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twana Kwkiwlas

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BIPOC communities have felt tremendous unrest manifesting in grassroots movements such as the Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Peoples Movement. One of the biggest obstacles facing both is the militarization of the police during protests; a product of systemic oppression. As a collective, we need to stand together and find our light. If that means standing on the front lines against mace and rubber bullets, using platforms to speak up, or taking time to breathe and find our inner lights; we need to connect and help each other in a multi-facet of ways.

This short film symbolically entails the introspection of finding the light to continue, to not only survive, but also thrive. The song used, titled “Kisiskâciwanisîpiy kêyak” by Indigenous band Nêhiyawak, refers to a river flowing at the pace one walks. Átwana Kìwkiwlas (River Drum), parallels this idea. Although this motif is not extensively seen in the film, the idea of “flow” is deeply embedded. The beat of the drum – and our hearts – incite the flow within cycles; we walk, dance, sleep, breathe in cycles. The circle represents our togetherness and ties us to the land. Colonization has deeply affected how we individually and collectively connect with each other. Yet, the idea of flow within the circle – sky, medicine wheel, ceremony – has persevered, much like we have. It is our responsibility as conscious beings to shed toxic cycles and breathe life into sacred ones.

Over the course of three days; I wrote, shot and edited what you see here. 5 of the videos were from supplemental sources (militarized police, two protest videos, CC statue takedown, and the animals). The tools used in production include a DSLR camera, projector, and minimal lighting fixtures. Also the music, which inspired and tied everything together, was written and performed by the Canadian Indigenous band, Nêhiyawak.

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