22. ilb 7. - 17.09.2022

Echo. Echo. Indigenous Voices With Hinemoana Baker, Daniela Catrileo, Billy-ray Belcourt, Natalie Diaz, Pergentino José

Hinemoana Baker is of Maori descent, writes her texts in the Maori language and performs them as a lyricist and singer-­songwriter. In her poems, traditionally family­oriented values of Maori culture meet the self­assertion of the individual. Most recently, »Funkhaus« was published. »From Lake Geneva to Waitangi, Berlin to Ihumātao, Funkhaus transmits an unstaunchable array of emotions in rhythmic form.« [Jury, 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards]

In her debut collection, »Río Herido« [2016; tr: Wounded River], Daniela Catrileo reconstructs the Mapuche’s impending loss of identity. The title of the poetry collection comes from the author’s last name: »Catrileo« is a Hispanicized form of the Mapuche word »catri lewfü«, which means »wounded river« or »río herido«. Thus, it makes fruitful use of the river as a metaphor and symbol for the Mapuche’s loss of identity and ongoing resistance to extinction and assimilation.

Winner of the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize, queer poet Billy Ray­Belcourt [via live stream] reads poems from »NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field«, a provocative, powerful work in which he looks at indigenous realities with an anthropological eye. Interweaving genres, he combines verse, photography, and poetry, tracing signs of Indigenous suffering everywhere to show us »poetry at its most intimate and politically necessary.« [Griffin Poetry Prize Judges]

Natalie Diaz [via live stream] grew up on the Fort Mojave Reservation on the Colorado River. In her poetry debut, »When My Brother Was an Aztec«, she writes from the perspective of a sister battling her brother’s drug addiction and navigating a family dynamic steeped in the mythology and cultural history of life on a reservation. In her second volume, »Postcolonial Love Poem«, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2021, she explores bodily violation, queer desire, and the landscapes of California, bringing a variety of vocabulary to light.

In Pergentino José’s texts, it is not uncommon for the dead to speak. Mortality, political, and ecological offenses that threaten indigenous communities in Mexico are recurring themes in his poems, through which he seeks to preserve the »collective memory of the proud ›People of the Clouds‹, as the Zapotecs call themselves.« In doing so, he »slides expertly between the natural, human, and supernatural worlds, mixing realms until neither reader nor character knows or cares which one we’re in.« [NPR]

Event Language: Diverse