Podcast, Arts & Culture

Episode 200: Art and the Spatial Logics of Colonialism — with Marianne Nicolson

February 07, 2023
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On this episode of Below the Radar, our host Am Johal speaks with Marianne Nicolson, an artist and activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations.

They discuss ways that Marianne uses art practice to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw philosophies and resist settler-colonial fictions about Indigenous peoples. Marianne describes how her work challenges the colonial practice of treating Indigenous artmaking traditions as resources to be extracted. 

About Our Guest

Marianne Nicolson

Marianne Nicolson is an artist activist of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations.

The Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw Nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwak’wala speaking peoples) of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She is trained in both traditional Kwakwaka’wakw forms and culture and contemporary gallery and museum-based practice.  

Nicolson works as a Kwakwaka’wakw cultural researcher and historian, as well as an advocate for Indigenous land rights. Her practice is multi-disciplinary encompassing photography, painting, carving, video, installation, monumental public art, writing and speaking. All her work is political in nature and seeks to uphold Kwakwaka’wakw traditional philosophy and worldview through contemporary mediums and technology.  Exhibitions include the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia; The Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York, Nuit Blanche in Toronto, Ontario, Museum Arnhem, Netherlands and many others. Major monumental public artworks are situated in Vancouver International Airport, the Canadian Embassy in Amman, Jordan and the Canadian Embassy in Paris, France. 

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Art and the Spatial Logics of Colonialism with Marianne Nicolson.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, February 7, 2023.


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