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Conferences & lectures

Decolonization strategies in film and journalism

Date & time
Friday, March 25, 2022
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Registration is closed


Miranda Crowdus and Aphrodite Salas


This event is free and open to the public


Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability, and 4th Space


Rebecca Tittler



This panel will feature two presentations, one by Professor Miranda Crowdus and the other, by Professor Aphrodite Salas.

"Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt": Western art music in the soundtracks of the films of Lisa Jackson

In this talk, Miranda Crowdus addresses Indigenous film-maker, Lisa Jackson’s, skillful and strategic integration of selections of Western Art Music from the Early and Late Classical period in the soundtracks of her recent films.  This strategy draws attention to unique indigenous perspectives on economic and cultural sustainability, as well as to the threat posed to indigenous continuity by colonialist legacies, past and present. In Jackson’s films,  the excerpts from Western Art Music comprising the musical score “takes over” the narrative; their sound is pleasant, but unseen, insidious and triumphant, ultimately a duplicitous and malevolent dominating force. In my view, the selections from Western Art Music function as a metaphor for the unseen, insidious and ever-present forces of colonialism that control the negative behaviors and lives of the indigenous protagonists in the film narrative.  This metaphor functions on both macro (formal and performative) and micro (melodic and chordal) levels.  Jackson’s soundtracks draw attention to contemporary audience’s de-sensitization to the use of sonic repertoires in popular cinema and to the normalization of the congruence of sound and musical material and film narrative. Jackson’s adaptation of the musical material suggests that in order to shed colonialist legacies, we must also interrogate their often physically heard, but cognitively and critically unremarked, accompanying soundtracks.

Miranda Crowdus is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religions and Cultures at Concordia University.

Highlighting climate leadership: Exploring constructive journalism in partnership with Indigenous communities

“Documenting Indigenous Clean Energy Initiatives Through Mobile Journalism: Employing Conciliatory Innovative Practices" is a research-creation project centred in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University. Assistant Professor Aphrodite Salas will share how the project aims to create strong journalism in the form of three short documentaries and a multimedia web portal featuring the Heiltsuk First Nation in British Columbia, the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse in Saskatchewan, and the northern Quebec Inuit community of Inukjuak as each takes broad-based and long-term action towards a clean energy future. The three year project uses mobile journalism tools and techniques to gather filmed interviews and observational sequences with community leaders, members and activists to highlight the solutions that are being created and implemented in each place. Student journalists play a key role in the preparation and production of the documentaries and multimedia portals. Research partners include Indigenous Clean Energy, Journalists for Human Rights and CTV Montreal.

By conducting the research-creation using conciliatory journalism techniques, this project further explores the role non-Indigenous journalists have in the process of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and the media in Canada. At the root of this project is the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) which outlined 94 calls to action meant to advance the process of reconciliation, including an entire section on the role of media and journalism. In particular, Call to Action 86 calls upon journalism schools to include mandatory instruction on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations (TRC, Calls to Action, 2015). This proposed research answers this call through the training of students, development of best practices and multimedia stories that will be available to journalism schools and the public.

Travel to Inukjuak, Quebec took place in November 2021 and the documentary and multimedia portal is currently in production. The journalism in Inukjuak will share the story of the first hydro-electric dam project being built in Arctic Quebec, with a focus on community efforts to reduce diesel consumption. Travel to Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan is currently slated for June and travel to Heiltsuk First Nation is expected to take place this spring.


Aphrodite Salas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Concordia University.

Although this conference will be hosted online, most of the participants will be in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), on the unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation. If you are not in Tiohtià:ke, you can find out whose land you are on here

Malgré le fait que cette conférence aura lieu en ligne, la majorité des participants seront localisés à Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), sur les terres non cédées de la Nation Kanien’kehà:ka. Si vous n’êtes pas à Tiohtià:ke, vous pouvez découvrir sur quel territoire vous habiter ici.


This event is part of:

Celebrating Indigenous Expertise in Sustainability

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