Material Witness

mwApril 29th at 7pm at West Ferris Secondary School, 60 Marshall Park Drive. Pay-What-U-Can. All Welcome!

Aanmitaagzi has partnered with Spiderwoman Theater of New York to co-produce the multi-disciplinary theatre work Material Witness. This project brings together three generations of performers to share and explore their stories of violence against Aboriginal women. Their shared approach embraces art and stories created by, for, and about their families and communities in a multigenerational context. Development phases for Material Witness took place at Big Medicine Studio in Nipissing First Nation in 2012, at the historic LaMaMa Theater in New York City in 2013, in Nipissing again 2014, and at the Red House Centre for the Arts in Syracuse, New York in 2015. Community-engaged workshops, led by Sid Bobb, Penny Couchie and their artist team, were held in all locations, and two four foot by eight foot Story Quilts were created for the performance with the communities of Nipissing First Nation in Ontario and Onondaga Nation in New York. This multi-faceted project has led to inter-nation, multi-disciplinary and community focused art making and dialogue that brings us all together as a community to examine and address the dark legacy of violence against women.

Aanmitaagzi is a professional Indigenous multi-arts company from Nipissing First Nation, ON. Linked to provincial, national and international networks, Aanmitaagzi combines art making, education, professional development & social activism. We investigate and create contemporary arts in relationship to historic indigenous arts and worldview. Much of our activities incorporate the indigenous legacy of intergenerational art making which engages professional artists and community. Aanmitaagzi provides educational, land based, and community focused arts activities by producing arts festivals, dance theatre productions, and projects, which activate these historic practices in meaningful ways.

New York City’s Spiderwoman Theater is the longest running Native American women’s theater company in the US and perhaps the world. Founded in 1976, they provide unique theater production, training and education which address critical cultural, social and political issues of concern to the Indigenous, Two Spirit and women’s communities. Their work bridges traditional expression and contemporary performance practice. The year 2016 marks the 40th Anniversary of Spiderwoman Theater and it is fitting that they should be celebrating with the premiere of Material Witness, a project inspired by their first production, Women in Violence.