Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Dark History - Shame and Predjudice - Kent Monkman

Cree artist Kent Monkman poses for a photograph at his new exhibition Shame and Prejudice. A Story of Resilience Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

Considering what's been going on globally with populism, banning refugees, the rise of the alt-right, hate and divisiveness, and in light of the recent election of Donald Trump, 'his majesty the baby', the hate speech, detaining people, building a big wall and the pompous pontificate the great I AM, it feels like the world is stuck in a freakishly weird episode of the Twilight Zone, and we're in a 'back to the future ' very scary movie.

It causes me to reflect on what it means to be a Canadian, in terms of our history. We're not the spitting image, mirrored reflection of the U.S., but we certainly live in it's shadow it's seems much of the time, in spite of how we often declare, 'we aren't like them' and are grateful for it. But one of the things we do share is our history of colonialism, cultural genocide, shame and prejudice, the kind that Kent Monkman speaks of in his art.

"Any Canadian, whether you're a new Canadian or your family has lived here for generations, has to come to terms with the real history of this nation," said Monkman.
"Canadians are learning more about the darker history of this country that has been glossed over, that was never in our school curriculums." 
                                                                   - Kent Monkman

With the upcoming celebratory 150 years of our country Canada, I found that I can't help be rather jaded and cynical about all the whole hoopla surrounding our history, knowing how, especially in relation to the treatment of Indigenous people, that also includes many others, it has been a very dark history.
I feel strongly about this and it often enters my mind, perhaps because my late husband's mother was Cree.

Kent Monkman won't be celebrating on Canada's 150 years, neither will I.

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