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Alanis Obomsawin–visual artist, activist, filmmaker, musician–was born near Lebanon, New Hampshire in 1932 and grew up on the Odanak Reserve east of Montreal. Deeply connected to the histories and musical traditions of her people, Obomsawin’s first cinematic steps focused on the traces of heritage in the everyday. Since 1971 she has made over fifty documentaries which bring attention to the multifaceted issues affecting the lives of Indigenous peoples. Interweaving interviews, drawings, music and song, her work is distinct for its meticulous attention to historical detail and the trust formed with her collaborators onscreen. Throughout her artistic life Obomsawin has made music. She has an extensive history of singing for political and humanitarian causes that extends back to the 1960s. She is also a printmaker; her works on paper are intimate depictions of human and animal spirits that combine to recall past events.
As of February 2020
Alanis Obomsawin: Lifework