American Realness

Native American Realness

Rosy Simas and Christopher K. Morgan
in conversation with Sara Nash

Saturday, January 7, 3:45pm–5:15pm

ISSUE Project Room
22 Boerum Place / Free / RSVP

Following recent protest of the originally released American Realness 2017 performance program, and the festivals’ historic curatorial blindness towards Native American artists, this conversation welcomes Native Contemporary Choreographers Rosy Simas (Seneca) and Christopher K. Morgan (Native Hawaiian) to discuss the state of Native American performance work across the US and the epidemic of institutional negligence, insensitivity and attempted erasure of and towards Native American / Indigenous / First Nations’ values, histories and contributions to contemporary artistic practice. This conversation seeks to investigate how our dominant culture’s historical insensitivity aids in forms of cultural appropriation, Redface, and racism in artistic practice, spectatorship and presenting. Does Redface sell? Is curating Native artists seen as risky, unsellable, or uninteresting, or does this speak to institutional and societal ignorance? In dialogue with Sara Nash (New England Foundation for the Arts), Simas and Morgan will share action strategies artists, administrators, and audiences can take in order resist our complicity in settler colonial cultural practices. This conversation will additionally include presentations on the work of contemporary practicing Native artists.

Invited Indigenous guests: Elder/Healer Janice Bad Moccasin (Dakota/Lakota), educator Ramona Kitto Statley (Dakota), Andre Bouchard (of Kootenai and Ojibwe descent), choreographer and activist Emily Johnson (Yup’ik), director of Dancing Earth Rulan Tangen, co-director of Safos Dance Yvonne Montoya, and many others.

photos by Tim Rummelhoff and Brianne Bland