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Lecture 6

Lecture 6: Identity Construction: Indigenous Media

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Communication Studies
COMM 1101
Chris Russill

Lecture 6: Identity Construction: Indigenous Media Aboriginal Identity and the Media  Understand images th  In the 19 century we saw the evolution of media technologies  Historical context, or where the images came from o When they originated, they produced political economic goals; part of a historical context o Tells you about the context of when it was created Edward Curtis  Edward Curtis (media practitioner) travelled in the West and Canada, taking pictures of Natives  Attempted to salvage  Effort by US and Canadian government to get rid of Native culture, wanted to collect culture and language, and even people themselves  Wanted to collect images of people who were “vanishing” – believed they would cease to exist  Staged images; paid models; Conceived authenticity  Motion picture film would pay actors to perform  Wanted to create what he thought the audience would think was authentic, i.e. making them wear long wigs or headdresses  Rifle and the horse aren’t native to NA  Tried to make Natives look as primitive as possible; no European/Western clothing, no watches or other Western technologies  Curtis used media that was intended for a nonnative audience, for wide distribution, i.e. magic lanterns?  Pot latch – form of salvage to show audience something edgy because it was outlawed  Ghost dance outlawed as well; Curtis tried to recreate the ceremony  His films were not documentaries by today’s standards – Nanook of the North  Tried to recreate what he thought was tradition; included a photogenic cast, didn’t want to use technologies that would look modern (e.g. spear and not rifle), many staged events (e.g. while hunting a sea lion, it was already dead)  Wanted to depict what happened when they came in contact with European people **Violence and Pacification**  Elements of authenticity; participated in the Indian Wars, wore outfits from them; actors from the Wars  Massacre in 1890,
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