Tukisiqattautiniq Through Making Literature Together - Johnny Issaluk & Kelly Bushnell
Together,” which explores the ways in which collaborative writing can help facilitate cultural and generational understanding as well cooperation as between traditional and academic epistemologies. The workshop will yield a communally-created public poetry installation entitled “Tukisiqattautiniq” to be displayed at the conference and preserved digitally. We will begin the session by discussing how our writing partnership is an example of tukisiqattautiniq, including our current book project and our poetic practice under the name IJI / EYE. (IJI / EYE is one of the few words that is a palindrome in both Inuktitut and English. It conveys the visual nature of our practice and the ways in which we strive for balance and reflection across the homophonic iji / eye / I / aye, reinforcing our artistic commitment to looking one another in the eye and saying yes to this work of collaboration and understanding and to shouldering it together.) We will then facilitate a writing workshop which will produce contributions to the poetic installation “Tukisiqattautiniq,” though we will encourage contributions from as many attendees as possible who can send in responses via text, email, and strategically placed submission boxes. We anticipate that this will be a particularly powerful project at such an interdisciplinary conference, among attendees whose home fields span both the humanities and the sciences. From an academic perspective, though we are conscientious of ecomaterialism’s emphasis on storied matter, we believe that existing critical theory is neither equipped nor appropriate for considering Indigenous literary methodologies. Thus, this collaborative poetry workshop—like the conference itself—aims for understanding and cooperation between academic and traditional knowledge as well.