What's On at Indigenous Contemporary Scene 2019

A look at the Indigenous Contemporary Scene programme for the 2019 Edinburgh Festivals

Article | 01 Aug 2019
  • Indigenous Contemporary Scene

Deer Woman

CanadaHub, King's Hall
31 Jul-25 Aug (not 5,12,19), 2.30pm (1 hour 30 minutes), £11 (£9 concessions)
“My name is Lila and I am a proud Blackfoot woman. What I am doing is illegal.”
So begins Deer Woman, a solo-warrior-woman work of righteous vengeance starring Cherish Violet Blood.
After their time as Artist-in-residence at the inaugural CanadaHub, ARTICLE 11 returns with this thrilling tale of revenge telling the story of one of 1,600 officially recognised missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. 

Songs in the Key of Cree

CanadaHub, King's Hall
31 Jul-18 Aug (not 5,12,19), 7pm (1 hour, no interval) £11 (£9 concessions, £36 family)
Born the eleventh of twelve children on 6 December 1951 in a snow bank on the Manitoba-Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters, Cree playwright, pianist and singer Tomson Highway takes up residency in CanadaHub for Songs in the Key of Cree, a retrospective cabaret with Tomson himself at the piano, and accompanied by extraordinary Peruvian-Canadian singer Patricia Cano and jazz saxophonist Marcus Ali.

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

The Studio Festival Theatre
2-5 Aug, 7.30pm (1 hour 50 minutes, no interval), 3 & 5 Aug, 2.30pm, £20
A concert and a conversation, Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is the meeting place of two people, and the North and South of a country. Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry met on an Arctic expedition from Iqaluit to Greenland. Now sharing a stage, these two powerful storytellers map new territory together in a work that gives voice and body to the histories, culture, and climate we’ve inherited, and asks how we reckon with these sharp tools.
In the Inuktitut language, when a knife is dull, it is said to 'have no face.' The word 'Kiinalik' translates to mean the knife is sharp – or, 'it has a face.' Embodying the stories of their heritage, Evalyn and Laakkuluk put a face to the colonial histories, power structures and the changing climate that lie between them. 

Native Girl Syndrome

2-4 & 7-11 Aug, 4.20pm (1 hour, no interval)  £10 (£8 concessions, £28 family)
A true advocate for Indigenous peoples, Lara Kramer’s work deals with the often brutal relationships between Indigenous peoples and colonial society.
Native Girl Syndrome is inspired by the experience of Kramer’s own grandmother, having migrated from a remote First Nations community into an unfamiliar urban environment as a young woman.
Kramer paints a ruthless portrait of homeless Indigenous women and, through the raw, street-style performances of Karina Iraola and Angie Cheng, she creates a troubling universe of truth and reality. The dancers' drug-filled, disassociated personas take the audience on a potent journey through addiction, loss and alienation. 

Panel: Land Acknowledgements & Cultural Protocols

INSPACE, Fringe Central 
4 Aug, 1pm, Admission free, ticketed
In Canada, it is more and more common to acknowledge the land before performances begin. How do we acknowledge and care for
the land inside and outside of our artistic practices? How do we ground our work in the land on which we live and create? A moderated conversation with participants of the Creators Exchange on the land, an initiative from ICS Scotland that brought together 13 creators and language keepers of Indigenous and Scottish identities.

This Time Will Be Different

13-18 Aug, 4pm (50 minutes), £10 (£8 concessions, £28 family)
Witness the performative ritual that is This Time Will Be Different, a performance-based installation that denounces the Canadian government’s discourse on Indigenous people and serves as a rebuttal of the industry built around reconciliation.
From one inquiry to the next, from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has anything really changed in the relationship between the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples? Elders, parents, children, three generations on stage support one another as they explore this questions together.
This eloquent installation/performance piece is the creation of interdisciplinary artists Émilie Monnet and performer/choreographer Lara Kramer. Monnet’s work explores the interconnections between identity, memory and language while Kramer employs a raw, theatrical vocabulary and powerful imagery to create works of power and sensitivity. 

Songs from the Land: Sometimes I Speak English

Charlotte Square
15 Aug, 8pm
A contemplation on home, language and loss, Sometimes I Speak English features Inuk poet, throat singer and visual artist Taqralik Partridge who performs alongside celebrated Cree cellist Cris Derksen as part of our Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Songs from the Land mini-series. Scottish musician Inge Thomson brings new works inspired by the beautiful landscape of her Fair Isle home to this exciting programme. 

Songs from the Land: Calling Home

Charlotte Square
16 Aug, 
As part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Songs from the Land mini-series, Calling Home sees acclaimed Cree cellist Cris Derksen join celebrated Ntlakapamux/Irish playwright Tara Beagan for her response to the ongoing discussion around the Beothuk human remains currently residing in the National Museum of Scotland’s collection. Inuk spoken word artist Taqralik Partridge and Shetlandic poet Roseanne Watt join the conversation reading from some of their latest works.

Miijin Ki [Eating Land]

Summerhall, Bruford
20-24 Aug, 4pm (1 hour, no interval), £10 (£8 concessions, £28 family)
Miijin Ki, a word in the Anishnaabemowin language which translates to Eating Land, is a new work where Kramer, along with her collaborators, create non-violent tensions of living and being on the land. The work acts as a counter narrative to the pan victim Indian and a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all things in the modern and natural world.
Presented as a ‘scratch night’, this public residency will give the creative team a chance to test things in front of a small audience night after night. An exciting open laboratory and a place for experimentation. 

Kanata Cabaret Hour

CanadaHub, King's Hall
21-24 Aug, 
7pm (1 hour), £11 (£9 concessions, £36 family)
Kanata Cabaret Hour is a showcase of the many Indigenous artists performing in Edinburgh during August.
The hour will offer up a radical mixture of dance, music and live art from both Indigenous and Scottish perspectives. Expect surprise guests and performances every night. This isn’t your coloniser’s cabaret, it’s self-determined Indigenous badassery!