Two-Spirit stories are more important than ever. In the past, their stories were forcibly silenced, but today, their still unheard stories put a different spin on notions like "traditional values" and issues like same-sex marriage and immigration. These stories are also a source of healing for Two-Spirits and the larger Native American community.
Through filmmaking, queer, lesbian, and bi-sexual Native American can tell their stories, and all films made during the sixteen-week workshop will premier at the 2010 Queer Women of Color Film Festival, now in its sixth year.
That's not the only cool thing QWOCMAP is currently up to. This year marks their 10th anniversary, and they're releasing a DVD of their films, Multiple Borders which focuses on queer immigration.
"My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the rooftops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specificity of our historical moment."
That incredible statement is by Carrie Mae West, who began taking pictures in 1960s San Francisco to document the political, and grew to make her photographs the political, taking on historical construction of race, gender, and representation.
I first saw a selection of the Gee's Bend quilts at The Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.
I'd never had anything against quilts before that, they just never
struck me all that much. I couldn't deny that socially, they can bring
women and family together in making and sharing them, but the generally
rigid/symmetrical patterns, and often pastel colors and mixed floral
prints, didn't grab me. But when I laid eyes on a Gee's Bend
quilt for the first time, I was truly moved by not just the story
behind it, but moved on a gutteral level by the beauty of the object