Strategically centering Indigenous women as vital presences across multiple platforms, #callresponse is a multifaceted project that includes a website, social media platform, touring exhibition and catalogue (forthcoming in 2017). The purpose of #callresponse is to support the work of Indigenous North American women and artists through local art commissions that incite dialogue and catalyze action between individuals, communities, territories and institutions. To stand together across sovereign territories as accomplices in awakened solidarity with all our relations both human and non. The goal is to ground art in responsible action, value lived experience, and demonstrate ongoing commitment to accountability and community building. To respond to re/conciliation as a present day negotiation and reconstruction of communities in the aftermath of colonial trauma.
#callresponse began with a series of five local art commissions by Indigenous women and artists whose home territories are located in the Canadian nation state, including Christi Belcourt (on the North Shore of Lake Huron ON), Maria Hupfield (in Toronto ON, Montreal PQ and New York NY), Ursula Johnson (in Toronto ON and Vancouver BC), Tania Willard (in Secwepemc Territory BC), and Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory (in Iqaluit NU). Shining a light on work that is both urgent and long-term, #callresponse is structured as a connective support system that strategically centres Indigenous women across multiple platforms. Following the initial commissions, a touring exhibition opened at grunt gallery (located in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territories) in October 2016 with selected representations of each project. The artists invited a respondent to consider each of their works. These responses were also included in the exhibition.