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My conversation with indigenous artist Chantal Chagnon multidisciplinary, artist Kevin Jesuino and performance maker & educator Dr. Melanie Kloetzel of the climate art web project about decolonization, networking, mapping and growing the climate arts movement.
This is my first episode with three guests! I was impressed when I first heard about the work of this dynamic trio through SCALE and am honoured that they took the time to speak with me on solstice day, December 21, 2021. Our conversation covered a range of issues, including decolonization and the need for artists concerned about the climate emergency to network and develop solidarity. The trio also explained their collaboration on the climate art web project, which, btw, has a deadline to hire regional curators on January 15, 2022.
Chantal Chagnon is a Cree Métis Singer, Drummer, Artist, Storyteller, Actor, Educator, Workshop Facilitator, Social Justice Advocate and Activist with roots in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. She shares Traditional Indigenous Songs, Stories, Culture, History, Arts, Crafts and Teachings. Chantal has presented at Conferences, Conventions, Galas, Fundraisers, Community, Social Justice Events and in Classrooms from Preschool through University. Chantal aims to entertain, engage, enlighten, educate, and inspire everyone she meets. A single mother of two boys and twin girls, she understands societal struggle firsthand. Chantal has been an activist, advocate for her community, professional performer and a staunch crusader for causes close to her heart. She is active within many social justice causes, including Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), Women’s Rights, and Environmental Initiatives. She regularly organizes events and shares, singing, drumming, speaking, presenting, and teaching within the community, with a focus on building allies and alliances.
Dr. Melanie Kloetzel (MFA, PhD) is a performance maker, scholar and educator who is committed to research that spans stage, site, and screen. Kloetzel employs practice-as-research methodologies to develop events, workshops and encounters in theatre spaces, alternative venues, spaces of public assembly, and online environments. In addition to her work with TRAction, a collective of interdisciplinary artists who engage communities in art-making to address issues of climate justice, Kloetzel is also director of the dance theatre company kloetzel&co. and co-director of the performance collective ReLoCate. Kloetzel’s research focuses on performance, place, text, and characterization. Her three books, the co-edited anthology Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces (2009), the co-authored (Re)Positioning Site Dance: Local Acts, Global Perspectives (2019), and the co-authored Covert: A Handbook – 30 Movement Meditations for Resisting Invasion (2021), are currently available from University Press of Florida, Intellect, and Triarchy, respectively.
Kevin Jesuino is a Portuguese Canadian queer multidisciplinary artist, facilitator, teacher, arts producer and community organizer working in performance and socially engaged art. He is based in Mohkinsis of Treaty 7 territory, also known as Calgary, Canada. His work is oftentimes collaborative, site-specific, participatory, and process oriented. His practice explores the intersection of the body, society and place. His recent research explores the queer body, ecology, fragility and modes of being together. His community-embedded projects engage participants in performative actions, discussions, creative interventions, activations and other forms of organizing — positioning art & culture as a vehicle for meaningful social change.