The James Bay Project
In this essay Arnd Schneider revisits the "James Bay Project", a collaboration between artist Rainer Wittenborn and writer Claus Biegert with the Cree First Nation of Northern Québec, Canada.
Open access (click on the images and they come up large in a gallery, 39 total)
Cree Elders identifying plants for Rainer Wittenborn; Geordie Georgekish on the right. Photo: Claus Biegert.
In 1979/1980 visual artist Rainer Wittenborn and writer Claus Biegert visited the Cree First Nation of the James Bay area / Eeyou Istchee for five months. The James Bay area was threatened by huge hydrolectric plants which eventually flooded large parts of Cree territory.
The essay, written for this year's Contemporary Native Art Biennal (BACA), Montréal explores the contemporary relevance of this artistic research collaboration with a First Nation community, which was exemplary in terms of political advocacy and its committed ethical stance, and also somewhat anticipated anthropology's critique of representation in the 1980s.