By Cherry Smiley
The theme “the city before the city” demonstrates the extensive history of the lands on which Vancouver is situated and highlights the importance of considering the old and new in tandem, not in isolation. King Edward Station displays the poignant work of Cherry Smiley, a Nlaka’pamux and Dine’ artist and feminist activist based in Vancouver. As a proud Indigenous woman, Smiley actively uses her artwork and influence to raise awareness of issues impacting Indigenous women and girls.
The two pieces from Smiley’s ongoing photo series Home Story showcased at King Edward Station depict the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter. The role of “home” as an active participant in this cross-generational relationship helps to emphasize the significance of place in the formation of spiritual and familial ties. Despite the challenges faced by Indigenous women across Canada, these bonds encourage a continued resilience against the institutionalized threats toward Indigenous women and girls.
This work is curated in relation to the theme of ćәsnaʔәm, the city before the city, an exhibition developed by the Museum of Vancouver, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre. Thanks to InTransit BC.