The power of transformation

This week on Unreserved, how Indigenous artists are transforming their work, their bodies and their spirits.
Vizin is a drag queen taking the dance club song charts by storm. Here is the man behind the queen. (Vizin/Instagram)
Listen to the full episode47:57

This episode originally aired on February 4, 2018. 

Life is full of transitions and  transformations, some small and others life changing.

These moments or mountains can happen through a sweatlodge or a surgery or a sickness.

But however we get through the changes in our lives it is along the journey that we find our greatest gifts.

A few years ago, Gwen Benaway revealed a secret in a poetry collection. She is transgender, and had been living as a man. Ultimately, Gwen made the difficult decision to have sex-reassignment surgery. She shares her hopes, fears and what it has been like to embrace her new body. 

When Lauren Sylliboy was diagnosed with breast cancer she couldn't face the world. But she turned to her art to help get through that dark depression, using paint and photography to transform into a survivor.

"Injuns" are central characters deeply embedded in western novels. So Nisga'a poet Jordan Abel cut this word from the page and rearranged a racist stereotype into poetry.

Vizin is an Arikara performer who shed 500 pounds and emerged as a sassy drag queen. Now she's using the stage to teach audiences about her culture.

This Week's Playlist
Quantum Tangle

Quantum Tangle - Tiny Hands

Chuck Copenace - The Opening

Vizin - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)