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文化日的迈克·格林

2021年6月29日

当少即是多:戏剧可以从一年的慢动作中学到什么

梅根·亨特参加文化日

2021年7月28日,

刷新:Instagram的一年如何重新定义艺术社区

文化日的伊娃·莫里森

2021年7月15日

_They know this River will still be here long after we have turned to nuclear dust and blown away, saith the river..._\n>> -_Beholden: A poem as long as the river_, Rita Wong and Fred Wah\n\nRolling from one valley to another, streaming across coarse contours, sometimes surrendering to the whims of winds and pouring rain, other times cutting through the rock-ribbed plains; rivers have always made the most enchanted neighbourhoods. A river\u2019s ample bosom has cradled pioneering civilizations and nurtured childhood memories. Its panoramic views have kindled weary eyes and inspired grandiose dreams, and through centuries its gentle ripples have concocted timeless fables of love and romance. By the virtue of their romantic allure, rivers have always been a recurring theme in poetry and literature.\n\nWhile artists have always, liberally and quite blatantly, borrowed from nature; they have also been moved, time and again, to devote their craft to salvage the very landscapes that enriched their imagination. [_River Relations: A Beholder\u2019s Share of the Columbia River_](http:\/\/www.riverrelations.ca\/), an artistic investigation by a group of creatives from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD), is one such venture that delves into the destruction inflicted upon by the \u2018damming and development\u2019 of the Columbia River, in the wake of the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty.\n\nRising in the clear waters of the Columbia Lake in B.C. and surging through glaciated Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River flows through the Kootenay River\u2014the river\u2019s largest tributary on the Canadian divide of the border. It enters the U.S. at the confluence of Pend d\u2019Orielle River in the Washington state, before conclusively disappearing into the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon. Columbia River is a water wonderland, flowing with ferocious abundance, making it the largest river in North America\u2019s Pacific Northwest region, and a sanctuary for the largest salmon runs in the world.\n\n![The Columbia River. Photo Courtesy of Fred Wah.](assets\/National\/blog\/listen-to-the-river\/columbia-river-fred-wah-1_avhEyr.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nModern civilization has turned rivers into economic powerhouses, plugging them with gargantuan concrete structures to harness hydroelectric power and divert water for irrigation. The Columbia River was subjected to a similar fate, transforming its free-flowing bliss into a curse. A violent flooding spell in 1948 that wrecked the Fraser Valley in B.C, Canada, and the town of Vanport in Oregon, U.S. became the impetus for securing a cooperative development between the two countries. The talks sought to regulate water flows and to capitalize on the river\u2019s enormous hydroelectric capacity, finally culminating into a formal [_Columbia River Treaty (CRT)_](https:\/\/www.canada.ca\/en\/environment-climate-change\/corporate\/international-affairs\/partnerships-countries-regions\/north-america\/canada-united-states-columbia-river.html) in 1964. Canada committed to build three water storage reservoirs in exchange for an upfront payment of $64 million in recompense for extending sixty years of flood control to U.S., in addition to receiving one-half of the estimated hydro-power generation benefits to the U.S, on continual basis. Today, CRT is upheld as a successful example of two countries \u2018sharing the benefits\u2019 through a collaborative transboundary arrangement. Yet, the ramifications the treaty had on the Indigenous peoples and the river\u2019s salmon reserve have become a despicable addendum to the treaty.\n\nThe _River Relations_\u2019 team scrutinized historical and contemporary images of the Columbia River to understand the evolution of its landscape, outrageously interrupted by dams. The most notable output of the project is the image-text poem, published in the form of a book, entitled [_\u2018Beholden: A poem as long as the river\u2019_](https:\/\/talonbooks.com\/books\/beholden), composed by [Fred Wah](https:\/\/fredwah.ca\/), a former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate and [Rita Wong](https:\/\/www.poetryinvoice.com\/poems\/poets\/rita-wong), a poet and an environmental activist.\n\n![Revelstoke Dam, B.C. Artwork by Nick Conbere and Photography by John Holmgren.](assets\/National\/blog\/listen-to-the-river\/revelstokedamreservoir-1_bi2Kz3.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nWah and Wong travelled the entire river stretch, from Canal Flats in the East Kootenay all the way to Fort Astoria, Oregon as a part of their research for the book. \u2018Having lived along the Kootenay River for much of my life I had always felt that the river should be called the Kootenay; that the Columbia was really just a tributary of the Kootenay\u2019, says Wah.\n\nWah believes that the treaty insolently disregarded the \u2018spiritual value\u2019 attributed to the river\u2019s salmon by the First Nations. To them, salmon is the \u2018harbinger of good news\u2019, revered as a gift from the salmon king. They believed that the salmon were actually humans, and at the start of each salmon season, they would transform into fish form on the king\u2019s command. They also celebrated the \u2018First Salmon Ceremony\u2019 to mark the beginning of each salmon season. Even today, certain tribes celebrate \u2018Salmon ceremonies\u2019 with a communal prayer for the salmon to return and inhabit the river again.\n\nThe loss of salmon has chronicled a poignant chapter in the river\u2019s history. Wong was swamped with emotions when she watched Upstream Battle (a documentary by Ben Kempas) \u2018One moment that always stays with me from that film is footage of salmon trying to swim upstream to return to their spawning grounds - and hitting a dam, and trying over and over to get beyond that obstacle - it\u2019s a heart wrenching glimpse into the painful destruction wrought by megadams.\u2019\n\nBeholden is a reflection on the devastation brought on by the damming of the river and focuses on themes of colonization, indigenous rights and mutilation of the river\u2019s ecology. \u2018Most of the language in the poem comes from a struggle between simply describing the river, (..) and finding ways to \u201clisten\u201d to the river\u2019. It was Wah who proposed to write \u2018a poem as long as the river\u2019, in collaboration with Wong. \u2018With him writing along one side, and me along the other, the words came from our experiences along the river\u2019, Wong reminisces about the poem\u2019s origins. \u2018Each of us would write along a shore of the river, from beginning to end, occasionally having our texts cross the river at bridges or dams. Rita\u2019s and my texts were not in conversation as they were written, but, finally, feel tethered to a similar poetic impulse and imagination\u2019 explains Wah.\n\n![Book cover, _Beholden: A poem as long as the river_, illustrations by Nick Conbere and cover image by Genevieve Robertson.](assets\/National\/blog\/listen-to-the-river\/beholden-book-cover-1_bB7z2B.jpeg){.pull .right}\n\nJust like Wah, Wong also let the river \u2018speak to\u2019 her and guide her writing process. \u2018Near the headwaters of the river, I made an offering and asked the river for permission to share the words arising from my journeys along it. I listened and keep listening.\u2019\n\nNick Conbere, a visual artist and an Associate Professor at ECUAD, [skillfully transcribed Beholden on a 114 feet long map of the Columbia River](http:\/\/www.nickconbere.com\/river-relations.html), with Wah and Wong\u2019s share of poems meandering along the river, as if two tributaries spiraling the entire stretch of the river. The poem\u2019s two halves are distinctly recognizable, as Wah\u2019s half has been typeset whereas Wong\u2019s is handwritten, a decision she consciously made. \u2018I felt it was important to stay with the bodily experience of writing by hand and following the river\u2019s contours. It felt closer to the experiential aspect of being along the river (\u2026)\u2019 While the book was shortlisted for the B.C Book Prize, the poem\u2019s winding digital image has been showcased at numerous art exhibitions.\n\n![Rita Wong and Fred Wah, _Beholden: a poem as long as the river_. The Gallery Installation. Photo by Touchstones Nelson Museum.](assets\/National\/blog\/listen-to-the-river\/gallery-installation-1_H8ib2Z.jpeg){.overflow}\n\nAs the two countries renegotiate the Treaty, uncertainty abounds. Would the revision of the Treaty offer a second chance at reviving all that is lost? Only time can tell. Wong reminds us \u2018There are ways to use the land that help to regenerate or heal it \u2026 (the way) Indigenous peoples coexisted with what was here - taking care of it rather than exhausting it\u2019.\n\nToday, many artists romanticize nature as well as assume an advocate\u2019s mantle. Wong believes one way the artists can solicit support for environmental issues is by dwelling on \u2018how to heal our relations with the land and water\u2019, and by imploring the society \u2018to actually care about this\u2019.\n\nThe project has drawn to a close, and the artists have moved on to explore further avenues of nature advocacy. For as long as there is heartache for all that has been lost, I\u2019ll quote Wah;\n\n> _Let\u2019s reach for solace of water to find some deep pool of larger memory that will float us past Savage Island_.\n\n\n\n\n**This article is part of a special blog series featuring writers and creatives from across Canada with stories that both highlight and celebrate Culture Days\u2019 2020 theme of _Unexpected Intersections_. Explore more intersections below:**\n\n- Theatre x Sport: [_Until the Lights Go Out_ by Taylor Basso](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/until-the-lights-go-out)\n- Indigenous Storytelling x Digital Media: [_\u201cPeople are Finally Listening\u201d\u2013Indigenous Animation Rises Up_ by Chris Robinson](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/indigenous-animation-rises-up)\n- Academia x Creativity: [_Building 21: Make zines, not research papers_ by Greta Rainbow](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-21)\n- Teahouse x Activism: [_Chinatown\u2019s Living Room: The gathering place for a budding activist community_ by Anto Chan]( \/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/tea-base)\n- Traditional Craftsmanship x Youth Outreach: [_At the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, They Build More Than Boats_ by Aleen Leigh Stanton](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/building-boats-changing-lives)\n- Visual Arts x Science: [_What happens when you mix an artist, a scientist and a very bright light?_ by Vivian Orr](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/artist-scientist-light)\n- Book Clubs x Digital Landscapes: [_Strangers and Fiction_ by Anne Logan](\/\/www.statestpizza.com\/en\/blog\/strangers-and-fiction)","content_fr":null,"should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2020-07-08 13:21:08","first_published_at":"2020-06-04 16:58:40","deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2020-06-04 16:19:23","updated_at":"2020-09-29 15:25:40","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">

听这条河:哥伦比亚河的颂歌

萨巴达尔文化日

2020年7月8日