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Indigenous Sexuality: Annie Pootoogook’s Images of Inuit Erotica - Haidee Smith Lefebvre

Part of:
4:15 PM, Friday 4 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016) was the first Inuk artist credited for establishing Inuit art as contemporary and relevant. Throughout her career, some curators and journalists paid selective attention to one particular drawing that depicted intimate-partner violence (IPV). They frequently referred to it when circulating details about the artist’s life. Their fixation on personal events in Pootoogook’s life demonstrates the ongoing necessity to deepen our understanding regarding the pervasive nature of stereotypes and stereotypical thinking about young Indigenous women. This presentation interrogates curatorial and media attention paid to the artist and her work that reinforced IPV as an individual problem detached from the history of structural violence directed at Indigenous girls and young women in land now called Canada. Also, it argues that Pootoogook’s erotic drawings offer audiences a perspective that separates acts of violence directed at Indigenous girls and women from Inuit sexuality. At the same time, her erotic images contribute to a

pan-Indigenous discussion around Indigenous sexuality.

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