Decolonizing Photographs: Taking the Image Outside of the Family Album

Critical Discussion
April 27, 2017, 6:30pm – 8:00pm Duke of Kent Legion,
227 McDermot Ave

Victoria Freeman’s book Distant Relations: How My Ancestors Colonized North America examines ten generations of family history and was written in order to help Freeman understand her family’s involvement in the colonization of North America. The selected text begins with an account of Freeman traveling to Shoal Lake to research her grandfather’s involvement with the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School. The discussion at Theory and Beer will focus on one detail of her journey: the role of her family photographs. What is our relationship to the family album and how can it relate to the process of reconciliation? When researching family histories, how does the image act as a visual currency or admission? Further, how have family histories been impacted by the misinterpretation of family photographs and how do these visual histories affect the greater community working toward a post-colonial future?