Infiltrations A Different Media Environment Exhibition


Indigenous-Led Canadian Blockades Playlist from Cinema Politica

Colonial and Indigenous Resistance on Film, curated by Cinema Politica

The programmers of Cinema Politica in Montreal, Canada had an idea:  to curate a playlist of videos that provide context to the current wave of Indigenous-led demonstrations, protests, blockades and more happening in support of the Wet’suwet’en on Canada’s West Coast. 

As Indigenous-organized blockades continue to disrupt the colonial status quo across Canada, many groups and individuals across the country are responding to the Wet’suwet’en call for action, support and solidarity.

In an effort to respond to the values and concerns of much of its contemporary audiences, corporate and mainstream media has shifted away from reporting on Mohawk “terrorists” during the Oka crisis of 1990. However, thirty years later, the Canadian news media remains a  deeply colonial franchise mandated to uphold the dominant cultural narrative.

Mainstream media framing of blockades, sit-ins, and other “illegal” actions  oscillate between “we care about the plight of Indigenous peoples” on the one hand and “radical activists are wreaking havoc” on the other.

Media framing analysis is concerned with what is omitted or excluded from the frame, as well as the composition of what is represented inside the frame.

In the case of the countrywide actions in support of the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ right to sovereignty, misrepresentations and negative stereotyping of direct action activists and Indigenous leaders constitutes only part of the problem. Beyond that frame lies the historical context of colonization, imperialism, and the formation of the liberal settler nation-state known today as Canada.

Considering the current mainstream media coverage of these actions and the larger project occurring around settler-to-settler education on Indigenous history, culture and liberation in Canada, Cinema Politica developed a handy playlist of videos.

These works fill in the blanks mainstream media leaves open. But even more, they redress many of the inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and harms they regularly serve up.

Most of these videos are free, while others require a small rental charge.