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Sovereign Futures in Neshnabé Speculative Fiction

Authors
  • TOPASH-CALDWELL, BLAIRE1
  • 1 Michigan State University, United States , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Borderlands
Publisher
Exeley Inc.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
19
Issue
2
Pages
29–62
Identifiers
DOI: 10.21307/borderlands-2020-009
Source
Exeley
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Film has been the primary way dominant society has consumed inaccurate and problematic symbols, images, and stereotypes of Native peoples for over one hundred years. Indigenous-made films, on the other hand, reclaim Indigenous representational space or ‘visual sovereignty’ through narratives of Indigenous experience that highlight culturally relevant stories and contemporary issues they face. In particular, Indigenous-made speculative fiction inspires contemplations of Indigenous agency in alternative realities. Indigenous futurisms expressed in works of speculative fiction is a rejection of theoretical, institutional, and political projects that imagined Indigenous peoples in the past and excluded them from the future. Through a survey of Neshnabé speculative fiction and other art, this article argues that Indigenous futurisms constitute creative approaches to sovereignty in a multiplicity of potential futures and is an analytical framework that illuminates the ever-expanding contours of Indigenous sovereignty in order to imagine an otherwise to present and past circumstances of Indigenous existence.

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