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Episode 3: To Whom Does This Concept Benefit, And Where Do People Of Colour Stand?

The third episode of a three-part audio series responding to 'Nostalgia Interrupted', focusing on traditions & cultural perseverance

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.

Episode three reflects on the importance of the preservation of culture and traditions amongst BIPOC communities, especially when moving away or displaced from home. The passing of rituals and practices has allowed migrants to have their children understand where their roots lie. Even though nostalgia for people of colour has been interrupted by violence and forced assimilation, culture is still preserved and passed down from generation to generation – in this way, BIPOC communities both resist and persevere. In this soundscape, you will hear the voices of educator Nia Egwim talking about Kwanzaa, a celebration of African culture, as well as Lorraine Goodstriker, who was an interpretation officer of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site in Alberta, talking about Indigenous ways of being. Archival audio of American writer James Baldwin refers to the erasure of African history in schools, just one example of the attempts made, through lies and propaganda, to erase BIPOC stories from cultural memory. 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.

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