Alive with Breath exhibit at NU

Nipissing University is proud to welcome artist Jules Koostachin to campus for an exhibition titled Alive with Breath on January 30, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Treaty Learning Centre in the Harris learning Library. Koostachin will give an Artist Talk at noon.Alive with Breath is an empowering multi-media installation celebrating the lives of Mushkegowuk (Cree) Elders before they were sent to residential schools.

The childhood tale of Rita Okimawininew (Jules’ mother) is among five stories explored in the installation. Rather than defining Elders by the traumas of their lives, Alive with Breath honours early childhood experiences that breathe life into complex, three dimensional people and their relationships with family, land and Spirit.

Elders showcased in the installation hail from the town of Moosonee, Ontario, chosen because it is the home of Jules’ extended family and where she grew up.

Photographs, audio recordings, video clips and symbolic personal items will comprise the exhibit.

Participants visiting the installation will get to know each survivor by listening to stories (through headphones) and observing as they move through the gallery space at their own pace.

Jules Koostachin was born in Moose Factory and raised by her Cree speaking grandparents for part of her childhood in Moosonee. She is Cree from Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario. She completed her MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University in 2010 with an Award of Distinction and a Gold Medal for Academic achievement. She has a number of published works, four produced short films, and two feature length screenplays. Koostachin was a recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Award for developing one of her screenplays, which recently won for the Best Fresh Voice at the Female Eye Film Festival. Since childhood, her passion has always been writing and continues to be so today. She currently lives with her partner and four sons in Toronto.

Alive With Breath’s Artistic Team also includes: Summer Faith Garcia, Photographer Gail Maurice, Videographer Rick Miller, Technical Adviser/Audio Editor

Alive with Breath is presented by Nipissing’s Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and the Common Book Common Ground program.

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