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When Salmon meets Saran Wrap: Settler Colonial Placidity and Anti-Relationality in Ktaqmkuk

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This article uses white Canadian settler artist Mary Pratt’s photorealistic paintings of salmon to grapple with the ways in which settler colonialism necessitates anti-relationality between humans and the non-human world. I trace Indigenous (Beothuk and Mi’kmaq) histories of salmon in Ktaqmkuk|Newfoundland to grapple with what Pratt’s seemingly placid visions of everyday domestic settler life violently erase, concluding by with representations of salmon by Beothuk artist Shanawdithit.

Keywords: Beothuk; Canadian art history; Indigenous art; Ktaqmkuk|Newfoundland; Mi’kmaq; feminist art; salmon; settler colonialism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of History, 0000000404026152University of New Brunswick

Publication date: December 1, 2021

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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