Monugogy is an experimental online community project intended to bring together varied Indigenous perspectives from across Canada and the US through Twitter’s social media platform. This project is a component to activating community engagement as part of Aylan Couchie’s (@AylanX) MFA thesis. This thesis has been thinking through monuments and memorialization, specifically monuments sought out under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action for Commemoration of IRS sites and histories.
Given the scope of this project and the diverse perspectives, experiences and cultures across Turtle Island’s Indigenous nations, it is important to include as many voices as possible in this conversation. It was with this in mind, and progressing and evolving from an earlier experimental simultaneous online/gallery installation from 2017’s Nuit Blanche event titled dehumanization/destabilization, that I began to consider how Twitter, and more specifically, #NativeTwitter could participate in contributing towards an artwork AND a dialogue that presents the viewer with diverse ideas and perspectives in this subject matter.
How to Get Involved: (Please note this project has ended but see below for more information about this ongoing research project.)
Much like many community art builds and collaborative artworks, participation in this project is purely voluntary (there is no compensation) and those wishing to have their names omitted will, of course, have their wishes honoured.
To participate in the work, tweet your thoughts, photos or perspectives using the hashtag #monugogy (your tweet will be retweeted back into the @monugogy Twitter account – I’ve created a bot that scans Twitter once per hour). Tweets can be thoughts, ideas, photos, conversations, threads or stories about any number of monument thoughts such as:
- Are monuments relevant?
- What do you feel they represent?
- Monument interventions or protests that you’ve been part of/interested in.
- Sir John A. MacDonald, Cornwallis, Champlain monuments
- Residential School monuments
- Monuments in your local area
- The recent backlash towards monument removal
- The recent removal of the Cornwallis monument in Halifax, NS.
These are only suggested ideas, this is a completely open concept and Tweeters are free to engage with this subject in any way they wish.
How will my tweets be used?
Your shared tweets will be used to build a new media installation piece which will be exhibited during my final thesis show titled “very fine people on both sides” held in Toronto, Ontario from April 14-16th, 2018. This communal discourse is not intended to be used as intellectual content for my written thesis, though shared or similar opinions/perspectives on topics may have already been noted in a generalized manner. Twitter handles (i.e. @NDNbubbles1873 etc), will be used in the final work as a way to recognize those who participated. You will also be credited in my MFA catalog, unless you wish to have your name omitted. Those wishing to have their names omitted will be designated “anonymous” (if you wish to remain anonymous, please DM the @monugogy account).
Should you have any further questions or concerns about this project or your participation in the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or DM me at (@AylanX) on Twitter. Miigwech to those who will be taking time to participate in this project!
NOTE: This project is now complete as of May 2018. The Monugogy Twitter account continues to share information about monuments and interventions so give it a follow if you’re interested in this Monumental Discourse.
Learn about the artistic outcomes in the MFA Exhibition Literature (Brochure) or on The Voices Project webpage.
About the Artist (2018):
Aylan Couchie is an interdisciplinary Anishinaabe artist and writer from Nipissing First Nation in Northern Ontario. She is a NSCAD University alumna and is currently an MFA Candidate at OCAD University where she is pursuing her graduate studies with a focus on Indigenizing monument and public art. She’s been the recipient of several awards including “2015 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” through the International Sculpture Center and the Inaugural Barbara Laronde Award from the Native Women in the Arts organization. Most recently, Aylan won a Premier’s Award through Ontario Colleges which allowed her to create and establish a 5 year scholarship in support of single Indigenous mothers excelling in a post-secondary program at Georgian College.