title. Offensive | Defensive 

date. 2018

city. Santa Fe New Mexico and Regina Saskatchewan

Medium & size. Performance 

Porcupine quills were used before the introduction of glass beads, dyed and embroidered onto clothing, moccasins, etc. To be used, the quills need to be soaked and flattened; In the old days, women would soak them in their mouths and pull them out through their teeth to flatten them.

 

I wanted to feel the same thing my people did years ago. I can’t speak my language, but I can fill my mouth with quills, like words I’ll never know. I hold them on my tongue, wanting to choke a little out of sadness, but not letting myself. Placing the quills in my mouth, I inhibit my ability to speak. Approaching people one by one maintaining eye contact I slowly remove a quill from my mouth and offer it to them. This intimate gesture builds a temporary connection between us. I repeat this gesture cycling through the audience, replacing the quills in my mouth as I go. Cry’in Out Loud in English is inherently colonial; with little access to my Indigenous languages, I sometimes find power in silence. 

Documentation of Offensive | Defensive at Queer City Cinema Regina Saskatchewan 2018