leave some for the birds
movements for justice
- Kegedonce Press
- Initial publish date
- May 2023
- Indigenous, Native Americans, LGBT
Paperback / softback
- Publish Date
- May 2023
- List Price
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From acclaimed filmmaker, artist and activist Marjorie Beaucage comes a poetic memoir that reflects on seven decades of living and seeking justice as a Two Spirit Michif woman. Poems, poetic observations and thoughtful meanderings comprise this inspirational journal-memoir-poetry collection from a woman who has dedicated her life and her talent to creating social change. Unfolding the wisdom gained from experience, leave some for the birds: movements for justice offers guidance for younger activists following the author's trailblazing footsteps.
About the author
Marjorie Beaucage is a proud Métis Two Spirit Filmmaker, cultural worker, and community based video activist. Her work as a community based independent artist, seeks to question, empower, and change the ways we look at ourselves...seeing from the inside out. Marjorie was a cofounder of the Aboriginal Film and Video Art Alliance. As a 'Runner' she worked as a cultural Ambassador to negotiate self governing partnerships and alliances with the Banff Centre for the Arts, V-tape, the Canada Council for the Arts which resulted in the development of Aboriginal Arts programs. She also programmed the first Aboriginal Film Festival in Toronto in 1992 .
Excerpt: leave some for the birds: movements for justice (by (author) Marjorie Beaucage)
Some part of me has always heard the music of a greater dance...
I have moved and been moved throughout my life. I am a mover and moving... on pilgrimage. Seeking my purpose, making my way, choosing my paths, trailblazing where the path did not exist.
Memories... what do I remember... what is real... possible histories, dreams, fantasies... Still, memories are steppingstones from times past... sifting through my past lives and uncovering truths, lessons, confessions, insights... understanding who I am... what have I learned?
To recollect is to re-enter and transform...
Each of us has a value perspective... an "authority" within... It is unique and personal. Often it is not conscious...or conceptual.... It is in our gut influencing our actions in "crunch" situations. I was born with a why in my mouth, questioning, questioning, questioning...
I recognize the way we order and structure our lives is our own making. There are many contradictions within a system that need to be confronted as our human realities change. In seeing the contradictions, I am forced to seek alternatives, not just adapt to what is. Refusing to accept structures that no longer serve. Seeking change. Not playing according to old rules when a whole new way is needed. Refusing to be caught by guilt apathy or despair. What is the shape of the new order? Dreaming and wooing new combinations for justice making. Forming new relations. Being imaginative, irrational, spontaneous, beyond the pragmatic and realistic. Losing my bonds. Sunsets blessing me, moonbeams and northern lights dancing in my soul. Midwife to my Self.
leave some for the birds is based on seven decades of living and seeking justice as a Two Spirit Michif woman. I have been part of many social movements in my life, and in the last 40 years I have expressed my search for justice as an art-ivist-using art and story medicine to create social change.
I began writing my life in 2016 when I was accepted to the Santa Fe Art Institute for a 3-month Equal Justice Artist residency. I spent this time going through boxes of old journals and notes that spanned my life of working creating loving and fighting for justice. I sifted through my past lives and uncovered truths, lessons, confessions, and insights. It has been a process of understanding who I am, asking myself what have seven decades of living taught me? Who have I become? What can I pass on to future activists and dreamers?
Poems floated through my journals. I never shared them or read them out loud. While in New Mexico, I explored spoken word and the incredible vulnerability of laying bare from the inside out. I am grateful to Israel Lopez for opening this door of truthsaying for me. On my 70th birthday I had a ceremony to burn my journals... to let it all go, keeping the lessons learned and bits of beauty to create newness.
Time and space are constructions. This story is not linear. I came to understand the movements of my life as currents running through me, deep underground streams, unconscious still waters, dammed up tributaries, spring melts. Childhood, spirituality, woman-ness, revolution, creation were sources sustaining me as I navigated my place and purpose in life.
My life journey has taken me from New York City to Labrador to the Philippines and China. Each 'movement' of my life has been an encounter with the injustices of colonialism and poverty, and as I collected these stories together, I saw themes that my younger activist self could have learned from. Especially the need to sustain and heal one's spirit in a world that has too often undervalued difference.
I have also reflected on the impact of the feminist movement on Indigenous women and my relations with women as a part of my journey. As a filmmaker and storyteller I have examined institutional racism in its many forms and their impact on me. It is time for us to be seen and heard. I believe the world is ready for a different way of seeing and being.
"I have long admired Margie's tenacious ability to persevere in spite of the obstacles placed in front of her. She continues to challenge the status quo and hangs onto what is right and just. She awakens, supports and lifts the many voices who struggle to be heard. Her voice dives deep into the depth of unknown and bewildering waters. Yet, she bubbles to the surface, takes a breath and howls with a universal plea to pay attention to the injuries imposed on the land and its people. I am honored to walk with her."
--Louise B. Halfe - Sky Dancer, author of The Crooked Good.