Episode 1: To Whom Does This Concept Benefit, And Where Do People Of Colour Stand?
The first episode of a three-part audio series responding to 'Nostalgia Interrupted', focusing on home & community
To Whom Does This Concept Benefit, And Where Do People Of Colour Stand? is a three-part audio series combining archival audio and soundscapes created by Educator-in-Residence Natalie Asumeng, in response to the exhibition Nostalgia Interrupted.
Speaking on home and community, Episode One explores the stark contrast between the nostalgia for the prosperous modern era of new land development and homes, to the violence and silencing of Black voices in fighting for fundamental human rights and independence of land ownership. The piece includes audio of television advertisements celebrating (supposed) diversity, freedom, and opportunity, alongside clips of Canadian journalist Dr. Carrie Best; Gwen Hooks, one of the first Black settlers of Keystone, Alberta; American social activist Russell Meek, and American Civil Rights leader William Hayden. They denounce the inequality around these freedoms and speak to their frustrations for the lack of human dignity. An underlying soundscape amplifies the emotions and promotes a reflective state of mind for the listener.
Created as part of Natalie Asumeng's residency at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, To Whom Does This Concept Benefit, And Where Do People Of Colour Stand? explores the weaponization of nostalgia in current politics and media. Overlapping archival audio and ambient music contrasts the happy-go-lucky propaganda of the Canadian and American dreams with the disturbing realities of discrimination, violence, fear, and silencing of BIPOC communities. Each episode has a different focus: episode one considers home and community, episode two looks at conversations around beauty, and episode three addresses traditions and cultural perseverance. Presented abstractly, like entering a dreamlike state, this audio series encourages the listener to reflect on who benefits from a romanticization of the past, and showcases the brave communities who challenged the status quo. Episodes launch monthly from October to December 2022.