400th Anniversary of the Mayflower, courtesy of the artists
Anthropology’s obsession with preserving images of our “vanishing” cultures—through ethnographic films or archives filled with boxes of our ancestors’ remains—has long been a tool used to colonize and oppress indigenous peoples. By relegating our identities to the past and forcing us to authenticate ourselves via this past, our existence as contemporary individuals living in a colonized land is denied. The anthropologist’s encapsulating gaze ignores the fact that, for indigenous communities, tradition is not an immutable set of truths handed down by revelation, but a set of ever-evolving social practices whose continuity cannot be repaired by preservation—only elaborated through struggle, and finally achieved under conditions of genuine self-determination.
– Adam Khalil & Zack Khalil
Edward Benton-Banai, The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
Christopher Bracken, Magical Criticism: The Recourse of Savage Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
Pierre Clastres, Archeology of Violence (Semiotext(e), 2010)
Philip J. Deloria, Playing Indian (Yale University Press, 1998)
Armand Ruffo, Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015)
Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014)
Kim TallBear, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
ADAM KHALIL & ZACK KHALIL
Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil (Ojibway) are filmmakers and artists from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Their work subverts traditional forms of ethnography through humor, transgression, and innovative documentary practice. Their films and installations have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Artists Space, the Whitney, LACMA, Walker Arts Center, Sundance Film Festival, Contour Biennial, Toronto Biennial, Whitney Biennial, and more. They both graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College and are Sundance Creative Non Fiction Fellows, Jerome Foundation Artist Fellows, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellows and Gates Millennium Scholars.
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