This is a Stereotype: Initiating Dialogue
ABOUT THE FILM:
This is a Stereotype is a film project motivated from an art exhibition by Cannupa Hanska Luger and further inspired by the vision of filmmaker Dylan McLaughlin. Hanska’s body of work, Stereotype: Misconceptions of the Native American exhibited at the MoCNA from Aug. 15- Dec. 31 2013. The exhibition addressed several preconceived notions about Native people supported by popular culture that have been invented, imagined and rooted within the American public's social conscience. Highlighted in this exhibition was a performance, Destroying the Stereotype, where Hanska let go of the stereotypes embodying his sculptures and invited the community to witness their destruction. The remains of the destroyed ceramic sculptures were then placed on view for the duration of the exhibition. McLaughlin documented this process and together they felt this conversation needed to go deeper than this exhibition. There were more questions; the explanation and understanding needed further attention.
The film This is a Stereotype will allow for the continuation of this dialogue, with broader brush strokes than just one artists perspective. The exhibition/performance, Stereotype: Misconceptions of the Native American, was just the spark. It pushed artist Cannupa Hanska and filmmaker Dylan McLaughlin to ask why? Where do these stereotypes come from? Are all stereotypes negative? Do they come from some level of truth? Is there a place to blame? How can we break down these ways of thinking into something positive and useful? Can stereotypes become empowering? How has history influenced the way Native Americans themselves today, and how do non-Natives and popular culture perceives Native Americans? What are the economic parallels of stereotyping? How do you let go of stereotypes? The questions kept coming. The more they talked about it, the more there was a need to dig deeper, to look at many stories of past and present, of ordinary and esteemed, in order to have the proper tools to address the idea of the stereotype.
The idea behind the film will be to invite the audience to ask their own questions, not to simply understand the information they will view about Native identity and stereotypes in this film, but to utilize that information and become active participants in society, thinking critically when making decisions regarding culture and appropriation. We hope to inspire people to seek out their own answers.
WHY IS THIS FILM IMPORTANT?
This film is important because it will be an alternative narrative to addressing Native American stereotypes. It will be completely free and available to the public with a strong intention to be used for educational curriculum where applicable.
This project will bring a Native perspective to a Native identity issue while allowing dialogue from many diverse perspectives. This film will confront why stereotypes continue, the evolution of stereotypes, and where stereotypes may have began. This project will open many questions without any given resolutions, or false hopes. But after viewing this film, our intention is that all people will have better tools to be aware of their own actions and ask their own questions regarding cultural stereotyping and appropriation.
The plan is to make this film from archival footage juxtaposed with modern interviews, and woven together with an artistic response. Historical footage will be used from the IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) archive along side more current documentation, allowing a broader approach to addressing the subject matter. We are pulling from a wide range of sources for interviews including artists, scholars, political activists, elders, youth, Natives and non-Natives, and representing Nations from across America up into Canada. We will document many perspectives and create a multi faceted dialogue, which will enrich the theme of the film and allow for the audience to build their own interpretation around stereotyping.
More work by Dylan McLaughlin at INVISIBLE LABORATORY.
- NATIVE APPROPRIATIONS BLOG: Support Cannupa Hanska's film 4.22.14
- INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY MEDIA NETWORK: He killed his art to prove a point, now he's making a film about it. 4.11.14
- NATIVE AMERICA CALLING: Crowd Funding in Native America. 4.10.14
- NATIVE NEWS ONLINE: Native Ceramic Artist Reaches Out. 3.29.14
- SANTA FE REPORTER: Filmed in Stereo. 3.26.14
We will begin production of the film as soon as our funding is secured, which we are hoping will be late April 2014. Our goal is to present this film to the public by August 2014, with a goal to premier in Santa Fe, NM at the Santa Fe Indian Market.
WHO'S ON BOARD SO FAR - OUR TEAM & SUPPORTERS:
Cannupa Hanska Luger
We have confirmed interviews with:
1491’s, Indigenous Activist and Comedian Collective
Adrienne Keene, Native Appropriations Blog, Scholar/Activist
Douglas Miles, Founder of Apache Skateboards, Artist/Activist
Frank Buffalo Hyde, Artist/Pop Cultural Activist
Steve Fadden, Scholar IAIA
Bob Haozous, Chiricahua Apache Sculptor
How Your Contribution Will Help:
By contributing, you are allowing us to offer this film free to all! We want this film to be accessible to everyone through the Internet and available through databases at various educational institutions and museums, as a teaching tool and as resource information.
Your contribution will cover our production/post production costs and any equipment rental and purchases necessary. With your help, we will not be forced into an economic incentive to ‘sell’ this film. We can offer it free to all, which is our goal.
Risks and challenges
The most challenging aspect of our project is bringing other perspectives into our conversation. There are many individuals that we would love to interview for the film, but it really depends on whether or not we can pull off the scheduling. The simplest approach we could come up with was to stick to audio only interviews. This way, if we need to, interviews can take place over the phone or Skype. We figure the simpler the technical aspect of the film, the more we will be able to focus on content, and what is most important.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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