R.E.M Burn (2021)
R.E.M Burn Bawaadan Collective First Nations/Canadadigital 7.5 min 2021
R.E.M Burn is a visual poem addressing thematic elements of life and death cycles and traditional knowledge principles. In our initial consideration for this piece, the collective discussed examining the art and fashion world’s appropriation of Indigenous design and iconography. The film quickly became about more than acknowledging the distinction between appropriation and recontextualization, which is increasingly less distinguishable in an age of commodification. As Indigenous people, we understand that knowledge comes from our relationship with ourselves, each other, our communities, our animal relatives, and the land herself. In its truest form, this knowledge is without replication. R.E.M Burn is ultimately a reflection on the land that sustains us, the knowledge she offers, and the responsibility we carry to share those teachings for the well-being of future generations. We are grateful to the storytellers included in this piece for sharing their incomparable talents. – Bawaadan Collective
R.E.M Burn is a collective creation by Dante Biss-Grayson (Osage), Elias Jade Not Afraid (Apsáalooke), Jasmin Glaw (Algonquin), and Kelly Boutsalis (Haudenosaunee).
This film is available to stream globally.
This film is co-presented with the Art Gallery of Windsor and Windsor Endowment for the Arts.
Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © The Bawaadan Collective. Special thanks to Yuma Hester.
about the artist
The Bawaadan Collective (First Nations/Canada) is a collaborative of Indigenous artists and accomplices established on the Neyaashiinigmiing reserve in 2018. The collective’s operations are currently based in Hamilton, Ontario, which is situated on the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississauga peoples. Bawaadan operates across Ontario and internationally and includes Chippewa, Mohawk, Anishinaabe, Ililowuk, Haudenosaunee, Cree, Oji-Cree, Maori, and other members hailing from a diverse array of Indigenous tribes on Turtle Island and beyond. Bawaadan has completed numerous films and media artworks, including Midland Motel Room 77′ (2019), I Pity The Country (2020), Credit River (2020), and ᑭᐢᑌᓂᑕᐧᑲᓂᓂᐤ ᒪᑲᑌᐧᐃᔭᐢ ᐅᐱᒪᑎᓯᐧᐃᐣ/ Mâmawi Nikamowak (2021), which have been exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries, including Toi O Wairoa Art Gallery, imageNATIVE Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Native Spirit Film Festival, and Skoden Indigenous Film Festival, among others. An important shared goal of Bawaadan Collective is to shift organizational structures and modes of storytelling to better represent Indigenous peoples in all facets of contemporary life.