Revisioning Turtle Island
I thought I had a relatively good education growing up, going to “academic schools” and yet I was shocked at the amount of Indigenous history I was never taught. I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I didn’t even learn about residential schools until 2006. Obviously the history books were written by the settlers of this land and they omitted some very important events. This is why I find the artist Skawennati’s TimeTraveller™ so fascinating. TimeTraveller™ is a virtual reality set which allows the viewer to experience events in North American history through an Indigenous perspective. Skawennati generously look some to answer some questions about her machinima.
– Sophie Gee
Do you consider TimeTraveller™ a revisioning – using virtual reality to re-experience history from the point of view of the Indigenous people?
Yes, it is a re-visioning–a re-imagining how things might have gone down– as well as a revising–an edit of the story. In the movie, Hunter, the Mohawk, male protagonist uses VR to experience historical events that most people have only heard from a European point of view. Through his commentary, TimeTraveller™ offers an Indigenous perspective on these events, while also reminding people that Indigenous people have survived attempted genocide, and intend to thrive in the future.
Do you think the TimeTraveller™ is subversive and if so how?
Nope, unless showing that Indigenous people have and will resist assimilation (and worse!) is subversive!
What would a revisioned Turtle Island ideally look like to you?
That’s in the machinima I made next, called She Falls For Ages.
Are there any interesting revisionings happening in the Indigenous/non-Indigenous communities (in any discipline) that you are excited about?
So much, everywhere! Language revitalization, food sovereignty, land-based learning, Afro-futurism, Water is Life. It’s gonna happen.