Scott Benesiinaabandan wants you to feel the sound of the Anishinaabe language

Would you recognize Anishinaabe if you overheard it being spoken on the bus?

Would you recognize Anishinaabe if you overheard it being spoken on the bus?

Scott Benesiinaabandan is the sound artist behind the Animikiikaa 10/97 piece. (CBC Arts)

We would recognize French, Spanish or Chinese if you overheard it being spoken in public — but what about any of Canada's Indigenous languages?

Scott Benesiinaabandan's piece at the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit is calling attention to that lack of recognition. His piece for the show, Animikiikaa 10/97, is a sound installation that plays a recording of a woman speaking two poems in the Anishinaabe language along with one piece of low frequency sound art. See it in action in the video below.

Watch the video:

Experience Scott Benesiinaabandan's sound installation

5 years ago
Duration 3:14
Hear poetry in the Anishinaabe language in this new installation at Insurgence/Resurgence

Animikiikaa 10/97 has its own room in the Winnipeg Art Gallery — a small, dark, triangular space that immerses you completely in the sound piece. With its low-frequency vibrations and evocative narration, Benesiinaabandan's piece is an experience that should be felt more than merely listened to.

In this video, Benesiinaabandan explains why he wanted to work with the Anishinaabe language, the fascination one woman's voice held for him and the politics of why he did not want to provide translations.

Scott Benesiinaabandan's piece Animikiikaa 10/97 has a specially crafted room at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (CBC Arts)

Insurgence/Resurgence is on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery until April 22, 2018.

This video is a part of a series profiling artists from the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit in collaboration with CBC Arts and CBC Indigenous. Check out the other videos here.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT).


Ashley Duong is a Montreal-based filmmaker and multimedia storyteller. Her most recent projects include Land and Legends, an interactive journey into a legendary river valley in Borneo, and A Time To Swim, a feature documentary.