When the Work Needs to Happen

Todd Houseman + Lady Vanessa Cordoba

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When the Work Needs to Happen

Todd Houseman + Lady Vanessa Cordoba

How can Indigenous relationships from distant lands reflect positive ways of creating art? Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona created the show Whiteface to address the harms caused by cultural appropriation. In September 2021, Todd and Lady Vanessa Cardona participated as storytellers in Postmarginal’s Edmonton retreat. Listen to their conversation about Whiteface above.

A masked figure moves a piece of fabric in front of them while standing. Behind them, three different masks are mounted on the wall.

Indigenous actors playing white actors playing Indigenous actors. Todd, who is a Nehiyo Mixed-Blood and indigenous to Amiskwaciy, and Lady, who is a mestiza Colombian Indigenous to Cali, drew from their shared and differing experiences to write the show. They created a decolonial process of working together and an alliance that respects each other’s people and land.

The collaborators explored multiple theatrical styles and different experiences of Indigeneity to develop Whiteface. Using explosive movement and satirical humour, they tread the timeline of appropriation of Indigenous bodies, from cowboys to Coachella, exploring concepts of identity and colonization. Through movement, mask and the subversion of the performance of Red Face, a history of social masks comes alive.

“Traditionally, Indigenous people do things when they’re supposed to happen… you start the work when the work is supposed to happen, not when you need it to happen, or when someone else needs it to happen, it’s when the work needs to happen.”

Todd Houseman is an actor, improviser, and writer. His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing Indigenous narratives through satire, commentary, and traditional and contemporary storytelling. Lady Vanessa Cardona, Caleña, Colombiana, is currently living in her homeland and as a visitor of Treaty 6 Territory, Amiskwacîwâskahikan. She is committed to honouring the treaty by learning to understand it, observing the ways in which we are not honouring it at the moment, and listening to the original people of this land on how to protect and take care of this home.

Photos

Braedyn Brosda, Marc J Chalifoux

→  Whiteface

→  Interview with Todd Houseman

When the Work Needs to Happen

When the Work Needs to Happen

Todd Houseman + Lady Vanessa Cordoba

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How can Indigenous relationships from distant lands reflect positive ways of creating art? Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona created the show Whiteface to address the harms caused by cultural appropriation. In September 2021, Todd and Lady Vanessa Cardona participated as storytellers in Postmarginal’s Edmonton retreat. Listen to their conversation about Whiteface above.

A masked figure moves a piece of fabric in front of them while standing. Behind them, three different masks are mounted on the wall.

Indigenous actors playing white actors playing Indigenous actors. Todd, who is a Nehiyo Mixed-Blood and indigenous to Amiskwaciy, and Lady, who is a mestiza Colombian Indigenous to Cali, drew from their shared and differing experiences to write the show. They created a decolonial process of working together and an alliance that respects each other’s people and land.

The collaborators explored multiple theatrical styles and different experiences of Indigeneity to develop Whiteface. Using explosive movement and satirical humour, they tread the timeline of appropriation of Indigenous bodies, from cowboys to Coachella, exploring concepts of identity and colonization. Through movement, mask and the subversion of the performance of Red Face, a history of social masks comes alive.

“Traditionally, Indigenous people do things when they’re supposed to happen… you start the work when the work is supposed to happen, not when you need it to happen, or when someone else needs it to happen, it’s when the work needs to happen.”

Todd Houseman is an actor, improviser, and writer. His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing Indigenous narratives through satire, commentary, and traditional and contemporary storytelling. Lady Vanessa Cardona, Caleña, Colombiana, is currently living in her homeland and as a visitor of Treaty 6 Territory, Amiskwacîwâskahikan. She is committed to honouring the treaty by learning to understand it, observing the ways in which we are not honouring it at the moment, and listening to the original people of this land on how to protect and take care of this home.

How can Indigenous relationships from distant lands reflect positive ways of creating art? Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona created the show Whiteface to address the harms caused by cultural appropriation. In September 2021, Todd and Lady Vanessa Cardona participated as storytellers in Postmarginal’s Edmonton retreat. Listen to their conversation about Whiteface above.

A masked figure moves a piece of fabric in front of them while standing. Behind them, three different masks are mounted on the wall.

Indigenous actors playing white actors playing Indigenous actors. Todd, who is a Nehiyo Mixed-Blood and indigenous to Amiskwaciy, and Lady, who is a mestiza Colombian Indigenous to Cali, drew from their shared and differing experiences to write the show. They created a decolonial process of working together and an alliance that respects each other’s people and land.

The collaborators explored multiple theatrical styles and different experiences of Indigeneity to develop Whiteface. Using explosive movement and satirical humour, they tread the timeline of appropriation of Indigenous bodies, from cowboys to Coachella, exploring concepts of identity and colonization. Through movement, mask and the subversion of the performance of Red Face, a history of social masks comes alive.

“Traditionally, Indigenous people do things when they’re supposed to happen… you start the work when the work is supposed to happen, not when you need it to happen, or when someone else needs it to happen, it’s when the work needs to happen.”

Todd Houseman is an actor, improviser, and writer. His work focuses on decolonization by prioritizing Indigenous narratives through satire, commentary, and traditional and contemporary storytelling. Lady Vanessa Cardona, Caleña, Colombiana, is currently living in her homeland and as a visitor of Treaty 6 Territory, Amiskwacîwâskahikan. She is committed to honouring the treaty by learning to understand it, observing the ways in which we are not honouring it at the moment, and listening to the original people of this land on how to protect and take care of this home.

Photos

Braedyn Brosda, Marc J Chalifoux

→  Whiteface

→  Interview with Todd Houseman

Ancestors
Memory
Courage
Transmission
All
Ancestors
Disruption
Vulnerability
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Curiosity
Care
Courage
Curiosity
Opening
Expansion
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Invitation
Meditation
Expansion
Memory
Courage
Curiosity
Kinetic
Expansion
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Invitation
Transmission
All
Disruption
Courage
Opening
Meditation
All
Absence
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Vulnerability
Care
Vulnerability
Invitation
Corporeal
Meditation
Disruption
Vulnerability
Impulse
Kinetic
Corporeal
Opening
Corporeal
Organic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Organic
All
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Immersion
Corporeal
All
Disruption
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Edge
Transmission
Disruption
Elusiveness
Care
Corporeal
All
Elusiveness
Impulse
Invitation
Immersion
Meditation
Elusiveness
Curiosity
Corporeal
Transmission
All
Disruption
Memory
Impulse
Curiosity
Expansion
Elusiveness
Opening
Organic
Meditation
All
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Invitation
Transmission
Elusiveness
Immersion
Expansion
All
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
All
Disruption
Invitation
Immersion
Organic
Transmission
Care
Vulnerability
Curiosity
Transmission
All
Memory
Impulse
Immersion
Transmission
All
Care
Edge
Corporeal
Expansion
All
Elusiveness
Memory
Care
Courage
Vulnerability
Ancestors
Vulnerability
Corporeal
Transmission
Expansion
Care
Courage
Invitation
Transmission
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
Corporeal
Organic
Absence
Disruption
Impulse
Edge
Kinetic
Memory
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Meditation
Kinetic
Ancestors
Courage
Disruption
Opening
All
Memory
Care
Corporeal
Meditation
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Memory
Edge
Expansion
Ancestors
Opening
Invitation
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Ancestors
Invitation
Curiosity
All
Ancestors
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Edge
Meditation
Ancestors
Care
Curiosity
Meditation
All
Absence
Disruption
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Care
Kinetic
Transmission
All
Memory
Curiosity
Kinetic
Corporeal
Meditation
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Opening
Corporeal
Absence
Memory
Invitation
Transmission
All
Disruption
Elusiveness
Courage
Edge
Expansion
Ancestors
Memory
Care
Courage
Transmission
Absence
Memory
Edge
Curiosity
Immersion
Elusiveness
Impulse
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Impulse
Opening
Organic
All
Disruption
Care
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Ancestors
Care
Impulse
All
Absence
Memory
Opening
Immersion
Meditation
Disruption
Courage
Impulse
Edge
Organic
Invitation
Curiosity
Immersion
Corporeal
Organic
Ancestors
Vulnerability
Invitation
Organic
Meditation
Ancestors
Care
Invitation
Organic
Meditation
Corporeal
Kinetic
Meditation
Transmission
All