untitled part 4: terra incognita

Jayce Salloum

2005, 37:30 minutes


terra incognita focuses on fragments of histories, of pre-contact, contact, and settlement of the Kelowna area though the accounts of several nSyilxcen (Okanagan) speakers. It traces connections and correlations between the periods of extermination/disintegration, assimilation, and marginalization to their present day and context of being First Nations. Sites of social and historical significance are encountered juxtaposed with the current realities of the area's 'landscape'. An experiential videotape that lends itself not to a comprehensive survey, but a sifting through the layers of time and present, an inconclusive yet incisive speculation, a history lived and survived. Through various generations of accounts, the familiar and historical read the existing with the disappeared, just past the surface, digging into our (not unproblematic) relationship with the complexities of the past, our presence here, and that of the original inhabitants of this place.

We can come closer to recognizing the terms of our histor(ies) and viewing them with an alternate vision.. challenging our perceptions in a critical manner of recounting steeped in generational ephemeralities, materiality, and social relations. This endeavour is not with the aim of reconciliation (which is impossible within one project or lifetime), but with the objective of taking into consideration, legacies of contact, settlement, colonization, and capital, and t
he contested and conflicted notions of home/land, nation, assimilation, native and other in an attempt to challenge our realities and in doing so, reclaim and reconstruct an agency (for all viewers and subjects), that is complex and self determining.

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