You are here: Home > Uncategorized > December 12, 2018 “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket”

December 12, 2018 “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket”

One of the most memorable Awareness Film Nights occurred in February 2014 when we devoted the evening to telling the story of residential schools in B.C..  It went long past closing time and featured a film and powerful talks by residential school survivors telling what they had undergone both during and after their residential school experiences.  Also among the speakers was Carey Newman, introducing his new project the “Witness Blanket”.

Fast forward to October 2018 and Carey’s film about the making of that blanket, called “Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket” premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival to sold-out audiences.

Filmmaker and master carver Carey Newman created the Witness Blanket over several years by weaving together hundreds of found items from residential school buildings, churches and other cultural structures across Canada, including shoes, bricks, photos and even a door, to create “a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the Indian Residential School Era”.  The result is a 40 foot long “quilt” made up of beautifully carved and thoughtfully placed wooden panels, homes to memories that “individually…. are paragraphs of a disappearing narrative (but) together they are strong, collectively able to recount for future generations the true story of loss, strength, reconciliation and pride” and that appear to be an undulating  blanket.

In this moving film Carey seamlessly weaves the two stories together with his same artist’s eye; the story of the making of the Witness Blanket and the more poignant story of the residential school legacy as borne by survivors and their families.

As our post-screening speaker/filmmaker in attendance, Carey will be returning to Sooke, where he grew up and where his parents, Victor and Edith Newman are well known as artists, as key partners in the Sooke Reconciliation Group and as the remarkable people that they are.

Consider bringing a food item for the EMCS students’ “10,000 Tonight” Food Bank drive being held on the same evening.

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter

Comments are closed.