My Canadian studies class recently watched Women in the Shadows, a documentary by feminist filmmaker and professor, Christine Welsh. Not long after we had watched her film Welsh agreed to visit our class for a question and answer period. Below I’ve included a little of what I learned from her film and her visit.
Norbert Welsh’s oral history was recorded by Mary Weekes.
In an article detailing her documentary experience, Welsh explains that her interest had been sparked when her mother recovered a copy of The Last Buffalo Hunter, an oral history by her great grandfather, Norbert Welsh. In the film, however, Welsh attempts to recover more information about her great grandmothers, figures who were much harder to trace.
Along her search, Welsh discovers the name of her great grandmother, Margaret Taylor, and Margaret’s mother, Jane. Welsh surmises that Jane was most likely Cree. Jane’s union with George Taylor meant that Margaret was one of the first generations of Metis women. While documentation about women was lacking during early colonization, Welsh was able to uncover some details about her foremothers because of Margaret Taylor’s connection to Hudson’s Bay Company Governor George Simpson.
In the early period of Canadian colonization, Hudson’s Bay employees often took “country wives”. These women, of First Nations or Metis heritage, would create family ties between the explorers and the local community and were often the reason their husbands survived their first few Canadian winters. In Women in the Shadows, Welsh discovers that Taylor had been Simpson’s “country wife” for many years, only to be cast aside by Simpson when he returned from a trip to England with a new white wife.
Frances Geddes Simpson
Posted in Canada, feminism, film, history
Tagged autobiography, Canada, Canadian History, children, Christine Welsh, colonial, colonization, country, country wives, Culture, Daughters of the Country, discrimination, documentary, European, Finding Dawn, first nations, George Simpson, graveyard, Hudson's Bay Company, Ikwe, immigration, indigenous, Jane, Margaret Taylor, Metis, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, myth, Norbert Welsh, oral history, racist, storytelling, The Last Buffalo Hunter, Violence, white, Women in the Shadows
I rarely double up on posts during the week, and I just wrote a pretty great review of this month’s issue of Ms. Marvel [if I do say so myself], but I felt the need to spotlight a little something called The Whiteness Project and field a few more opinions from you about the entire thing-
I chose to feature the same guy The Guardian did, because how could I not?
The Whiteness Project is, to let their About page speak for itself:
“a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as ‘white’ experience their ethnicity.”
This investigation is carried out through interviews with White Americans, some of whom you can see in the image up above. Speaking to the camera, and consequently us [due to their use of the Interrotron camera technique], these men and women share how they relate to and understand their ethnicity and what it means in today’s United States. Continue reading
Posted in America, internet, interview, race
Tagged Affirmative action, America, discrimination, documentary, ethnicity, internet, interview, PBS, race, racism, reparations, slavery, tattooed, tattoos, white, Whiteness Project, Whitney Dow
This week was the one year anniversary of the Bangladesh tragedy. According to CBC News:
“More than 1,100 workers died and about 2,500 were injured on April 24, 2013, when the dangerously built eight-storey Dhaka-area building collapsed, the worst garment industry accident in history.”
This past Thursday, thousands of protestors returned to the site:
“The demonstrators – who included injured survivors and the families of the deceased – marched to the ruins of the nine-storey building carrying flowers and chanting slogans including “We want compensation!” and “Death to Sohel Rana!”, the owner of the building.”
Posted in Asia, money, morality, politics
Tagged American Government, Bangladesh factory, Canadian Government, Canadian Mines in Latin America, clothing, companies, compensation, death, documentary, fair trade, fashion, government, Hanes, injustice, local, manipulation, mining, Naomi Klein, No Logo, outsourcing, petition, protestors, Rana Plaza, second-hand, The Corporation, tragedy, Wikileaks
So I watched this documentary last night:
Before watching Cool It I expected it to be just like Expelled, which, in my opinion, had a very strong right wing agenda. I don’t want to imply that everything “right-wing” is innately propaganda, or that the left isn’t just as capable of creating its own propaganda, but I disliked Expelled‘s attempt to undermine evolution by framing all creationists as victims. So I wasn’t really watching this film with much of an open mind, but by the end was actually impressed. Just a heads up, from this point on there are spoilers galore. Continue reading
Posted in environmentalism, film, review, science
Tagged agenda, algae, Annie Leonard, biofuel, Bjorn Lomborg, cap and trade, climate change, Cool It, debate, developing world, documentary, Economics, environmentalism, fossil fuels, geo-engineering, Global Warming, Green solutions, Kyoto, politics, pollution, solar power, Story of Stuff, wave power, wind power
Last year around this time I wrote a scathing article for my school paper about Seth Macfarlane’s attempt at hosting the Oscars in which I primarily focused on how his “We Saw Your Boobs” song basically undermined any hope for women to be taken seriously in Hollywood. In light of that I felt like this year I should balance out my review of the Oscars and acknowledge some of the good things they did this time around. Continue reading
Posted in celebrity, Fame Day, feminism, film, race
Tagged #selfie, 12 years a slave, albinism, awards, best supporting actress, black, Catching Fire, Cate Blanchett, documentary, Ellen Degeneres, feminism, Gravity, host, Jennifer Lawrence, Kenya, Lupita Nyong'o, Mexico, Oscars, pizza at the oscars, representation, Sandra Bullock, selfie that broke twitter, sexism, winner, women in Hollywood