1491s Play With Themselves: Imagery and Reclamation


Five questions with 1491s

What motivates you?

We’re motivated by our desire to see Native People in a modern and vital context.  Also, girls may be watching.

What do you do for a living, and why?

The 1491s are an artist collective of American Indian writers, filmmakers, visual and traditional artists, and language advocates.  Using social media as a tool to disseminate our content worldwide, our videos have been viewed over two million times and we have built a Facebook fan base of over 15,000.

As to “Why?”….ugh.

What TED Talk do you think everyone should watch?

I’m going to be honest here.  Half our group had no idea what TED was before we got asked to speak.  And the other half still doesn’t know.  So, I’m gonna go ahead and say our videos, obviously.  Outside of that, Whisper Kish’s TEDx Talk from Albuquerque was great.

Listen, there are five of us in this group.  Nailing down one TED Talk we all enjoyed above others could be the subject of an entire TED Talk on chaos and individual preference.

Whisper Kish: Violence against Native women is not traditional.

Why are you excited to speak at TEDx Manitoba?

Who says we are? No, we’re excited because TEDx is a forum that is outside of Indian Country.  Any chance we get to share who we are with the world at large, we jump.  We’re thrilled to be able to play with people’s perceptions of Indians (Natives, Indigenous American Indians…whatever).

What is your idea worth spreading?

That your idea of Natives as a waning, sad, nearly extinct and mythical species is suuuuper wrong.  Kiss our happy, healthy, thriving, modern-living, real-world donkeys.*