Students learn about Indigenous and global issues through printmaking

June 24, 2024
Artwork by students in INDG 363 - Indigenous Poetry, Poetics, Printmaking

INDG 363 - Indigenous Poetry, Poetics, Printmaking is a studio course where students learn printmaking techniques. In Spring 2024, the course was co-taught by Simon Fraser University (SFU) Indigenous Studies professor annie ross and instructor Courtney Vance. The two educators fostered a classroom community where students were encouraged to engage in the process of researching, creating, and discussing their creative work.  

As a poet and artist, ross sees the process of printmaking — where students make multiples of their artwork — as “a form of informed, expressive, and engaged democratic acts.” Through participating in the course, ross says that “students increase their skills in writing, drawing and printmaking as a means to recast knowledge of poetry and poetics, historic and current Indigenous community and global issues.”

Thank you to the following students who participated in INDG 363 in Spring 2024 for sharing their creative talents and personal reflections with our community.

Herida Abierta by Sara Aristizabal Castaneda

Sara Aristizabal Castaneda

I’m an international student from Colombia majoring in Indigenous Studies and doing a double minor in World Literature and Publishing. I came to Canada pursuing my passion for books, but I have struggled to keep my motivation. My struggles are, in part, what inspires my art.

Artwork: Herida Abierta

This print is really significant to me. It’s titled Herida Abierta which translates to open wound but the full text on the print is soy herida abierta meaning I am an open wound. I tried to be very intentional with this piece, not only because the technique used (reduction) forced me to carefully consider the process of the print, but also because I wanted to create something that was inspired by my homeland and my struggles with mental health. I carved a scene that reminds me of the hills and sunsets back home, and chose bright and calming colors to contrast with the black. There is much more I would like to say about the piece and my inspiration for it, but as annie says, I’ll let the piece speak for itself. 

Chrysochroa Buqueti by Nyx Forth

Nyx Forth

I am a settler living on the stolen lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem Nations. I am currently working on a double major in Indigenous Studies and History and plan to pursue graduate studies in Indigenous histories. 

Artwork: Chrysochroa buqueti

I find so much beauty in nature, and particularly in areas where a lot of other people don't tend to look, like in insects. I collect pinned insects and while working in my kitchen one night was inspired by this beautiful beetle and wanted to recreate it in a print. 

Frog by Maddyson Nyberg

Maddyson Nyberg

I am a settler of Swedish and Swiss descent. I am grateful to live in Surrey on the unceded traditional territories of the q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ʷa:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), SEMYOME (Semiahmoo), and sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen First Nations). I have an Indigenous Studies major and two minors in Learning and Developmental Disabilities and Social Justice in Education. I will be in the Professional Development Program at SFU in the fall working to become an elementary educator. 

Artwork: Frog

This frog was part of my reduction print series which was the most challenging but rewarding project from this semester. I chose to do a frog for this project because it was one of my favourite drawings from my sketchbook and I felt confident in my abilities to make this sketch come to life through ink. For me, this frog represents embracing what makes us different/stand out and learning to feel comfortable and secure in our own skin. Throughout INDG 363, my self-confidence and artistic ability grew significantly thanks to annie ross and Courtney Vance. I encourage anyone who has the chance to take INDG 363. From my 5 years at SFU, this was the most special and meaningful course I have ever taken.

Learn more about programs in Indigenous Studies at SFU and browse upcoming courses