At Saturday’s opening reception of Vancouver’s annual Queer Arts Festival, Fabian Bon, (Metis, from Manitoba, Dakota and French), a local #Two-Spirit leader, shared with the Two-Spirit Journal of how they were overwhelmed when they walked into the Roundhouse.
“For so many years, I’ve supported the QAF and a scene one or two Two-Spirit artist or exhibits,” said Fabian Bon. “But this year’s, wow, the entire space is inclusive, reflective and honoring of my Two-Spirit community. It’s very powerful and so emotional!”
“This year’s QAF exhibition UnSettled features the works of Indigenous artists who identify within the Two-Spirit context yet also challenge this binary through their own experience and cultural understandings,” Adrian Stimson, the Curator of UnSettled.
Stimson continues, “For too long, the absence of representations of Two-Spirit people, art, and being from contemporary popular culture has been endured; it is part of the colonial project, to eradicate, to deny our natural beings, to dominate, assimilate, to ultimately erase our beings and memory from time. UnSettled deploys artistic and critical discourse to focus on Two-Spirit resilience with work addressing power, representation, sexuality, language, body, tradition, memory, colonial narratives, and knowledge sharing.”
As reported in Vancouver’s Westender, “Stimson brought together a dynamic group of indigenous artists, including George Littlechild, John Powell, Dayna Danger and Vanessa Dion Fletcher, who look to explore the two-spirit identity. In other words, art that examines gender, spirit and sexual orientation beyond the binaries of black and white, male or female.”
The Two-Spirit Journal caught with the talented Dayna Danger, an emerging Two-Spirit, Queer, Metis/Ojibway/Polish artist raised in Winnipeg, MB. Below is a recording of our conversation at opening:
The Queer Arts Festival runs June 17-29 at the Roundhouse (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC) and various other locations. For tickets and to see the entire program offering or more information, visit queerartsfestival.com.