Montreal’s International Centre of Contemporary Art is now exhibiting a collection of artwork entitled, “Amazons of the North: James Bay Revisited,” which will be shown until April 14.
The project is the work of two Germans, painter Rainer Wittenborn and journalist Claus Biegert. They documented the Crees in the 70’s and called the exhibit, “A River Drowned by Water.” In 1989 and 1990, they made two more trips to James Bay supported by the Grand Council of the Crees.
The exhibit is on an international tour and has already been shown in Santa Fe, New Mexico and upper New York State, where The Nation’s own Will Nicholls spoke on a panel that coincided with the exhibit.
“It goes without saying that the indigenous people have to adapt to the dominant society,” commented Biegert in an interview. “But nobody says maybe it should be the other way around. Nobody asks us why we don’t have to adapt. It would be considered irrational and funny. It would not be considered a serious question because we think the way we behave is the way everybody else is supposed to behave.
“We have the bulldozers, the heavy machinery. That’s why we win, not because we have better arguments. But in the long run those people who leave less tracks have a better chance to walk into the future. The way we walk, we leave everything devastated.”
You can reach the museum at 514 288 0811.