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Title: Architecture through a lens: re-framing narrative sovereignty, landscape and indigenous film pedagogy
Authors: Macdonald, Maeve
Issue Date: 15-Apr-2021
Abstract: How can architecture re-frame narrative sovereignty, landscape and Indigenous film pedagogy? This question is explored alongside the community of the Weengushk Film Institute (WFI), located on Manitoulin Island which is the home of six Anishinaabe First Nations (M’Chigeeng, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Wiikwemkoong and Zhiibaahaasing). The institute is situated outside of M’Chigeeng, a First Nation which is home to the Anishinabek of the Three Fires Confederacy: Odawa, Ojibway and the Pottawattomi Nations. Indigenous Filmmaker Shirley Cheechoo is the founder of the Weengushk Film Institute, a school that reflects narrative sovereignty, connection to land and Indigenous film pedagogy. Her school curriculum incorporates pedagogy based on land and traditional Indigenous culture (moose hunting, language restoration, cultural practices, trapping) and pedagogy based on deep-rooted colonial filmmaking systems (screenwriting, directing, production and post-production). The balance between these two aspects of the pedagogy establishes a foundation for narrative sovereignty. In order for Indigenous students to succeed in filmmaking they must adapt to the existing colonial systems and standards put in place within the filmmaking industry. Cheechoo has developed an education program that does just that. Her curriculum foregrounds the individual behind the lens, providing students with the skills and resources necessary to direct, produce and share their stories independently. The existing architecture for this unique curriculum model takes the form of a warehouse building. The existing building does not reflect Cheechoos unique and creative currciulum model, that highlights narrative sovereignty, landscape and Indigenous film pedagogy. The community is looking for design ideas that will encourage creativity and express the existing pedagogy within the school. The methodological approach follows a strategy of “Two-Eyed Seeing.” 1 This term is a Mi’kmaq concept of observing the world through both an Indigenous and Western lens. Taking on the role as a facilitator I have designed through my own lens to generate a school for the Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) that is responsive to their collective needs and desires. As a settler designer there was never an intention to answer this question or solve the existing issues surfaced within the project, the goal of this thesis is to re-frame readers’ perspectives, deconstruct a traditional approach to architecture, welcome Indigenous filmmakers and their stories, and continue the conversation about narrative sovereignty.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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