Read Celeste Pedri, PhD student's recent article in "Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society"

Celeste Pedri-Spade


This article presents Nametoo, a collection of photographic artworks that I completed with my family in a place called Gawaabaasheeung. Nametoo confronts the erasure of Anishinabeg from their territorial lands located outside the Indian Act by inscribing our presence on these lands now occupied predominantly by settler Canadians. By drawing on my Anishinabekwe understanding of art, aesthetic, and ways of knowing and situating my work in a history of Indigenous photography, I bring photography out of a Eurocentric paradigm that employs a realist approach to embrace the relational and evocative aspects of photography. I contribute a decolonial aesthetic that is process based and emerges out of relationships with self, others, materials/tools, and the lands in which we are situated. It is a strategic aesthetic that both contributes to my family’s decolonial journey through strengthening intergenerational ties, reclaiming history, and regenerating a sense of belonging and identity, and provides a powerful counter-narrative to disrupt colonial histories while engaging viewers in critical reflection of their role in our continued displacement and abuse of our lands. Nametoo articulates visual sovereignty by visualizing our stories and their connection to the land. This work offers useful insight to Indigenous Peoples struggling to reassert their sovereignty within contested territories.