Dispossessed but Defiant

Indigenous Struggles from Around the World

An international photo exposition

The CJPME Foundation is thrilled to provide Dispossessed, but Defiant, an international photo exhibition. Composed of over 120 photos, the exhibition examines different aspects of indigenous peoples’ experiences of dispossession, and their inspiring struggles to resist these processes.  The initial version of the exhibition touches on the experiences of four different peoples: Blacks under Apartheid South Africa, the Palestinians, the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, and the Tamils.  For groups interested in hosting the exhibition, please see below.

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Indigenous Struggles from Around the World

DBD-OpeningPanel.pngThe struggles of indigenous peoples for human rights, respect and recognition can last generations. Although each indigenous people is unique, the struggles that indigenous peoples around the world have faced follow many common themes. Among these themes are loss of land; expulsion from traditional lands; military occupation; destruction of homes and communities; restrictions on movement and residency; detention and imprisonment; cultural dispossession; discriminatory educational policies; pressures to assimilate; barriers to integration; and criminalization of peaceful resistance.

We hope that the compelling images in this exhibition will open Canadians’ eyes to the agony of dispossession, and to the resilience of indigenous peoples in the face of oppression. The images in this exhibition are powerful, and may cause serious reflection for many. The CJPME Foundation offers this exhibition with the conviction that art can awaken awareness of our common humanity, and enable us to envision a brighter future despite the bleakness of the past.

The CJPME Foundation has developed this photo exhibition in consultation with academic experts in each of the subject areas of the exhibition. We acknowledge the vital support and collaboration of Professor Emeritus John S. Saul (York University), Dr.Marie Battiste (University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. James Reilly (University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations) for their insights, suggestions and edits.

Special thanks also to:
- University of the Western Cape – Robben Island Mayibuye Archives
- University of Cape Town Libraries
- Museum Africa
- National Library of South Africa
- The many South African photographers whose work is featured in this exhibition
- Elias Sanbar, for providing access to his collection of photos of historic Palestine
- Walid Khalidi, and the Institute for Palestine Studies for access to their photo archives
- ActiveStills, for their courageous photography in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
- The many Canadian Aboriginal individuals and groups who helped the Foundation track down sources of photos
- The Presbyterian Church of Canada, which has owned up to its part in Canada’s residential school tragedy and has provided photos for the exhibition
- Archivists and librarians in various institutions in Canada, South Africa, Beirut and Washington whose diligent work enabled this exhibition.

Opportunities to Host the Dispossessed but Defiant Exhibition

The CJPME Foundation invites partners to join it in touring this exhibition.  The CJPME Foundation believes that the compelling images in this exhibition open Canadians’ eyes to the agony of dispossession, and to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression.

The CJPME Foundation is looking for partners who have the interest and capacity to help host the exhibition locally in their communities.  The Exhibition comes with marketing materials, explanatory resources, and even a speaking guide. The exhibition has received highly positive reviews, and is appropriate for many different types of venues and audiences: schools, community centres, libraries, faith-based institutions, etc.  Click here for a sample introductory brochure.

Please send the CJPME Foundation an email at info@cjpmefoundation.org to indicate your interest, and to take the first step in bringing the exhibition to your community.  The CJPME Foundation will then work closely with you to determine next steps.

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