Mia' (Salmon)

Amanda Strong

2015, 08:00 minutes, colour, no language


A young Indigenous female street artist named Mia’ walks through the city streets painting scenes rooted in the supernatural history of her people. Lacking cultural resources and familial connection within the city, she paints these images from intuition and blood memory. She has not heard the stories from her Elders lips, but has found her own methods to re-discover them. The alleyways become her sanctuary and secret gallery, and her art comes to life. Mia’ is pulled into her own transformation via the vessel of a salmon. In the struggle to return home, she traverses through polluted waters and skies, witnessing various forms of industrial violence and imprint that have occurred upon the land.

Mia’ is a hybrid documentary using animation and sound as a vehicle to tell the story of transformation and re-connection. Indigenous people in Canada experienced displacement once commercial trade turned into settlement. Today the urban population of Native people now outnumbers those living on-reserve. Many struggle being disconnected from their land, rites, and protocol. This film is not an adaptation or a re-telling of a traditional story but is based in the circular time of, and passage of, oral history. Mia’ challenges the notions and format of conventional documentaries and presents Indigenous oral traditions as truth and not myth or legend.

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