Neon Cree in Winnipeg: Joi T. Arcand

Joi Arcand’s Cree language installations in the form of business signage are not new (you can read more about an earlier one here), but her current work, showcased in the “Insurgence/Resurgence” installation currently on display at the at the Winnipeg Art Gallery comes with a great line:

‘The language wasn’t lost — it was taken. And we’re here to take it back.’

While I’m enjoying the coverage, I’m intrigued that there is no indication at all (in the written version of the story) of what the syllabics actually say. As Joi explains in the video, she hopes to challenge people to learn a bit for themselves.

View the video here: http://www.cbc.ca/arts/exhibitionists/in-huge-neon-joi-arcand-is-rewriting-everyday-signs-in-cree-1.4570256

In SRO transliteration, her neon sign reads ninohtê nêhiyawan: “I want to speak Cree”. I’m looking forward to struggling to decode all of the text on the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s enormous Tyndall stone staircase.

 

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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