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September 12 Research Night with Kristin Dowell

Published August 30, 2018


FAR is excited to host the first Research Night of the 2018/2019 year on Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00 at the Facility for Arts Research, 3216 Sessions Rd, Tallahassee.

We have the honor of presenting with Dr. Kristin L. Dowell, Associate Professor of Contemporary Native American Art, Film and Visual Culture from the FSU Department of Art History.

The title of the Kristin’s Talk is Decolonizing Animation: The Inventive Stop-Motion Films of Amanda Strong.


Come learn about the experimental stop-motion animated films of award-winning Indigenous filmmaker Amanda Strong who decolonizes the screen by adapting traditional stories from her Cree, Anishinaabe and Métis cultural heritage. In this talk I focus on Strong’s most recent film Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), in which the main characters—gender fluid Biidaaban and ancient Sabe (Sasquatch)—reclaim their traditional territory from the constraints of suburban development by stealthily tapping old-growth maple trees for sugaring, a sacred Anishinaabe ceremonial practice. I will highlight the innovative ways in which Strong’s art practice straddles the material and the digital as she exhibits the puppets, sets and props as art installations in museums and galleries, in addition to screening her completed films.  Attention will also be given to how the materiality, labor, and hand craft of her three-dimensional objects draws on long-standing Indigenous women’s traditional arts such as beadwork, basket weaving, or tufting.

View the Biidaaban trailer here.

Kristin Dowell Biography

Kristin Dowell is an Associate Professor of Art History at Florida State University. She is a visual anthropologist who has worked as a film curator at several Native film festivals, and is the author of Sovereign Screens: Aboriginal Media on the Canadian West Coast (2013). Her articles have appeared in the journals American Anthropologist, Cultural Anthropology, Studies in American Indian Literatures (SAIL), and in edited volumes, including Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas, winner of the 2015 Canada Prize in the Humanities. Her current research explores the digital media practices of Indigenous women artists and filmmakers in Canada, analyzing how they re-define film genres, such as stop-motion animation and experimental documentary, to recuperate Indigenous family histories, ancestral knowledge and cultural memory.