Dr. Chris­tine Blasey Ford Tes­ti­fies at Ka­vanaugh Hear­ings

The McGill Daily - - News - Nabeela Jivraj The Mcgill Daily

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”.

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