Social Justice, Podcast, Arts & Culture

Episode 106: Rechanneling Desires for Indigeneity — with New Red Order

February 16, 2021
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Below the Radar speaks to some of the artists behind New Red Order, a public secret society that invites people to transform their complicity in Indigenous appropriation and performing Indigeneity into support for Indigenous futures and land sovereignty.

Am Johal is in conversation with Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys about the formation of, and impetus behind, New Red Order — and how they use humour, recruitment and interrogation to call out and call in. They also speak to their Give it Back exhibit at SFU’s Audain Gallery, on display in the gallery’s front window.

About New Red Order

New Red Order (NRO) is a public secret society of rotating membership that works to re-channel settler desires for Indigeneity into supports for Indigenous futures. Formed in contradistinction to the Improved Order of the Red Men and The Degree of Pocahontas — North American organizations founded in the late nineteenth century exclusively for white men and women to “play Indian” — NRO imagines that the appropriative impulses at the heart of these societies might be redirected. Using strategies as diverse as calling out and calling in, recruitment, and cumulative interrogation, the work of NRO aims to shift potential obstructions to Indigenous growth.

About Our Guests

Adam Khalil

Adam Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist who lives and works in Brooklyn. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. 

Khalil’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Tate Modern, Toronto Biennial and Whitney Biennial, among other institutions. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order (NRO) and a co-founder of COUSINS Collective. Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including but not limited to: Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Jerome Artist Fellowship, and Gates Millennium Scholarship. Khalil received his BA from Bard College.

Zack Khalil

Zack Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. 

His work often explores an indigenous worldview and undermines traditional forms of historical authority through the excavation of alternative histories and the use of innovative documentary forms. He recently completed a B.A. at Bard College in the Film and Electronic Arts Department and is a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar.

Jackson Polys

Jackson Polys is a visual artist who seeks to dissolve artificial boundaries between perceptions of traditional Native art forms, practices, and contemporary life, and whose practice reflects an inquiry into the limits and viability of desires for indigenous growth.

Prior to pursuing his undergraduate education in New York he worked as Alaska-based artist Stron Softi, with solo exhibitions at the Alaska State Museum and the Anchorage Museum, and has been engaged by museums seeking replacements for repatriated works. He obtained a BA in Art History and Visual Arts from Columbia University (2013) and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University (2015). He is the recipient of a 2017 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship and Advisor to Indigenous New York, the collaborative program initiative co-founded by Mohawk artist Alan Michelson and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Rechanneling Desires for Indigeneity — with New Red Order.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, Februrary 16, 2021.


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