Pocahontas & The Virginia Indians Online Course

Class #9- Pocahontas and After

Formal Class Content

We start Class #9 with an on-line post from the Open University, which is the UK’s largest academic institution and a world pioneer in distance learning, having taught more than two million students worldwide.  Professor Graham Harvey considers how rituals have been explored in television and film, and how they relate to theatrical performances. He explores how rituals can enable indigenous groups to engage with global audiences and aid understanding between peoples, with specific attention to UK based theatre company Border Crossings and their 2017 ORIGINS Festival.  In his post Professor Harvey offers three Border Crossings videos connected to ORIGINS 2017 including Remembering Pocahontas (2nd video) which sets the stage (pun intended) for the reading portion of Class #9 course content.

As a complement to the 2017 ORIGINS Festival and involving a formal exhibition at Syon House and Park in 2018, Border Crossings created the Pocahontas and After publication (see pdf document below).  The publication begins with thoughts from Sierra Tasi Baker and Stephanie Pratt, two of the Native American participants students saw in the healing ceremony at Syon House (for more info on Syon House go to https://www.syonpark.co.uk/).  Students are asked to consider the powerful statements being made with the collection of side-by-side photographic images, as well as consider the thoughts and inspirations of the participants and scholarly observers.

Class #9 Thoughtwork (to be done after reviewing all class content)

• The Pocahontas and After publication features many side-by-side photographic expressions. Which set of images resonate most with you? Why? Does it inspire you to do your own side-by-side photographic expression?

• From Pocahontas and After: Native Americans (those Indigenous peoples who are the original inhabitants of the Americas) have had their images taken, their faces and bodies captured in paint and print, their lives and cultures imagined and represented in a number of different media since their very first encounter with Europeans. Personal rights and liberties are at the core of current conversations around the globe – what rights do you believe you have to your own image? Do you feel your rights have ever been infringed upon? How did that make you feel? What roles and responsibilities do you have towards respecting and protecting the images of others?