Land Back Camp co-founder tells tales by way of images at Waterloo exhibit

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WATERLOO — About seven years in the past, Bangishimo picked up their first Nikon digital camera from Henry’s two days earlier than a visit to New Zealand to place their images expertise to the take a look at.

Although images was new to the native Anishinaabe group organizer and activist, Bangishimo stated they might determine it out as they went, “and that’s what I did,” they stated at an artist discuss on Tuesday on University of Waterloo’s campus.

Now seven years later, Bangishimo’s undertaking “On the Land” is on show exterior of Conrad Grebel University College. It’s the third time the art work has been exhibited on campus because it was launched on the Waterloo GeoTime Trail final summer time.

The artwork set up by the Land Back Camp co-founder options eight tales and portraits of people, a pair and households who all reply the identical query: “What does it mean for you to live on this land?”

The eight pictures function locals sitting at their properties. QR codes on the underside proper nook result in audio clips of their solutions to the query.

Among these featured within the work are Amy Smoke — one other co-founder of Land Back Camp — and her daughter Skye, and a household who lives within the historic Brubacher House in Waterloo.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bangishimo, their hair in a mohawk, walked underneath the tent arrange in entrance of their set up. They wore sun shades, feather earrings, a blue skirt and blue shirt, each with rainbow ribbons.

Bangishimo spoke about their begin in images and the way a year-long backpacking journey a couple of years in the past sparked their urge to inform different folks’s tales.

“I didn’t know where I was going, what I was doing, but I just wanted to go and be on the land,” Bangishimo stated to a crowd of about 30 folks.

The journey took them to locations like Nepal, India and New Zealand.

“Next thing you know, Indigenous leaders and Indigenous chiefs in the mountains of India, Nepal and New Zealand started inviting me to their spaces and I started taking pictures,” stated Bangishimo.

“I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. I want to use my photography to help amplify other people’s stories.’ ”

Bangishimo has organized rallies, workshops and conferences to create house for folks, they stated, and images was one other medium to just do that.

The art work was vandalized and broken when it was on the Waterloo path final yr.

Some of the pictures have been bent and scuffed — the picture of Smoke and her daughter bought essentially the most damaging consideration, stated Bangishimo.

“These pictures were vandalized a number of times, three times actually,” stated Bangishimo.

“I found them on numerous occasions thrown in ditches, but it doesn’t stop me. It hurts, but it doesn’t stop me.”

Bangishimo stated they received’t change the broken pictures as a result of they don’t wish to give energy to the vandals.

“Art evokes emotion and that’s what it’s doing right now,” Bangishimo stated.

Cheyenne Bholla is a Waterloo Region-based reporter at The Record. Reach her by way of e mail: [email protected]


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