What Was Always Yours and Never Lost is a film program I organize focusing on Indigenous experimental cinema that first began in 2016. These works traverse a wide range to topics and formal strategies dealing directly and indirectly with indigeneity – assertions of identity and presence in the face of and regardless of colonial history and outdated traditions of anthropology and ethnography. They make space for poetry, for beauty, for movement between cosmological and visceral worlds, sometimes blurring the lines between both. They claim what was always theirs, and celebrate what was never lost.
That first program included the films of Thirza Cuthand, Caroline Monnet, Joao Torres, Wayne Wapeemukwa, Alex Lazarowich, Pearl Salas, Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, Lindsay Mcintyre, Fallon Simard, and Trevino Brings Plenty at the One Flaming Arrow Film and Art Festival in 2016 in Portland, Oregon. Over the years it’s changed shape and length, and gone on to include works by Glenda Lissette, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys, and James Luna and screened in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, and Montreal, Quebec.
In it’s latest iteration it existed as an installation at the Yale Union in Portland, Oregon from April 26th to June 9th, 2019. There included video documentation of a powwow I organized in the Yale Union space a week and a half prior to the opening of the show. Featuring the films of Caroline Monnet, Thirza Cuthand, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys, Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, and James Luna, this current lineup is also a part of the 2019 Whitney Biennial with a screening date on September 20th and 21st, 2019.