Dr. Christine Blasey Ford Testifies at Kavanaugh Hearings
Content warning: sexual assault
Supreme Court nominee Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, following allegations of sexual assault. Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Justice Kavanaugh previously worked as a top aide to President George W. Bush, and in the US Court of Appeals. He is considered to be a likely opponent of Roe v. Wade.
The allegations against Kavanaugh by a then-anonymous woman first arose in July, Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had requested to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote to the Supreme Court. Ford came public with her allegations against Kavanaugh on Sept. 16. In the past week, three other women, Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, and one other anonymous woman have come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh.
In Ford’s testimony, she described her experiences with Kavanaugh in detail, stating that her “motivation in coming forward was to provide the facts about how Mr Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged [her] life, so that [the committee] can take that into serious consideration as [they] make [their] decision about how to proceed.” Remaining composed during her testimony, she recalled the alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. When asked her most vivid memory of the night, she responded with “all of them having fun at my expense.” Kavanaugh adressed the allegations in a heated testimony, describing the current allegations as a political smear campaign by the left. He spoke of his good character as attested to by the women in his life, his relationship to alcohol, and his high school experience as he remembers it.
and Indigenous art exist exclusively in the South of Canada. The North, in contrast, possesses no universities at all, just a few colleges. “Canada is the only Arctic country that does not have a university in the Arctic,” Igloliorte explained.
Deer spoke about being “very influenced by [her] culture” and how she “writes mostly in Inuktitut as that is [her] first language and that’s the one [she] is most confident expressing herself [in].” Deer and the other panelists all shared the sentiment that their art is as much about improving the rights for Indigenous populations and educating others, as it is about self- discovery.
Nancy Saunders, who is professionally known as Niap, is a visual artist from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik. Her pseudonym comes from a mispronunciation of the Inuktitut word for older sister. Saunders, who provided an opening speech in her mother tongue of Inuktitut, spoke of her transition from figurative and literal work into the abstract. She described this journey in terms of her selfexpression and self-realization of her heritage.
“When I was growing up in the South I was very much ashamed of who I was,” Saunders moved from her home town of Kuujjuaq at the age of 12. Saunders stated that her initial work focused predominantly on the literal representation of “who [the Inuit] are with the traditional clothing and such, and then [she] started learning about the mythology [...] stories about transformations, and metamorphoses.” Of her art, she said, “I just kind of share what I think is beautiful from my culture and I want to share the stories and these things that I am discovering — I want other people to discover them at the same time as I am.”
Saunders demonstrated this period of self- discovery and evolution by showcasing several examples of her work. She presented a life-like drawing with a section of three dimensional beadwork, and a stream from her hometown accompanied by a montage of sounds from her home. Saunders stressed greatly the necessity to be “immersed in the piece” and offers this as an explanation for her use of several mediums at once.
— Nina Segalowitz
Saunders discussed at length the struggles she has faced both internally and externally with the perceptions of what it means to be Inuk. During a sculpting residence in Paris, France, Saunders was faced with having to justify her identity to the people around her. “I wasn’t considered a real Inuk in France, because I lived off second-hand information,” she said, “I wasn’t born in an Igloo, I have pale skin and I have green eyes and I didn’t live with a dog sled or anything like that, so I struggled every day to justify what it means to be Inuit.”
This sense of internalized shame was similarly expressed by Nina Segalowitz. Born Anne-marie
“Throat singing was a way for me to heal that hole in my heart and my spirit and when I do it I feel transported in time. Every time I learn a new song, the government loses again”.