GVSU Arts Celebration features artist who explores past and future Indigenous narratives

The next installment of the GVSU Arts Celebration will be a three-day series of events with an artist and filmmaker whose work is described as being "rooted in Indigenous narratives that look forward to new and reimagined Indigenous futures."

Adam Khalil, a member of the Ojibwe tribe who is from Sault Ste. Marie, will be featured in the series of events named "Segaajigewin." The series, which runs from February 20-22, will offer multiple opportunities to interact both with Khalil and his art. All events are free and open to the public.

Khalil's work has been exhibited in institutions that include the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Lincoln Center and Museum of Contemporary Arts Detroit.

"With the series of events 'Segaajigewin,' we hope to create opportunities for the community to engage and consider Indigenous cosmologies and to imagine new ways of living together in this place," said Paul Wittenbraker, professor and chair of the Visual and Media Studies Department. "Adam's work introduces dynamic ideas and forms that point to new relational realities."

A person grins while holding a microphone.
Adam Khalil will be featured in multiple events over a three-day visit that starts with the GVSU Arts Celebration lecture.
Image credit - Courtesy photo

The visit kicks off with the GVSU Arts Celebration lecture from Khalil, "How to Commit Crimes Against Reality," at the Wealthy Theatre, where Khalil will share his multidisciplinary work in the visual arts.

In a podcast interview with Padnos Artist-in-Residence Sean J Patrick Carney, Khalil talked about the theme of his lecture and a taste of what he intends to present.

"With the absurdity of the reality we're in, it kind of demands or calls for crimes against it," Khalil said, "and ways to invoke critical fabulation to arrive at a world that we actually want to be living in."

The remainder of the events during Khalil's visit will include a screening of several of his films as well as multiple discussions.

One of those discussions about films on Tuesday is hosted by the Native American Student Association. The event will include "a screening of several of Adam Khalil's films that pry open the construction of contemporary Indigenous identity." The event is also part of the Native American Heritage Celebration.

The president of NASA, Jacob Klanke, who was also part of the curatorial team that worked on bringing Khalil to the GVSU Arts Celebration. Klanke said, "'Segaajigewin' presents an opportunity for the GVSU community to experience Native issues from a Native perspective."

Klanke, an anthropology major, added: "For over 500 years, Indigenous stories have primarily been told from a singular settler viewpoint, ignoring what it truly means to be Indigenous in 'America.' Adam's work questions normative attitudes toward people's understanding of identity and history rooted in traditional narratives, looking toward a new and reimagined Indigenous future."


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