Where do we go?
Canada is a place of longing for many people. It attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world with its impressive and wild nature. Canadians have a reputation for being particularly open and friendly. With Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto, three of the ten most livable cities in the world are located in Canada. Since the hydrogen agreement in August 2022, Canada has also become a strategically important partner for Germany in terms of energy production. But where there is light, there is also shadow. Our “white” abundance is the result of centuries of colonialism and oppression. It has displaced, abused and killed Indigenous people, the actual “stewards of the land”. Many of them are traumatized and mentally and/or physically ill. They are not only demanding more compensation for pain and suffering and more rights to the land, but they are also fighting for general visibility and respect.
In ‘Where do we go?’ I set out to Vancouver in the summer of 2022 and portrayed and interviewed a total of 11 people of Indigenous background who are involved in some form of fashion. They express their culture and personality through clothing and with that the political position and emotions that come with it. I met influencers, models, fashion and jewelry designers, a residential school survivor and the two owners of the world’s only modeling agency for Indigenous people. Their stories are dramatic and shocking, but also powerful and inspiring. They need to be told!
In 2019, I made my way to Canada for the first time. I did a big round trip there on a work & travel visa. By chance I got to visit the “Blackfoot Crossing” reserve in Alberta and there I understood for the first time the larger social and political context of colonialism and Indigenous peoples. I can’t remember when all this had been a topic during my history classes in school.
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