an investigative photo documentary

Exclusive 21-page photo essay from our investigative journalist team in collaboration with award-winning photojournalist Renaud Philippe. Location: Montreal, Canada Copyright Wondereur 2019.

MEET with artist Nadia Myre curated by preeminent North-American writer Joseph Boyden.

Myre titile page
1
AT THE END OF THE DAY, FRENCH AND ENGLISH ARE BOTH COLONIAL LANGUAGES.
2
My father is Québécois but my mother, who is Aboriginal, was raised in English.
3
At a very young age, she was taken away and put in an orphanage. She was completely separated from her culture.
4.1
MANY ABORIGINAL PEOPLE TODAY SHARE THIS SENSE OF FEELING CULTURALLY DISPLACED.
4.2
I always knew I was part Aboriginal, but, growing up in the city, I didn’t know what that meant. The actual turning point for me was being recognized under the law and obtaining my Indian status thanks to all the hard work my mother put into obtaining her own.
5
I TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IDENTITY MEANS. AND I DO IT THROUGH THE LANGUAGE OF MAKING.
7
When I was 20, I felt separated from my culture at different levels. Using beadwork and sewing in my art, exploring material practices like the making of fishnets, this is how I’m slowly reconnecting with my Aboriginal heritage.
8
NOW THAT I’M 40, I FEEL LIKE I INHABIT MY IDENTITIES MORE EASILY.
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I always try to create a work that can mean a lot by being very specific about the materials I use.
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Poetry is like that, it has an economy of language that I can relate to. It can mean many things or one very specific thing depending on how you read it.
12
OUR EXPERIENCE AS HUMAN BEINGS IS WHAT MY WORK IS ABOUT. IT’S BIGGER THAN CULTURE, AND IDENTITY… YET IT’S ALL INTERCONNECTED.
13
Between 2005 and 2013, I invited people to share their stories with me through the Scar Project – stories they carried, stories that shaped who they are.
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WHAT STRUCK ME IS THAT SO MANY OF THESE SHARED STORIES WERE SIMILAR.
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SOMEWHERE WITHIN THESE NARRATIVES WAS MY OWN STORY.
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I have recently started recording narratives from the Scar Project, inviting people to pick stories they could relate to and read them as if they were their own.
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Our capacity to transcend our experience is fascinating to me. Stories can have an incredible power on our lives, as a means of creating change.
19
These soundtracks have become part of my vocabulary, and I have started to mix them with sculptures and installations. Recently, I incorporated a personal narrative of displacement within a site specific sculpture on Gorée Island in Senegal, known as the place of no return in the history of the slave trade - the personal becomes political.
20
TO ME, IT’S THROUGH OUR STORIES THAT WE’RE CONNECTED.