Conscient Podcast: é55 trépanier – un petit instant dans un espace beaucoup plus vaste

Je pense que ce cycle du colonialisme, et de ce que ça a apporté, on est en train d’arriver à la fin de ce cycle là aussi, et avec le recul, on va s’apercevoir que cela a été un tout petit instant dans un espace beaucoup plus vaste, et qu’on est en train de retourner à des connaissances très profondes. Qu’est-ce que ça veut dire de vivre ici sur cette planète? Ce que ça implique comme possibilité, mais comme responsabilité aussi de maintenir les relations harmonieuses? Moi, je dis que suis la solution à la crise climatique c’est cardiaque. Ça va passer par le cœur. On parle d’amour avec la planète. C’est ça, le travail.

france trépanier, balado conscient, 7 juin, 2021, colombie britannique

France Trépanier est artiste en arts visuels, commissaire et chercheure d’ascendance Kanien’kéha:ka et française. Elle signe aussi de nombreux essais et articles qui ont été publiés dans des journaux et des magazines. Elle a travaillé au Conseil des arts du Canada, au ministère du Patrimoine canadien, à l’ambassade du Canada à Paris et au Centre Culturel canadien à Paris. Elle est aussi co-directrice, avec Chris Creighton-Kelly de https://www.primary-colours.ca.

Je connais France depuis de nombreuses années dans la communauté artistique et par le biais du Conseil des arts du Canada. Notre conversation m’a profondément touchée. Je me souviens que pendant l’enregistrement, j’ai senti mes épaules se détendre et ma respiration se ralentir alors qu’elle parlait du temps et de la vision du monde autochtone.  

Voici quelques extraits de notre conversation que j’aimerais souligner :

Terra nullius

Pour moi, le défi de l’enjeu écologique ou de la crise écologique dans laquelle on se trouve, c’est de bien comprendre la source du problème et de pas juste de mettre un pansement, de pas juste essayer de faire des petits ajustements sur nos manières de vivre, mais de vraiment porter un regard sur la nature même du problème et pour moi, je pense qu’il s’est passé quelque chose au moment du contact, au moment où les Européens sont arrivés. Ils sont arrivés avec cette notion-là de propriété. On parle de terra nullius, l’idée qu’ils pouvaient s’approprier les territoires qui étaient ‘inhabités’ (je mets des guillemets sur inhabités) et je pense que ça a été notre première collision de vision du monde.

Vision éurocentrique des pratiques artistiques

En fait, si on prend encore une vue allongée de la façon dont la vision éurocentrique des pratiques artistiques s’est imposée sur les pratiques matérielles des cultures du monde. Ça va être un tout petit instant dans l’histoire. Cette idée des disciplines, la manière dont la vision eurocentrique a imposé des catégories, a imposé un certain élitisme des pratiques. La manière dont il a déclassifié aussi la culture matérielle des Premières Nations ou ce n’était pas possible, ce n’était pas de l’art. Les objets d’art devenaient soit des artefacts ou de l’artisanat. On a complètement déclassifié, on n’a pas compris. Je pense que les premiers arrivants ici n’ont pas compris ce qui était en face d’eux.

La vraie tragédie

L’artiste Mike MacDonald racontait une histoire, Mike, qui est un artiste Mi’kmaq, qui plus est avec nous maintenant, a fait du travail remarquable, un artiste des nouveaux médias, il y racontait une fois un des ainés dans sa communauté. Il disait que la vraie tragédie du Canada n’est pas qu’on a empêché les gens de parler leur langue. La vraie tragédie, c’est que les nouveaux venus n’ont pas adopté les cultures d’ici. Donc il y a eu des grandes mésententes. 

Réécrire le monde?

Je pense qu’on n’a pas besoin de rien réécrire du tout. Je pense qu’on a juste besoin de porter attention et d’écouter. On a juste besoin de la fermer un peu pour un petit bout. Parce est dans la notion de ‘authoring’, il y a le mot ‘author’ et cela présuppose le mot autorité (authority) et je ne suis pas certaine que c’est de ça dont on a besoin maintenant. Je pense que c’est l’inverse. Je pense qu’il faut changer notre rapport à l’autorité. Il faut déconstruire cette idée là quand on est en train d’être les décideurs ou les maîtres de quoi que ce soit. Je ne pense pas que c’est la bonne approche. Je pense qu’il faut écouter. Je ne dis pas qu’il ne faut pas imaginer – je pense que l’imagination c’est important dans cette écoute attentive – mais de penser qu’on va réécrire, c’est peut-être un peu prétentieux.

Je tiens à remercier France d’avoir pris le temps de me parler, d’avoir partagé sa profonde connaissance des arts et de la culture autochtone, pour son engagement envers la diversité et l’équité, sa générosité et sa capacité à mettre ses immenses talents et sa sagesse au service de ceux qui en ont le plus besoin.

‘Portage’, pastel sur papier, 40’ x 60’ (2020) - France Trépanier
‘Portage’, pastel sur papier, 40’ x 60’ (2020) – France Trépanier

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(translation)

I think that with this cycle of colonialism, and what it has brought, that we are coming to the end of this century, and with hindsight, we will realize that it was a very small moment in a much larger space, and that we are returning to very deep knowledge. What does it mean to live here on this planet? What does it mean to have the possibility, but also the responsibility to maintain harmonious relationships? I say that the solution to the climate crisis is ‘cardiac’. It will go through the heart. We are talking about love of the planet. That’s the work.

france trépanier, conscient podcast, june 7, 2021, british columbia

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous journals and magazines. She worked at the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Embassy in Paris and Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. She is also co-Director, with Chris Creighton-Kelly, of https://www.primary-colours.ca

I’ve known France for many years in the arts community and through the Canada Council. Our conscient conversation affected me deeply. I recall during the recording that I felt my shoulders relax and my breath slow down as she spoke about time and indigenous world view.  

Here are some excerpts from our conversation that I would like to highlight:

Terra nullius

For me, the challenge of the ecological issue or the ecological crisis in which we find ourselves is to understand the source of the problem and not just to put a band-aid on it, not just to try to make small adjustments to our ways of living, but to really look at the very nature of the problem. For me, I think that something happened at the moment of contact, at the moment when the Europeans arrived. They arrived with this notion of property. They talked about Terra Nullius, the idea that they could appropriate territories that were ‘uninhabited’ (I put quotation marks on uninhabited) and I think that was our first collision of worldviews.

Eurocentric vision of artistic practices

If we take a longer term view of how the eurocentric view of artistic practices have imposed itself on the material practices of world cultures, this is going to be a very small moment in history. The idea of disciplines, the way in which the Eurocentric vision imposed categories and imposed a certain elitism of practices. The way it also declassified the material culture of the First Nations or it was not possible, it was not art. Art objects became either artifacts or crafts. It was completely declassified, we didn’t understand. I think the first people who came here didn’t understand what was in front of them.

The Real Tragedy

The artist Mike MacDonald was telling a story, Mike, who is a Mi’kmaq artist, who is with us now, but who has done remarkable work, a new media artist, he was telling a story once about one of the elders in his community, he was saying that the real tragedy of Canada, it’s not that people have been prevented from speaking their language. The real tragedy is that the newcomers have not adopted the cultures here. So ‘there have been great misunderstandings. 

Reauthoring the world?

I don’t think we need to rewrite anything at all. I think we just need to pay attention and listen. We just need to shut up a little bit for a while. Because it’s in the notion of authoring and that the word ‘author’ presupposes the word authority and I’m not sure that’s what we need right now. I think it’s the opposite. I think we need to change our relationship to authority. We need to deconstruct that idea when we’re being the decision makers or the masters of anything. I don’t think that’s the right approach. I think you have to listen. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t imagine – I think that imagination is important in this attentive listening – but to think that we are going to rewrite is perhaps a little pretentious.

I would like to thank France for taking the time to speak with me, for sharing her deep knowledge of indigenous arts and culture, her commitment to diversity and equity, her generosity and her ability to shift her immense talents and wisdom to wherever is there is the most need. 

The post é55 trépanier – un petit instant dans un espace beaucoup plus vaste appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.

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About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my http://simplesoundscapes.ca (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation : claude@conscient.ca

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

Go to conscient.ca

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