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Logo for The Silver Wave by Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Silver Wave: online discussion with Michelle Williams Gamaker & Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen

Thursday 11 August 6pm - 8pm Online

An online discussion with artist-filmmaker Michelle Williams Gamaker and poet Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen on the process of making film, The Silver Wave.

Thursday 11 August

6 pm – 8 pm

This event is ONLINE. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 856 6106 6368

Passcode: 234405

The Silver Wave is a 12-minute film inspired by objects in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum World Cultures collection, and by the incredible story of Ada Blackjack, an Iñupiak woman who was the only surviving member of an expedition to the uninhabited island Wrangel Island in North Siberia in 1921.

Michelle will be joined by Carrie online for this discussion. This event can be accessed remotely on Zoom. A link will be sent out just before the discussion.

About The Silver Wave

The Silver Wave is inspired by objects from the Arctic region in the display cases of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. The film tells the story of Ada Blackjack, an Iñupiat woman from Nome, Alaska, who was the sole survivor of a doomed expedition to Russia’s Wrangel Island, north of Siberia.

Between 1921 and 1923 Ada survived in the Arctic’s extreme conditions.

The explorers Lorne Knight, Milton Galle, Fred Maurer and Allan Crawford planned to claim Wrangel Island for the British Empire and employed Ada as seamstress and cook on the expedition. Climatic conditions on the island were harsh and by January 1923 three of the men headed across the 700-mile frozen Chukchi Sea to Siberia for help and food, leaving Ada and the ailing Lorne Knight behind.

The words you hear are unedited extracts from Ada’s diary, expressing her concern for her young son Bennet, who she reluctantly left behind in a care home. Ada was taught English by the Christian missionaries who raised her. Like many Indigenous people at that time, she was relocated and suffered the suppression of her native language along with an inadequate education. Ada may not have had a strong command of any language.

In the film, Ada is voiced by Carrie Ayagaduk Ojanen, an Iñupiat writer from the Ugiuvamiut tribe, who asks that, ‘the listener hears the context of the broken language in the broken world’. Ada’s was a world of cultural upheaval and colonial violence that Indigenous peoples were forced into.

The film also includes Mexican rain gods, Thai dancer figurines and Indian tourist souvenirs currently kept in the museum’s stores. The music score is created by award winning composer Aaron Cupples with sound design by Sara Pinheiro.

The Silver Wave was commissioned by Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

About Habit, Ability!

Habit, Ability! is an exhibition with events exploring ways to learn from and ‘be in’ nature. Come to The Newbridge Project, Shieldfield, Newcastle to see survival strategies found in landscapes that are considered uninhabitable by humans.

Seeing survival in these places through long and continuous engagement is a strategy against the common attitude to conquer and extract from nature.

Habit, Ability! begins by looking at Intertidal mud flats, peat bogs, the arctic circle, and the ocean. For humans, encountering these landscapes is challenging. Some of these places are protected by legislation – prohibiting or limiting human access for their preservation, or they are protected areas of scientific study.

The exhibition then turns to look at NewBridge and its new home in Shieldfield, Newcastle, having moved in 2021. Works in the exhibition assess NewBridge and its the environmental impact of the organisation on its surrounding spaces and at large.

For the full programme and more information on the exhibition, visit the exhibition page.



This event is accessed remotely online.

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