According to the RCMP, 1 200 Canadian Aboriginal women have gone missing and have been murdered between 1980 and 2012. Emmanuelle Walter describes it in her book Soeurs Volées as “a true feminicide, behind the spotless and peaceful image of these large territories is hidden an astonishing reality” This book by Emmanuelle Walter deepened my knowledge on this ongoing reality and helped me create this picture montage to further the discussion on this feminicide. The missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, a theme that we have looked at in class, has resonated with me since the reading of Sherene Razack’s chapter on the murder of Pamela George. I believe that this project holds a strong purpose as it tries to pay homage to Pamela George and all the 1 200 missing and murdered Indigenous women. I have blended the theories from Sherene Razack, Gira Grant and Sara Ahmed to give a deeper meaning to my project. This project is politically charged as it tries to recreate a specific type of body, the one of Pamela George on a side street, which is trying to re-create the lived space. The picture montage tries to expose the ways in which Indigenous women are represented in the media, as socially fragile and vulnerable. I believe that through this representation one will be able to feel the danger that aboriginal women face in such spaces.
According to Razack, Pamela George was considered to belong to a space of prostitution and Aboriginality, in which violence routinely occurs. (Razack,126) Gira Grant’s work on The Prostitute, Playing the Whore explains “the prostitute is imagined as an invisible woman, a voiceless woman, a woman concealed even in public, in her nudity- in all her presumed availability” (Grant, 62). Indigenous women who do engage in sex work, encounter a dual discrimination because of the intersecting prejudices of racism associated with being Indigenous, and the societal stigma associated with sex work. The concept of Whiteness, studied by Sara Ahmed, holds a strong position in this project. Ahmed states, “Whiteness would be what lags behind…when bodies ‘lag behind’, then they extend their reach. (Ahmed,156) The two white male athletes are representing this “lagging behind” and purposely extending their reach on the object in front of them.