bug, a live reading

Wednesday October 18, 2023 at 6:30 pm Pacific Time

Almost Live episode 132

Anishinaabe playwright and performer, Yolanda Bonnell, reads from her recently published book.

The Girl traces her life from surviving the foster care system to her struggles with addictions. She fights, hoping to break the cycle in order to give her daughter a different life than the one she had. The Mother sits in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, recounting memories of the daughter that was taken from her, and the struggles of living on the streets in Northern Ontario. They are both followed by Manidoons, a physical manifestation of the trauma and addictions that crawl across generations.

bug originated as a solo performance and artistic ceremony that highlights the ongoing effects of colonialism and intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous women, as well as a testimony to the women’s resilience and strength.

Content warning: talk of drug and substance use and addiction, self-harm, violence: physical and sexual, intergenerational trauma and healing, scooped children, racism.

The term “scooped” refers to the government practice where Indigenous children were (and continue to be) forcefully taken from their families.

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Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Bi/Pan/Queer 2 Spirit Ojibwe, South Asian mixed (Scottish & English) storyteller. Originally from Fort William First Nation Indian Reservation 52 in Thunder Bay, Ontario (Superior Robinson Treaty territory), her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. She is a proud citizen of the Anishinaabeg Nation.
In Anishinaabe culture, it used to be that one’s roles and responsibilities were the identifiers within a community. Yolanda’s role as a storyteller covers the many aspects of their artistic practice (performer, creator, facilitator, space-holder, producer, director) and they consider this role as a way to maintain sovereignty over their work. Their storytelling is a form of Indigenous governance.