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Guided Walk: TOP HATS, TOBACCO AND TALL TALES
Sat 17 June 2017, 10:30 – 13:00 BST
Products from the New World and stories of encounter with “the natives” made important impacts on London's history. Yet Indigenous people themselves also came to London as captives, diplomats, entertainers, and emissaries. Their stories are harder to trace and less often told. From disturbing the peace with exotic looks to hunting in the royal parks and displaying canoeing prowess on the Thames, these visitors were sometimes the talk of the town.
Derived from a community research project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this London walk, created for ORIGINS by Prof. Helen Gilbert and Dani Phillipson of the Indigeneity Project, invites you to see famous sites from another perspective and weaves together the stories of indigenous visitors through 500 years of contact.
Educated in Canada and Australia, Helen is internationally known for her ground-breaking research in postcolonial theatre studies. These initiatives include a 5-year project examining contemporary indigenous performance in the Americas, Australia, the Pacific and South Africa, funded by the European Research Council. In 2013, she curated the international exhibition EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts in London. Her past credits with the Origins festival include hosting panels and workshops. She is now completing a new book, In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (co-edited with Dani Phillipson and Michelle Raheja), to be released in September.
A Canadian theatre artist and academic living in London, Dani’s past credits include a variety of production roles in theatre, opera, dance, film, and television. She served as assistant curator and co-designer for the exhibition, EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts and as associate producer for the 2013 Origins Festival of First Nations. Her article with Helen Gilbert, ‘Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing Life into Exhibitions and Embodying the Digital Document’, Unesco Observatory e-journal (2015), considers ways to exhibit the ‘remains’ of live performance in gallery settings and through digital platforms.