In light of the recent and ongoing police brutality, anti-Black racism, and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada and the United States, we are pausing our regular podcast release schedule to highlight the Black and Indigenous voices who joined us for the TIA House symposium Black Lives Out West in November 2017.
TIA House stands in solidarity with the movements to end anti-Black racism and find justice for Black and Indigenous lives. As an organization committed to social justice and innovative aesthetics, TIA House will continue to amplify and connect the creative work that educators, writers, and artists are taking on in academia and in the community at large to end racial violence and discrimination.
In this recorded video, Wayde Compton, Cheryl Foggo, and Rain Prud’homme-Cranford give talks on the topic of “Bodies and Land.”
About Black Lives Out West:
Recent discussions about the relationship between Black and Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island underline the expropriation of land on the one hand and the making-property of human beings on the other. With this paradigm in mind, Black Lives Out West recognized the Western territories of Turtle Island as a zone of exclusion, a site of social death, and a contact zone. Scholars, critics, and writers deeply considered what relationships can and should be, and how to imagine ethical practice in light of that condition that Lisa Lowe has called “the intimacy of four continents” but with a particular focus of Black and Indigenous concerns and subject positions. Speakers took Kamau Brathwaite’s term “arrivant” recently elaborated by Jodi Byrd in The Transit of Empire to nuance the modes and intentions (or lack of intentions) in movement. From the history of the black Albertan cowboy, John Ware, to that of Hogan’s Alley in Vancouver, to that of the recent asylum seekers crossing the US border at Emerson, Manitoba, this symposium began to re-imagine, re-member, and re-make the contact zone in the hope of better relationships and ethical practices. This symposium was organized by TIA House and Suzette Mayr.
Three of Wayde Compton’s books have been finalists for the City of Vancouver Book Award, and The Outer Harbour won it in 2015. In 2002, Compton co-founded the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, an organization devoted to the public memory of Vancouver’s historical black community, and he is a member of the Northeast False Creek Stewardship Group and director-at-large of the Hogan’s Alley Society. Compton is the program director of Creative Writing in Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University, where he administrates the Writer’s Studio.
Cheryl Foggo, a descendant of the Black pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan, is an award-winning writer who has been published and produced extensively in multiple genres. John Ware Reimagined won the 2015 Writers Guild of Alberta Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama. In 2014 Cheryl co-produced Alberta’s first Black Canadian Theatre Series with Ellipsis Tree Collective Theatre Company. She is currently in production with the National Film Board of Canada on the documentary film John Ware Reclaimed.
Rain Prud’homme-Cranford (Rain C. Goméz), PhD is a “FAT-tastic IndigeNerd” and an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Literatures in the Department of English and Affiliated Faculty in the International Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Calgary. Dr. Prud’homme-Cranford’s research focuses on Trans-Indigeneity in the US, Canada, Gulf Caribbean, and Latin America. Her first book, Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory (MEP 2012), won the First Book Award in Poetry from Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas. She is Co-Editor and Chief, (along with Carolyn Dunn), of This Painted Horse Press, a Borderless Indigenous Press of the Americas. Her critical and creative work can be found in various publications including The Southern Literary Journal, Louisiana Folklife, and many others.
Special thanks to Ben Groh for editing this video.