WHERE AM I? Exhibition

Welcome to WHERE AM I?, a digital exhibition curated on the unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

As WHERE AM I? is experienced from different online locations, it awakens new perspectives and ways of engaging with our identities and the places where we live. This digital exhibition invites us to ground ourselves on the lands where we are learning on by practicing respect for and relationship with our host nations.

Where am I? is written in yellow, framed with blue.

Curator: Alyssa Martens

Designer:  Kay Slater

The projects featured in this exhibition took place in various locations across colonial British Columbia and were made possible through ArtStarts in Schools’ Artists in the Classroom program and support from BC Gaming.

NOTE: To translate the text on this webpage into a different language, navigate to Google Translate. Choose the language you would like to translate to and from, and enter this page’s URL, artstarts.com/where-am-i-exhibition, into the text box. Tap the URL that appears and launch it to access a translated version of this webpage.

[Image description: An illustration of four smartphones with speech bubbles hovering over them. One has an exclamation mark, another has a tilde symbol, the third has a wifi symbol, and the last has an asterisk.]

Before you begin

1. Get outside! Take a smartphone or tablet to a park, backyard, school ground, or find a spot near a window. If you’re leaving home by yourself, make sure you have permission from an adult to do so.

2. Connect to the internet! . You will need to use wifi or cellular data, so make sure the place you choose has a good network connection.

3. Gather materials! To do the activity “Let’s… MAP SOUNDS! (Part 2),” you will need paper and mark-making tools (pens, pencils, or colouring markers).

[Image description: An illustration of a tall mountain range in blue hues. In front of the mountains, is a forest of evergreen trees. The sky above is blue, and the sun is peeking from behind the mountain range.]

Let’s… GET SITUATED!

So, where are you joining from?

What is the name of this place?
Where did you come from to arrive here?
What languages are spoken here?

Who takes care of this place?
How does this place take care of us?
How can we show respect for this place?

What lands have you travelled to in the past year?
Do you know the names of those lands?
What did you learn from visiting those places?
[Image description: An illustration of two Black hands coming together in L-shapes to make a square. The hands frame a brown person with an orange shirt, sitting and posing in a wheelchair.]

Let’s… MOVE OUR BODIES! (Part 1)

Make a viewfinder with your hands (see image above for an example of how to make a hand frame). Look at the space around you through your viewfinder. Move up and down, right and left, close up and far away.

What colours and shapes do you see? What is close by and what is far away? What takes up the most or the least space?

If you are with someone, ask them to make a viewfinder with their hands and to watch you through it. Strike a pose from the other side. Move around and try different poses.

When you’ve finished exploring, switch roles with your partner.

What did you notice as you were moving?
Did you see something from a new angle or perspective?

This activity is based on interdisciplinary choreographer Isabelle Kirouac and mycologist Willoughby Arevalo’s project “Dancing with the Interweaving of Nature,” pursued with students from the Partners in Education Program (PIE) on the lands of the Tla'amin Nation.
[Image description: An illustration of two kids balancing a stick between the palms of their hands. One child, who is brown with short blonde hair and wearing a blue mask, balances the stick in the centre of their right hand turned sideways. The other child, who is white with short brown hair and using a cochlear implant, balances the stick in their right palm turned upward.]

Let’s… MOVE OUR BODIES! (Part 2)

Now, find a stick and pick it up. How does it feel? Is it heavy or light?

Can you balance it on your head? On your shoulder? On your back? Move the stick under and over different body parts.

If you are with a partner, balance the stick in between the palms of your hands (see image above for an example). One of you will guide where you go,the other will follow. The guide will move gently into the space, moving up and down, backwards and forwards. The other will follow, making sure not to drop the stick. Then, switch roles.

Once you’ve both had a turn, try moving with the stick as your leader. Where do you end up?

After your exploration, return the stick to where you found it.

What did you learn from leading? What did you learn from following?

This activity is based on interdisciplinary choreographer Isabelle Kirouac and mycologist Willoughby Arevalo’s project “Dancing with the Interweaving of Nature,” pursued with students from the Partners in Education Program (PIE) on the lands of the ɬəʔamɛn (Tla'amin) Nation.
[Image description: An illustration of an older adult sitting in an armchair. They are Black with dark hair and wearing a purple sweater. They are being filmed by a young person with red hair, holding a film camera.]

Let’s… TELL STORIES! (Part 1)

As we grow older, stories shape who we become and how we choose to contribute to the world.

Click here to learn how Elders and seniors have contributed to their communities, as captured by students from Winlaw Elementary School. To watch a video, press the ‘play’ sign on one of the three videos that appear on your screen.

These videos are from film artist Brian Lye’s project “Community Citizenship Video Project,” pursued with students from Winlaw Elementary School on the lands of the snʕickstx tmxʷúlaʔxʷ (Sinixt) Nation.
[Image description: An illustration of an Asian person with dark brown hair, wearing a bright pink shirt. They are putting their ear toward a large blue box, listening.

Let’s… TELL STORIES! (Part 2)

Oral stories are one of the primary ways that Indigenous Elders pass down knowledge to younger audiences. Each time a story is told, it takes on a different meaning for those who listen.

What stood out to you from the stories of the Elders and seniors?

Now, it’s your turn! Invite a family member or friend to exchange a story with you, whether over the phone, by text, or in person.

Ask each other: What do you love about the place where you live? How would you like to take care of your community, now and in the future?
[Image description: An illustration of an orange and green salmon swimming across a blue background.]

Let’s… MAP SOUNDS! (Part 1)

You may have noticed this place has a unique melody made by different sounds and vibrations–some loud, some quiet, some short, some long.

What sounds and vibrations surround you?

Students from c̓əsqənelə Elementary School created songs with musician Laura Koch and q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie) community leaders and learned first-hand how music can connect people with their environments.

Click here to listen to their song, “Swim to the Sea.” To watch the video in fullscreen, press the ‘play’ sign.

What did you learn about their community by listening to this song?
[Image description: An illustration of a sound map, which includes several sketches surrounding a smiley face in the centre of a page with the word “me” beneath it. One image is of a person biking and ringing their bell. A second is of a waterfall with arrows pointing outward that represent how the sound of the water travels. The third is a picture of two people talking with arrows that point outward to where their voices travel. The last image is of a ladybug, crawling quietly toward the person listening.]

Let’s… MAP SOUNDS! (Part 2)

Now, it’s your turn! Collect a piece of paper and a mark-making tool, and find a spot to stand or sit. Draw yourself on your paper. Tune in to the noises around you, taking notes as you listen.

Where are the noises coming from? How close or far is each sound? What sounds do you like, or not like?

You can use the image above as an example of how you can add information to your sound map as you listen to and collect sounds.

What people, plants, animals, and things make noises in this space?
What music does this place make?
[Image description: An illustration of a two Black hands holding up a smartphone toward a green background, as if taking a picture.]

Share your experience with us!

We would love to learn about what places you joined from and what you enjoyed most from your experience of WHERE AM I?

To capture your journey:

1. Use our photo filter (Note: this photo filter works best with a phone camera).
2. Tag @artstarts on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter
3. Use the hashtag #WhereAmIExhibition
[Image description: An illustration of red stage curtains with three rows of audience seating facing them. The background is black, as if the surrounding lights are turned off.]

Let’s… HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT!

If you’d like to enjoy more content, ask your family, friends, neighbours, or caretakers to join you in watching some of our most exciting video projects of the year!

Here’s what’s on our ArtStarts Watchlist:

Puppets Personified: How the Turtle got his Tail
A re-telling of the Sinixt story How the Turtle Got his Tail, as told by Sinixt elder Marilyn James. Performed with puppets by the kindergarten and grade one students of Winlaw Elementary School.

Puppets Personified: How Coyote Made the Black Moss Food
A re-telling of the Sinixt story about how Coyote made black moss edible, as told by elder Marilyn James. Performed with puppets by the grade one and two students of Winlaw Elementary School.

Puppets Personified: How the Huckleberry Came to Kettle Falls
A re-telling of the Sinixt story about how huckleberries came to grow in the Kettle Falls area, as told by elder Marilyn James. Performed with puppets by the grade two and three students of Winlaw Elementary School.

Puppets Personified: Frog Mountain
A re-telling of the Sinixt story about how frogs guided the Sinixt people through a time of terrible drought, as told by elder Marilyn James. Performed with puppets by the grade three and four students of Winlaw Elementary School.

Puppets Personified: Takwiya
A puppet play about the Sinixt story of Takwiya, a monstrous woman who steals children, as told by elder Marilyn James. Performed by the grade five and six students of Winlaw Elementary School.

Persy’s Phone: An Audio Play
Senior Theatre Company presents the original audio play Persy's Phone, written by Seamus Fera. Taking place around the Commercial Drive neighborhood in Vancouver, Persy's Phone is a contemporary adaptation of the Greek myth of Persephone in the underworld.

Four Indigenous Puppet Plays for Children
Performances of New Shoes for Sasq’ets, Sequoia (Cedar), The Three Little Sasq’ets, and The Three Fishermen, a Seal and Three Salmon by Kwantlen storyteller Joseph Dandurand. Performed with puppets by the 9-12 Drama class of Burnsview Secondary School, with an introduction by Dandurand.

The Most Happy Sad Thing in the World
A site-specific, devised theatre piece by the 10-12 Drama class of Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School that reflects on feelings of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Átl’ḵa7tsem
A documentary exploring the cultural significance of Átl’ḵa7tsem (Howe Sound), where the Squamish people originated. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

Disaster: In Plain Sight
A documentary on the Garibaldi barrier and the threats posed to communities surrounding Squamish if it collapses. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

Herring: The Heart of Squamish
A documentary on the return of herring populations to Átl’ḵa7tsem (Howe Sound) and their ecological significance. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

Hexactinellida: The Hidden Reef
Long thought to be extinct, this documentary details the discovery of glass sponge reefs on the seafloor of Átl’ḵa7tsem (Howe Sound) and the importance of ensuring their protection. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

There and Back: A Whale’s Tale
A documentary on the return of humpback whales to areas in the Strait of Georgia and Átl’ḵa7tsem (Howe Sound), and the human activities which continue to threaten these animals. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

Woodfibre: A Community Divided
A documentary exploring different perspectives from the Squamish community on the proposed building of a liquified natural gas (LNG) facility in Woodfibre, BC. Created by the students of St’a7mes School - Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions, and co-produced by The Cinematheque.

Where am I? is written in yellow, framed with blue.