Biidaaban: First Light
Jackson, Elizabeth Linda
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Biidaaban: First Light is a short room-scale virtual reality (VR) experience that places the user in a future Toronto, set in and around Nathan Phillips Square. It projects a possible future where nature has begun to reclaim the city and where humans are living in keeping with the knowledge systems of the original people of the territory, the Wendat, Anishinaabe (Ojibway), and Kanyenkeha (Mohawk), as marked by their spoken languages which also appear as text, in their original form and as English or French translations. The current structures of commerce, politics and technology/transport and the Euro-Western ideologies that underlie our society are replaced by sustainable ways of living and the cultural understandings and knowledge systems of the peoples Indigenous to this place. The piece is concrete and poetic, using both practical imagery and metaphorical symbol to communicate a worldview that is rooted in Indigenous thought and accessible to any user, while offering added meaning to those who are familiar with the languages and thought systems of the original people of this land.