HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Alanis Obomsawin

The Children Have to Hear Another Story

12 Feb - 18 Apr 2022

Exhibition view, © Marcus Lieberenz / HKW
Exhibition view, © Marcus Lieberenz / HKW
Exhibition view, © Marcus Lieberenz / HKW
Mother of Many Children (1977), Courtesy National Film Board of Canada
Alanis Obomsawin
Sleeping During the Oka Crisis, 1990 Photo John Kenney
When All the Leaves Are Gone (2010), Film still, Courtesy National Film Board of Canada
Alanis Obomsawin performing at the Mariposa Festival, 1970. Courtesy of York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, ASC05824
Pictured / Sur l'image : Alanis Obomsawin, © Scott Stevens, Courtesy National Film Board of Canada / Office national du film du canada, All rights reserved / Tous droits réservés
Alanis Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki Nation and one of Canada’s most respected artists. This exhibition at HKW presents works from the last five decades of her activist filmmaking.

Alanis Obomsawin (b. 1932) grew up in Canada at a time when options for social and political agency were systemically foreclosed for Indigenous Peoples. Despite this, she has managed to consistently access public platforms to advance Indigenous concerns and give voice to her peoples. Since the 1970s, she has created a model of Indigenous cinema that is deeply committed to social justice and the collective issue of ecology. Her work challenges the core assumptions of the world system determined by colonialism. This exhibition and accompanying book contribute to the current discourse in Europe on histories of representation. Bringing together a vivid selection of films, prints and music, The Children Have to Hear Another Story reflects on Obomsawin’s lifework of documentary filmmaking, storytelling and listening.

A public program of tours, talks and film screenings with the artist and invited guests will take place in early April.

Alanis Obomsawin: Lifework
Edited by Richard William Hill, Hila Peleg and HKW
Prestel, 2022
In English
Hardcover, 272 pages, 25 x 31 cm, 250 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7923-4
Available from February 8, 2022 at Prestel
Price: 49€
Available from February 12, 2022 at the HKW at a price of 36€.

Alanis Obomsawin is an activist filmmaker and producer at the National Film Board of Canada, where she has worked since 1967. Her documentary cinema is deeply committed to the social justice of Indigenous Peoples, especially the rights of children. This book reflects on Obomsawin’s lifework by bringing together rigorous essayistic investigations with personal anecdote, conversation and storytelling. It includes an interview with the artist, her own writing and etchings, archival material and an array of film stills and photographs.

Authors include Karrmen Crey, Richard Fung, Monika Kin Gagnon, Richard William Hill, Jessica L. Horton, Ursula Johnson, Alexandra Juhasz, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Doreen Manuel, Joseph Naytowhow, Monique Nolett-Ille, Alanis Obomsawin, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Jason Ryle, Lisa Steele, Loretta Todd, Robert Verrall and Jesse Wente

The Children Have to Hear Another Story – Alanis Obomsawin is made possible by a partnership between Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Art Museum at the University of Toronto and Vancouver Art Gallery, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada and through the generous support of Canada Council for the Arts, Embassy of Canada, Berlin and CBC/Radio-Canada.

Part of The New Alphabet (2019–22) supported by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Federal Foreign Office.