FOR AINU AND KAMUY
Concept: Natalia Chylińska, Katarzyna Pastuszak
Video: Karolina Jóźwiak
Montage: Beata Sosnowska
Performance: Natalia Chylińska, Elżbieta Łysiak-Pastuszak, Katarzyna Pastuszak, Beata Sosnowska, Aleksandra Śliwińska
Music: Natalia Chylińska
Conception of installation: Natalia Chylińska
In the video, portraits by Beata Sosnowska were used.
Duration: 20 min.
Requiem for Ainu and Kamuy is a two-part short film that presents a site-specific performative intervention - a form of a collective, intercontinental ritual created by Ainu and Polish women artists.
The film is divided into two parts that are in a dialogue with one another. Part one featuring Ainu women from Menoko Mosmos (Ainu Women Association) sheds light on history of Ainu Mosir (the land of the Ainu), which has been made invisible by colonialism, and shows that Ainu women have managed to inherit fire from their ancestors and pray for the restoration of the reciprocal relationship between Ainu (humans) and Kamui (everything related to human livelihoods, including lands, waters and natural resources). They are weaving the red thread, a symbol of indigenous culture's power, whose elements such as embroidery are passed from generation to generation in the work of the hands.
The second part opens with an installation created by Polish female artists (concept: Natalia Chylinska) providing a counterpoint to the voice of the Ajnu women. Placed in a winter landscape, the installation is an ephemeral structure whose material is dry wooden sticks discarded by the Baltic Sea. "Bones of the Sea" carriers of memory.
Both parts of the film feature portraits of the same Ainu women who perform in the first part of the film. These portraits were created by Beata Sosnowska during the creation of the film, using paint mixed with ash. The Ainu portraits enter the public space in Sapporo and Gdańsk - bringing up the issue of visibility of the Ainu women, the Indigenous and women in general in the mainstream discourse.