2016 Artists: Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree from Saskatchewan and a master’s student in history at the University of Waterloo.His work centres on trauma and memory within populations of Métis and Cree in Northern Saskatchewan, and the Algonquin of Timiskaming, Ontario. Specifically, he looks at how history can be applied to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma in contemporary Indigenous populations. His work is directed towards community healing and cultural reclamation as well as retrieval of oral history archives—termed as truth-telling as defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—challenging orthodox settler histories in the narrative of Turtle Island. Jesse is also interested in how the arts—film, writing, dance, painting and illustration—can be used to as a mode of resistance, cultural revitalization, and land reclamation among Indigenous peoples.

Follow Jesse on Twitter: @michifMan

Find out more about Jesse & his work on his blog.

Join us for Unharvested Histories on Oct. 15th to view Jesse’s film, kiskisiwin – remembering, created in partnership with 2015 Staging Our Histories artist Martha Stiegman.

2016 Artists: Henry Greenspan

Henry (“Hank”) Greenspan is a psychologist, oral historian, and playwright/actor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His play, REMNANTS was originally produced for National Public Radio in the U.S. and has been presented as a one-person staged performance by Greenspan at more that three hundred venues worldwide. He has been the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

We asked Hank how REMNANTS represents Unharvested Histories: 

Rather than single “testimonies,” my work with Holocaust survivors is based on multiple interviews with the same survivors that extended over months, years, and–with a few people–even decades. Survivors (like everyone else) say different things, and in different ways, in sustained conversations that allow deepening reflection, exploration, and candor. For that reason, much of what REMNANTS presents has not been “harvested” before.

You can see more of Hank’s work at www.henrygreenspan.com