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Panel Discussion: Public Space and Indigenous Political Expression

  • 205 Accolade West (ACW), York University 89 York Boulevard North York, ON, M3J 2S5 Canada (map)

Presented/Organized by Suzanne Morrissette, Artist-Curator- Academic, PhD Candidate, Social and Political Thought, York University


Indigenous people’s perspectives on land and law within Turtle Island have been historically relegated to the periphery of settler state consciousness such that public space has often come to represent something unrelated to Indigenous presence and rights. Within this context, expressions of Indigenous thought that impede settler claims to space are often met with tension and aggression. This panel will explore the production of art that engages with ideas of public space as a site of transformative potential where naturalized concepts of settler space are transgressed, and resulting tensions are highlighted, named, and assessed. Panelists will discuss their work in public spaces–both those accessed physically and those mediated by technology–with specific focus upon the ways that they envision and curate encounters between audiences and Indigenous political thought.

Moderator: Suzanne Morrissette, Artist-Curator- Academic, PhD Candidate,

Panelists: Susan Blight, artist; Merritt Johnson, artist; Lisa Myers, Assistant Lecturer, York University