WIM-CHAT09
What do indigenous artefacts want?
Convenors:
Joshua Smith (University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill)
Maureen Matthews (Manitoba Museum)
Chair:
Joshua Smith
Discussant:
Regna Darnell
Stream:
Worlds in motion: Cultural Heritage, Artefacts and Tourism/Mondes en mouvement: Héritage culturel, artefacts et tourisme
Location:
FSS 12003
Start time:
3 May, 2017 at 8:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel speaks to the movement of Indigenous artefacts whether they are forms of material culture or archival materials with an added emphasis on decolonization, repatriation and/or cultural revitalization.

Long abstract:

This panel speaks, in particular, to the movement of Indigenous artefacts. Archives and museums collect, store and display all varieties of such entities. Each one whether a letter, a map, a drum, a pot, or perhaps entire Regalia, moves in a myriad of ways. They are animate even in containment, if not in spite of it, and their agency relentlessly demands constant movement between persons, peoples and ways of knowing. Each kind of artefact moves through storied practice, often connecting teachings or laws while illuminating layers of relations. Artefacts, it could be said, careen into the colonial encounter by their very existence, placing and public service. Yet, through their same performance each holds the immense power of decolonization and resistance. The seemingly stillness of artefacts is an illusion masking their constant state of flux. That is they fundamentally move in five distinct, but overlapping ways. They quite literally change physical locations. They simultaneously act as mechanisms of cultural persistence and revitalization. They profoundly change our understanding of relations. They bring groups of people together, working to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas. Presentations in this panel speak to these forms of movement vis-à-vis Indigenous artefacts whether they are forms of material culture or archival materials with an added emphasis on decolonization, repatriation and/or cultural revitalization.