Abstract :

This essay brings Zayin Cabot's concept of "ecologies of participation" into conversation with contemporary Mohawk- and Seneca-language films and language revitalization movements. For Indigenous peoples, these participatory events are often interactive storying of worlds, whether told in film, social media, or oral tradition. As a particularly salient example, the essay considers Mohawk director Karahkwenhawi Zoe Hopkins's adaptation of Star Wars: A New Hope in Star Wars Tsyorì:wat IV—Yonhská:neks (2013) in a comparative analysis with both the Navajo-language Star Wars: Episode IV and the Seneca-language films Kohgeh and Tših to highlight critical choices Karahkwenhawi makes in translation, both linguistic and visual, vis-à-vis settler colonial consumer culture. The essay concludes that her adaptation foregrounds supposed "advances" of Western technocratic capitalism; highlights the constructed, fallible, and ephemeral nature of these technologies; and potentiates other technologies and ecologies based in Mohawk ontologies.


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pp. 214-225
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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