Reversing the Colonial Lens: Indigenous Humor as Resistance

Ximena Cordova's picture

Join us for Prof. Michael Ogden's Disscussion of Native American Humor and Cinema, organised by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University (UAE).

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny (M. Sandiford & Z. Nungak 2006, 52min, NFB)
Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew (D.H. Taylor 2000, 54min, NFB)

From coyote (itsaya'ya) stories to the Heyókȟ a (contrarian) "sacred clowns" of the US Plains and the Southwest, Indigenous humor and satire can produce "belly laughs" or come with barbs and sharp teeth.

In this talk, we will explore how Indigenous humor pushes back against oppression and has been used by Indigenous filmmakers and actors to reclaim Indigenous identity, wipe the "war paint" off the colonial lens, and turn the camera back on the dominant culture —Oh, and have a good laugh in the process! Please register below and you will get free links to both films.

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny is a “Mocumentary”written from the Inuit perspective on the oddities of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). A mix of satire, comedy and indigenous facts on everything from why white people are obsessed with owning things to their odd dating habits.

Take a tour of complex issues like Native identity, politics and racism, wrap them neatly inside one-liners, guffaws, and comedic performances, and you have Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew. This movie overturns the conventional notion of the stoic Indian and shines a light on an overlooked element of Native culture—humor and its healing powers.

Watch the movies now and join the discussion on May 5 @ 9.30 pm (Dubai time)

To register and join the Zoom meeting:

michael r. ogden (Nez Perce-Salish) is a mixed-heritage Indigenous teacher, scholar and storyteller living and working between cultures. A filmmaker and critic focused on the politics of identity and representation, michael grew-up hunting in the mountains and fishing the rivers of the US Pacific Northwest, his people's ancestral homelands dating back over 14,000 years. Humor has been a big part of his culture since forever!

Please register using the link and you will get free links to both films.