Wearing the Land
2019/2020 Curator, Bonnie Baker UCA invites artists to develop temporary outdoor installations expressing the theme Wearing the Land as the interdependence of the physical landscape of Kings County and the peoples connected to the place over the generations. We wear the land with the marks of our occupation. Habits of movement and occupation wear paths and tracks across terrain. In shaping the land, the land also shapes us. How we occupy and move through a landscape impresses itself upon our imaginations, our minds, our identities as well as our bodies. We build relationships to the land through traditional knowledge, beliefs, memories, kinship, and use. Since the retreat of glacial ice approximately 13000 year ago, people have walked through and across Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People in which Kings County sits. Then, in the 17th century western colonizers prioritized permanent settlement over seasonal migration, creating space for settlers, enslaved Africans, indentured labourers, and refugees. Vast forests dissolved into cultivated fields, dynamic shorelines and waterways redirected and bright night skies diminished became indications of an altered relationship to the land. Today, Kings County landscape continues to be remade by means of cultivation, construction, and a declining, aging population. In proposing the theme of Wearing the Land, UCA asks artists to consider this alliance between landscape and people with a broad eye. UCA looking for installations that create thoughtful and provocative conversations about how we build identity out of our environment, how we root kinships within a landscape, how we engage responsively in an individual and communal stewardship of Kings County. We want to hear from the many voices that contributed to the diversity of cultural experiences and knowledge of the region. We encourage artists submitting proposals to reach out and connect with local community members, traditional knowledge keepers, farmers, foresters, fishers, regional historical and genealogy societies, community action groups, environmental monitors and activists, developers, labour unions. The temporary installations may include text, audio, projection, be interactive, have an online component, be time accessible or responsive to changing physical conditions, yet be durable enough to withstand five months of unmonitored outdoor exposure. UCA acknowledges, honours, and pays respect to the traditional owners
and custodians of the land on which our activities are located. It is upon part of Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw people and is subject to the Peace and Friendship treaties signed between the British Crown and the Mi’kmaq to peaceably share and care for the resources of the land in which Kings County sits. We are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on this land, and will work to honour the treaty of this territory, while committing ourselves to the struggle of decolonization. We are all Treaty People. This land acknowledgment does not exist in a past tense. We are also mindful of broken covenants and the need to strive to make right with all our relations. Colonization is ongoing, and we need to work to
understand, recognize, and challenge our participation within
colonization, as individuals, as an arts organization, and as a
community. Wela'lioq