RELG271-Learning Cell 1 Paper .pdf - 1 Ball Jane Ball...

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1 Ball Jane Ball: 260892205 RELG271-001 Option #2 17 February 2020 Imperial Lust, Objectification and Perpetual Erasure for Indigenous Sexual and Gender Identities In the words of Metis-Salteaux artist Dayna Danger, “[i]n today’s culture, trans, non-binary, and women-identified individuals often lack power over their own sexuality[...]” (Danger). Focused on these aspects of indigenous communities, this image is part of a series intended to spark conversation about struggles of representation, gender, sexuality and body. In terms of North America, the undermining tendencies that have historically skewed indigenous sexual identities can be majorly associated with the effects of colonial violence, imperial lust and the erasure of true, indigenous narratives. Beyond this, alternative sexualities such as the two-spirit, among other queer communities have been disadvantaged due to a lack of indigenous inclusion within queer studies. Danger portrays the damage that historical colonial contexts have had on female bodies and queer sexualities through the use of objectifying speech, perpetual habits of exclusion, and the erasure of real narratives. Using art as her medium, Dayna Danger combats limited representation to reclaim the sexual and spiritual identities that have been stolen from these people and perpetually erased from the narrative of North America. Beyond a contemporary analysis of this photograph, it is important to investigate the historical, colonial contexts of the imperial lusts and the fears that once made-up a widespread view of indigenous sexualities which can still be seen today. Within the photo, there is an
2 Ball observable relation between the powerful stance of the nude, female body and taking a stand to reclaim what sexual solidarity has been stolen from these people by colonial powers. Most prominently when dissecting the struggles of the indigenous people of North America, it is unavoidable to address the contextual importance of the colonization of their land starting in 1492. In Anne McClintock’s piece: “Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Context”, she displays how the portrayal of indigenous (more specifically, femaleindigenous) bodies was dictated by the British imperialists before they had even hit land in North America. As they ventured towards land, “[k]nowledge of the unknown world was mapped as a metaphysics of gender violence[...]” (McClintock, 23) by colonial powers as a means of feeling in control and satisfying their own fantasies. Built off of both the fear of the unknown and their lust for ‘exotic’ women, these portrayals served to instill depraved, cannibalistic views of these people. There is also an illustration McClintock provides in her presentation which draws

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