Synopses & Reviews
While Indigenous media have gained increasing prominence around the world, the vibrant Aboriginal media world on the Canadian West Coast has received little scholarly attention. As the first ethnography of the Aboriginal media community in Vancouver, Sovereign Screens
reveals the various social forces shaping Aboriginal media production including community media organizations and avant-garde art centers, as well as the national spaces of cultural policy and media institutions.
Kristin L. Dowell uses the concept of visual sovereignty to examine the practices, forms, and meanings through which Aboriginal filmmakers tell their individual stories and those of their Aboriginal nations and the intertribal urban communities in which they work. She explores the ongoing debates within the community about what constitutes Aboriginal media, how this work intervenes in the national Canadian mediascape, and how filmmakers use technology in a wide range of genresand#8212;including experimental mediaand#8212;to recuperate cultural traditions and reimagine Aboriginal kinship and sociality.and#160; Analyzing the interactive relations between this social community and the media forms it produces, Sovereign Screens offers new insights into the on-screen and off-screen impacts of Aboriginal media.and#160;
“In this beautifully detailed ethnography of Vancouvers growing Aboriginal media hub, Dowell analyzes the historical relationship between indigenous media and social activism in Canada. . . . Since media technologies are being accessed and mobilized by indigenous people the world over to fight for self-representation and sovereignty, this book offers a fruitful comparative case study.”—Jennifer Kramer, author of Kesu: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer Jennifer Kramer
and#8220;Nowhere is Aboriginal media more active, more vibrant, and more significant than in Canada. . . . The efforts ofand#160;small, underfunded, ambitious, and creative groups of filmmakers in Vancouver make for an engaging story. . . . This is a clear, useful, and well-researched book.and#8221;and#8212;Michael Evans, author of Fast Runner: Filming the Legend of Atanarjuat and#160;and#160;
and#8220;[A] beautifully detailed ethnography of Vancouverand#8217;s growing Aboriginal media hub. . . . Dowell convincingly argues that Aboriginal media is an act of visual sovereignty.and#8221;and#8212;Jennifer Kramer, author of Switchbacks: Art, Ownership, and Nuxalk National Identity
"This important contribution to media and indigenous studies is destined to become required reading in these areas."and#8212;C. R. King, CHOICE
About the Author
Kristin L. Dowell is anand#160;associate professor of anthropology at Florida State University. She is a visual anthropologist who has worked as a film curator at several Native film festivals. Her articles have appeared in the journalsand#160;American Anthropologistand#160;andand#160;Transformationsand#160;and in edited volumes, includingand#160;Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas, winner of the 2015 Canada Prize in the Humanities.