Wednesday, January 18 at 11:30-1:30 in Dunning Hall, Rm. 12

Cultural Studies Speaks Event

‘(official denial) trade value in progress’

‘(official denial) trade value in progress,’ initiated by artist Leah Decter and curated by Jaimie Isaac, is an ongoing dialogic project that invites critical exchange about contemporary conditions of settler colonialism, and efforts of decolonization and reconciliation in Canada.

In June of 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an official “Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools.” In September of 2009, in a speech to the G20 Summit he stated of Canada that, “we also have no history of Colonialism.” ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ appropriates the latter statement, incorporating it into a 12′ x 14′ composite of Hudson Bay blankets that acts as a platform for dialogue. Decter and Isaac, from settler and Indigenous backgrounds respectively, collaborate on the project’s activation inviting written and sewn responses to Harper’s statement from a range of Canadians. Evolving through this engagement as it travels the country, the project becomes a public record of sorts, holding a mirror to both denial and desire.

Leah Decter will present ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ as part of the Cultural Studies Speaks seminar series 11:30am-1:30pm on January 18th, 2012. Leah’s talk will be followed by an open workshop in the concourse outside Union Gallery from 2-5:00pm. Participation is free and all are invited to attend.

For more info on the project:

Leah Decter is a visual artist whose practice includes installation, sculpture, video and performance. Her work has been exhibited in Canada since 1993, with recent work exhibiting in the US and touring internationally. Leah has worked as a curator, educator and mentor, and has been active in public and socially-engaged work since 1999. She currently makes her home in Winnipeg, having returned in 2006 after many years in Toronto and Vancouver

Jaimie Isaac is a writer, curator, artist and art administrator. She is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and is a member of Sagkeeng First Nation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg. In 2010, Jaimie enjoyed a time at OCADU attending the MFA program in criticism and curatorial studies. In 2011, she accepted an offer at UBC Okanagan for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies to finish her masters. In the last few years Jaimie has also undertaken two mentorships for curating and writing with two senior curators and writers.

All events are open to the Queen’s and Kingston public.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please contact:

Jessica Jacobson-Konefall


Financial support provided by the Manitoba Arts Council, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council and Queen’s University

Cultural Studies Program