Questions of performance
Wednesday 17 November 2021 – 4–6 pm GMT
In the winter of 1847, as the people of Ireland were being struck by a devastating famine, the Choctaw Nation gathered together what meagre funds they possessed following their traumatic forced removal from their tribal homelands during the Trail of Tears. Ultimately, they scraped together $710. Rather than buy badly needed resources – food, housing, and clothes – the tribe made the altogether remarkable decision to send the money to Ireland’s starving poor. This taster session will retell that powerful narrative in order to examine notions of charity and empathy between the poor, the dislocated and the transient. By examining various cultural landscapes, both then and now, we will consider both historical moments of cultural exchange and contemporary artists’ bid to reflect and honour such occasions. As well as reflecting on cultural exchanges, transatlantic links, charity in the nineteenth century, and the story of the Irish and indigenous communities, the lecture will present the Choctaw gift as a reflection of the ways in which different communities see each other, both politically and culturally.