PuShy Questions with Kim Senklip Harvey from Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey
January 16, 2020
Kim Senklip Harvey is the director of Skyborn: A Land Reclamation Odyssey, showing at the The Cultch from January 23-February 1. Click here for tickets and more show information.
1) What motivates your work as an artist?
My people, forever and always, I work in service to them. I work for Indigenous peoples to be equitably represented and afforded the opportunity to live peacefully.
2) What does being part of PuSh 2020 represent for you?
It’s the representation of the Musqueam, Sto:lo and Salish peoples that is significant. It represents a non-Indigenous organization working to be in good relations with the Indigenous peoples, whose territories they occupy. I think that’s the embodied work we all need to see more of and it is incredibly important other inter-Nations bear witness to this.
3) Is there anything you want audiences to keep in mind while experiencing your show?
Don’t compare it to other work. Instead, I offer you ask your spirit how it makes you feel and what becomes activated within you.
4) How might we see PuSh 2020 themes of subversion or vulnerability reflected in the work?
I can’t imagine a more vulnerable and courageous act than Quelemia opening up, not just her life to us, but the stories and genesis of her peoples.
5) What other PuSh show would you most like to see?
I think gathering is incredibly important, so I’m excited for the Industry series. I’m also pumped for The Frank Theatre’s, SHE, MAMI WATA & THE PUSSY WITCHHUNT, Fay Nass is doing some incredible work. I’m also excited for the Electric Theatre Company’s, Anywhere But Here. It looks and sounds like a feast and features some of Turtle Island’s most powerful storytellers.
6) What qualities do you most admire in other artists?
Process that is culturally grounded and in service to the community. Being an artist is a privilege and unless it’s working to heal the community, and create ethical relations for all organisms – I don’t have time for it and neither does Mother Earth.
7) Any advice for emerging artists?
Be vulnerable, it’s the only way to work courageously. Fail often in order to clarify why you create. And don’t fall for the colonial trauma porn art trap, you’re more than that and our peoples deserve the truth.
8) What do you do when you’re not working or making art?
9) What about Vancouver most entices you?
The Coastal lands of the Salish, now that’s a real place with stories and peoples that continue to put me in awe. Being on unceded territory makes the opportunities and aliveness of this land, the only place I want to be. I firmly believe these lands will be a part of humanity’s next revolution, that’s why I’m here.
10) What is your biggest art-making wish or fantasy (if money were no object)?
I’ve been dreaming of a story with 100 Indigenous Matriarchs riding horses down the side of a mountain, cheering, singing and laughing. Imma make this one happen.
Kim Senklip Harvey is a proud Syilx, Tshilqot’in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations womxn and is a Fire Creator (director/playwright/actor/community member) and Indigenous cultural evolutionist.
Highlights from her over 15 year long acting career include the Rez Sisters, Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, The Laurier Memorial, Salmon Row, the Governor General’s Award winning play and National Tour of Where the Blood Mixes, Gordon Tootoosis final show Gordon Winter and the World Premiere of Children of God at the National Arts Centre.
— (Show photo by Emily Cooper)