentation is to show that she uses art and the use of different bodies, gender expression and identity in a safe space to represent the colonization and space (land) takes away from minority communities like hers and the need for decolonization and support for bodily sovereignty our society lacks. This presentation introduced me to a lot of new topics that I have never heard of before and it really interested me. I learned about what it is to be two spirited and also a bit of her Métis heritage including the murder of Louis Riel. She said many interesting things about land appartenance and how she always wants to know who’s land she’s standing on. Finally, she also touched upon some taboo topics such as pornography and BDSM and how it is is important to demystify it to end colonization.

I had interviewed my friend briefly after the presentation and I had asked her what she thought about the presentation. She said she liked the way that Dayna represented herself and brought up a lot of important topics that are underrepresented such as the meaning of being a true spirit individual and how it is like to be a part of the indigenous community. I interviewed someone else afterwards and they said they found Dayna’s art very unique and really brings up important topics not only for the LGBTQ+ but also the aboriginal minorities. This presentation is just a small slice of international women’s week at Vanier and I would recommend this event to others, especially the heartwarming part about the dangers that are posed on the indigenous communities.

For more information about Dayna Danger: http://www.daynadanger.com/about

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