So much needs to be untied still (we carry your grief)

Cape. Raw clay, cow feed, rubon, thread. 40cm x 25cm x 145cm

When I showed up in this town, an hour south of where I was born, two hours from your village, I told your bean story. They talked to me about butter. How butter used to be made at home by the women on each farm.

The woman was responsible to take care of cows, milk them, harvest the cream, churn it, wash the butter, mould it, and stamp it with her own stamp. She would feed her family and sell the surplus butter and keep the money. Creameries were being set up all over. Farmers would bring their milk to these small factories so that it was transformed in butter.

A law was voted that would prevent anyone without an agronomist qualification to open or even run a creamery. Women were not allowed to study in any of the schools granting these qualifications.

These butter factories were presented as a means for French-Canadians to regroup and finally gain the revenues that we deserved. That’s how your generation used to tell this story; as a tale of empowerment. But I cannot un-see now how this has been built on an oppression of women’s knowledge and of women’s independence. And how it’s a game played within a colonial framework.

(Excerpt of the narration of the video You gave me your beans cooking pot (letter to my grand-mother), 2022)

See Baratter les sols pierreux (Churning the rocky soil)
See Goldsmiths MFA Interim Show (2022) Goldsmiths in London UK
See What can you build on land that keeps moving
See Reproduction of a part of the Canadian pavillion at the Colonial Exhibition of 1886 in London
See You gave me your beans cooking pot (letter to my grand-mother)