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By Monika Siebert

modern indigenous peoples in North the US confront a special situation. whereas they're reclaiming their old prestige as sovereign countries, mainstream pop culture maintains to depict them as cultural minorities just like different ethnic americans. those depictions of indigenous peoples as “Native americans” whole the wider narrative of the United States as a safe haven to the world’s immigrants and a house to modern multicultural democracies, resembling the us and Canada. yet they essentially misrepresent indigenous peoples, whose American heritage has been no longer of immigration yet of colonization.
Monika Siebert’s Indians taking part in Indian first identifies this phenomenon as multicultural misrecognition, explains its assets in North American colonial historical past and within the political mandates of multiculturalism, and describes its outcomes for modern indigenous cultural creation. It then explores the responses of indigenous artists who make the most of the continuing renowned curiosity in local American tradition and paintings whereas providing narratives of the political histories in their countries which will face up to multicultural incorporation.
each one bankruptcy of Indians enjoying Indian showcases a special medium of up to date indigenous art—museum exhibition, cinema, electronic advantageous artwork, sculpture, multimedia deploy, and literary fiction—and explores particular rhetorical ideas artists install to prevent multicultural misrecognition and recuperate political meanings of indigeneity. The websites and artists mentioned comprise the nationwide Museum of the yankee Indian in Washington, DC; filmmakers at Inuit Isuma Productions; electronic artists/photographers Dugan Aguilar, Pamela Shields, and Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie; sculptor Jimmie Durham; and novelist LeAnne Howe.

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Extra info for Indians playing Indian : multiculturalism and contemporary indigenous art in North America

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How can a concept of an indigenous nation be articulated on the representational stage of the colonial state? What thematic and formal choices would such articulation assume? Is a viable assertion of indigenous national sovereignty possible within the framework of multiculturalism? How can the po­liti­cal meanings of indigeneity be asserted in the climate of a desire for its cultural meanings? Rickard’s answer to these questions is to focus relentlessly on the concept of indigenous sovereignty.

This archive of what I call indices of indigeneity allows the artist to bypass, to some extent, the settler signifying systems and to experiment with a utopian possibility of unfettered indigenous self-­representation, even as his astute critique of the Ameri­can rhetorical ground defined by multicultural misrecognition undermines such utopian potential of indigenous art. The last of the case studies turns to the genre typically seen, along with the museum, as paradigmatic of European modernity: the novel.

The NMAI and the Ideological Mandates of Multicultural Misrecognition It’s surprising that the critics of the NMAI overlooked the extent to which the museum accommodates multicultural misrecognition. The rhetoric accompanying the arrival of the NMAI in Wash­ing­ton and onto the Ameri­ 26 Chapter 1 can museological stage makes plain that the recognition taking place via the erection of a museum devoted to and controlled by Ameri­can Indians on the National Mall is far more complex than a straightforward return, reclamation, and reconciliation; the irony of Ameri­can Indians returning to Chesapeake Bay as “the new kid on the block” (Guide 7) is hard to miss.

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