While there is a great deal of necessary dialogue, work, and scholarship produced around the roles and experiences of Indigenous women, there seems to be less on Indigenous men and those falling outside the Western gender binary, and who, as Cree playwright and author Tomson Highway explains: “ in the boring, and very violent, black-and-white world of the two-gender system…injected all the colours of the rainbow.” The screening program “’UnMENtionables” attempts to ease this gap. “Indigenous Masculinities” recognizes the diversity of peoples, nations, and experiences, while exploring such questions as: “how has colonization influenced our gender and sexual identities?”; “what are the experiences of Indigenous masculinities today?”; and “is masculinity even an analytical framework worth utilizing?”.
“UnMENtionables” is the result of a new mentorship program initiated by SAW Video and Asinabka Festival, and supported by the Community Foundation of Ottawa. In the summer of 2015 we are leading two emerging Indigenous media art curators through the process of curating a theatrical screening and a gallery-based exhibition of media artworks. The screening will be presented at Asinabka Festival (August 19-23), and the exhibition will open in October 2015.