GAZE by Paul Seesequasis

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40,000 words, 40 photos
Manuscript due January 2021


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Canada: Knopf, Spring 2022

Paul Seesequasis | Photo Credit: Red Works Studio
(Photo: Red Works Studio)

Paul Seesequasis is a writer, editor, cultural activist and journalist. He was a founding editor of the award-winning Aboriginal Voices magazine, and was editor-in-chief at Theytus Books. He was the recipient of a MacLean-Hunter journalism award, and was a program officer for a number of years at The Canada Council for the Arts. His short stories and feature writings have been published in Canada and abroad. His novel, Tobacco Wars, was published by Quattro Books and pop wuj: An Illustrated Narrative of the Mayan Sacred Book, a collaboration with Mayan artist, Jesu Mora, was launched in Mexico City in 2015. His latest Book, Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun, won both the 2020 Saskatoon Book Award and the 2020 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. He lives in Saskatoon.

 

 

GAZE
Intimate Encounters with Photography

by Paul Seesequasis

A DEEPER, INTIMATE LOOK AT IMAGES OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE SURPRISING STORIES THEY HOLD


“Photography is considered informative, a snapshot of reality, but it is also equally capable of lying, of distorting that reality, of creating a false truth.”

Paul Seesequasis, author of the 2020 Saskatoon Book Award and the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award winner, Blanket Toss under Midnight Sun, comes with a new book that shifts the camera's wide perspective and becomes more focused on singular subjects in order to uncover the stories hidden in front of the lens. Touching on different populations without leaving behind the indigenous one, GAZE: Intimate Encounters with Photography is a book meant to be read and seen, but also listened to, as the author unveils a narrative the reader cannot simply perceive by just looking at pictures. Dealing with such subject matters as women's photography, western iconography in the United States and Europe and “the sacred other” depicted in photography, GAZE is broken down into four main chapters:

  1. ‘Indian Princess’: Kahn-Tineta Horn and her subversion of the colonial gaze
  2. Women’s Road Trip: Rosemary Gilliat’s travels in the Canadian West of the 1950s
  3. Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bill: The Wild West Show’s invention of the cowboy and Indian
  4. I’m Stealing Your Soul: Photography and its framing of the sacred, the other and the mythic

GAZE is able to jump between text and images impeccably, navigating the intricate relationship between what is put forward for the eye to see and the context in which the image was captured. Different from his previous work which was a community-based approach to photography, Seesequasis embraces a more personal approach to unveil the truths hidden behind the camera lens.

In our image-obsessed world, GAZE is both beautiful and provocative.

 

PRAISE FOR PAUL SEESEQUASIS' BLANKET TOSS UNDER MIDNIGHT SUN: PORTRAITS OF EVERYDAY LIFE IN EIGHT INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

“A revelatory work of astonishing grace, Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun encapsulates an invisible generation brought to glorious life. So many times the subject could have been my auntie, cousin or grandmother. When people ask why I live on the rez, I’ll point them to this book, this stunning reclamation of narrative, which so movingly shows the love of place, community and self.”
— EDEN ROBINSON, author of Monkey Beach and Son of a Trickster

“Paul Seesequasis’s Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun is a wonderful collection of found photographs and recovered histories that link us to a past as old as the land and as precious as breath.”— THOMAS KING, author of The Inconvenient Indian

 


Kahn-Tineta Horn speaking to Robert K. Andras: minister without portfolio. Lord Simcoe Hotel, Toronto. Photo: Mario Geo. 1968 [Toronto Star Archives/ Toronto Reference Library]
GAZE image 05
Kahn-Tineta Horn as a model. Photo by Dick Darrell and taken in 1963. Place unknown. [Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Reference Library]
GAZE image 07

 

 

 

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