Indigenous artist finds healing through creativity
Raven Davis uses her artistic talent to help create social awareness around issues that move her.
“I’ve started using art as a catalyst to to tap into different and important issues around gender, race, sexuality, and of course, indigenous issues here in Canada,” Davis said.
She’s a multidisciplinary artist who’s made a home in the east coast art community.
She’s currently the art and activism artist in residence at NSCAD University.
Her inspiration for her latest exhibit came when the federal government announced the launch of its inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous woman and girls.
Her news feed exploded with articles on the announcement. That’s when her focus fell to the public comments attached to them.
“I don’t usually read the comments, and this time I did and I was just… I was floored,” she said.
She says the overwhelming negativity the comments portrayed left her shaken and hurt.
“They were super violent, very racist. I was in tears. I was so shook by this, by what I read.”
She immediately felt the urge to battle the pain she was feeling, with creativity.
Shortly after, she produced a video called, “It’s Not Your Fault.”
“The movie piece that I did, I just basically cut and paste, actual verbatim, comments, that were online,” Davis said.
She says the title of her film is meant to send a powerful message to the victims and families of the murdered and missing woman.
“A lot of it was victim shaming and blaming indigenous woman for getting into these positions where violence could be perpetrated against them and it’s no one’s fault. You can’t blame the victim, we can’t continue to blame victims,” Davis said.
Davis hosted a live performance in relation to the video, where she wore a traditional jingle dress and had members of the audience attach messages of strength to it. She then danced on the Canadian Flag to represent Indigenous suffering.
“A symbolism of pain and of mourning and of struggle that this stuff is still happening,” she said.
If you would like to view the It’s Not Your Fault video, you can visit Davis’s YouTube page.