Saturday, February 28, 2009

indigenous stories

The Native American Film and Video Festival in New York is enjoying it’s 30th anniversary this year.

Anyone ever been? Because it sounds grand – “Throughout this week the festival presents Native storytelling at its best–wrenching at times, engrossing, risky, ironic, hilarious and experimental.” This year it has received more than 350 entries, from indigenous media artists from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, and the United States. I was struck by the themes:

“Themes sounded in these films–honor to elders and hope for youth, courageous community action, the survival of Native languages, and many others–speak of the Native realities of the 21st century.” From here.

Which got me considering themes you find in many emerging or missional conferences …
Honor to elders – generally no, because the traditional church is meant to be dead;
Hope for youth – sometimes yes with space needed for younger leaders, sometimes no with rants about the impact of postmodernity on youth culture;
Courageous community action – sometimes yes because community action is a big theme, but often with the irony that such stories are told by individuals;
Survival of native languages – not really.
And as for Native American emerging church conferences giving voice to stories from so many places around the world … I’ll leave you to answer that 🙂

Posted by steve at 09:06 PM

1 Comment

  1. Steve,

    I know I just sent you an email in regards to this, but I just wanted to post this: you rock!

    and, if you have readers who are interested in emerging (like already in existing or up and coming…not really connected to the U.S. emergent village folk), there’s a guy named Richard Twiss who might be interested in talking to you (or them). You can find him, and various other links to Native North American mission/ministry/etc. at

    Peace friend. I look forward to meeting you face to face one day.

    Comment by Dan Lowe — March 1, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

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