Reading: “The All Nations Festival and Coast Salish Cultural Sovereignty” by Khelsilem, published on the blog Liberated Yet?
Everyone is welcome. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the reading ahead of the discussion.
Irwin Oostindie will lead a discussion exploring ethical, political, and aesthetic issues tied to the production of community-based art, specifically as they pertain to Coast Salish sovereignty, settler-Indigenous relations, and ongoing processes of colonization and gentrification in the DTES.
This is the second in a series of monthly reading discussions on the problematic relationships between “art” and “community.” This series is part of 2055 Project programming, using the 40th anniversary of the Helen Pitt Gallery’s founding to pose questions about the next 40 years: What kind of future do we want for our organization, and our city? What would a future that takes into account social and cultural diversity, community history, and social and environmental justice look like? What is community? What are the social and political responsibilities of artists and cultural workers?
Irwin Oostindie is a Dutch settler artist and curator who has led local and international media and culture projects for three decades. A prolific independent curator, festival producer, and staff programmer, he has worked in the grassroots, as well as with municipal and First Nation governments both in the DTES and more broadly in Unceded Coast Salish Territory. He collaborated with other DTES artists in a multi-year effort to critically examine the role of arts and artists in gentrification. As a settler cultural worker, he advocates for genuine reconciliation and redress, promoting cultural policy to stop the erasure of Coast Salish culture in Vancouver. Irwin is a parent and has lived in Chinatown for much of the past 28 years.