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The Longest Journey

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The Longest Journey

Interactive art installation accompanies Sexual Violence Awareness Week

Oct. 16-20 was Sexual Violence Awareness Week at MacEwan University. In addition to workshops and panel discussions, the week included an interactive art installation created by the City of Edmonton’s Indigenous Artist in Residence, Dawn Marie Marchand. The Longest Journey opened on Monday at noon in front of Griffins Landing and was comprised of 12 tall poles and two willow structures.

The opening included speakers, a poetry reading, an interpretive dance, and the unveiling of the installation’s interactive components. At the end of the event, Marchand invited the audience to participate by taking one of the ribbons provided and tying it to the exhibit, if they felt so inclined.

Following the opening, the installation’s pieces were split up and moved to various locations around campus for the remainder of the week. A satchel of ribbons remained with each piece throughout the week so that passersby could continue to add to the exhibit. According to the event description on a MacEwan webpage, the exhibit aimed to start conversations about what it would mean to integrate knowledge about consent into our worldview, as well as how to approach ending sexual violence from a place of empathy, compassion, and understanding.

The installation was commissioned by the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education and kihêw waciston specifically for Sexual Violence Awareness Week.


The two willow structures during the opening of The Longest Journey near Griffins Landing.

Elder Roxanne Tootoosis opens the event with a prayer.

Shanyss Golosky-Johnson reads an original poem during her poetry performance.

Bryce Littlechild discusses his journey to understanding his own masculinity during a theatrical monologue on indigenous masculinity.

The Singers of Chipay Iskwew stand in unison at the conclusion of their second song.

Students in attendance tie ribbons to one of the willow structures.

A crowd gathers to watch the speakers and performances at the unveiling of the exhibit.

Elder Roxanne Tootoosis, artist Dawn Marie Marchand, and MacEwan’s sexual violence prevention and education coordinator, Roxanne Runyon, stand in front of the installation at Griffins Landing following the opening.

The longest journey is the distance between our head and our heart. When we allow knowledge to reach our heart, we move from simply knowing about a subject to understanding how we can use that knowledge to change our world. This is the beginning of wisdom.” – The Longest Journey


Photography by Marine Shenfield.