Proposal Title

Apology Dice

Presentation Type

Round Table Discussion

Alternative Presentation Type:

reg_presentation

Location

OM 3632

Start Date

19-2-2018 12:45 PM

End Date

19-2-2018 1:25 PM

Proposal Abstract

The Apology Dice is an interactive art performance that engages small groups in conversation—about Indian Residential Schools, colonialization, and possibilities of reconciliation— through the rolling of large, custom-made cedar dice. Each die is cast one at a time, and in order, to form a sentence. The words on the faces of the first die read: “I am” / “We are” / “They are”. The second die reads: “so” / “fairly” / “really” / “not” / “somewhat” / “deeply”. The words of the third die display “sorry” on five sides and “tired of this” on the remaining side. The participant reads the sentence aloud and interprets its meaning, in the context of First Nations reconciliation in Canada, and in light of what has happened (or not happened) since the official apology for Indian Residential Schools offered by Harper’s Conservative government in 2008. Combinations may include: “I am / so / sorry”; “We are / not / sorry.”; or “They are / really / tired of this”. Who is the dice speaking for? The government, the churches that ran the schools, First Nations peoples, or the non-indigenous public? Do official apologies matter, even if they are not followed up with concrete actions? Apology Dice is an artistic effort to stir emotional response, to help participants discover, educate, heal, and express their feelings about this history. For ambivalent participants, rolling the dice may prompt more certainty. To those feeling decided, play may reinforce their beliefs or perhaps unsettle them.

Technical Requirements:

No technical requirements are required. However, I have had members of indigenous communities suggest performing a smudging ceremony (burning a small bundle of sage held in the hand) at the beginning of the Apology Dice, as one might before a traditional sweat lodge or sharing circle. It is meant to cleanse and purify the body, mind, and spirit, and has the added bonus of introducing a cultural ritual to non-aboriginal participants. I would add that this is not strictly necessary to the project, and presents a few drawbacks: it takes time away from the discussion, and introduces smoke/scents into an interior space that participants may be sensitive to. I leave this to the committee to decide on best practice.

Statement

Our project seeks to build a collaborative conversation around the darkest parts of Canada’s history: colonialization and the Indian Residential Schools. In this respect, we believe our project addresses all the topics covered in this year’s themes; in particular: reconciliation, interculturalization, and inclusivity.

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Feb 19th, 12:45 PM Feb 19th, 1:25 PM

Apology Dice

OM 3632

The Apology Dice is an interactive art performance that engages small groups in conversation—about Indian Residential Schools, colonialization, and possibilities of reconciliation— through the rolling of large, custom-made cedar dice. Each die is cast one at a time, and in order, to form a sentence. The words on the faces of the first die read: “I am” / “We are” / “They are”. The second die reads: “so” / “fairly” / “really” / “not” / “somewhat” / “deeply”. The words of the third die display “sorry” on five sides and “tired of this” on the remaining side. The participant reads the sentence aloud and interprets its meaning, in the context of First Nations reconciliation in Canada, and in light of what has happened (or not happened) since the official apology for Indian Residential Schools offered by Harper’s Conservative government in 2008. Combinations may include: “I am / so / sorry”; “We are / not / sorry.”; or “They are / really / tired of this”. Who is the dice speaking for? The government, the churches that ran the schools, First Nations peoples, or the non-indigenous public? Do official apologies matter, even if they are not followed up with concrete actions? Apology Dice is an artistic effort to stir emotional response, to help participants discover, educate, heal, and express their feelings about this history. For ambivalent participants, rolling the dice may prompt more certainty. To those feeling decided, play may reinforce their beliefs or perhaps unsettle them.

 

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