GRANTEE: Olivia Camfield
NATIVE HERITAGE: Mvskoke
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon
AWARD: 2022 LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artists
Olivia Camfield is a multimedia movement artist of the Muscogee Creek Nation, born and raised in the Texas Hill Country. Their work includes experimental film and movement using horror, sci-fi, and Indigenous Queer Futurism practices in cinematic narratives. Camfield is a tattoo artist whose hand poke practice is based in Southeastern and Mississippian Indigenous tattoo traditions, creating designs for Southeastern people that imagine the possibilities of those tattoos’ into the future and the new shapes they may take. They are also doing extensive work around seed and food sovereignty.
Camfield’s work finds connection of dance as body horror, tattooing as protection spells, and farming as Queer Indigenous Futurism. They have performed and choreographed dance for much of their career, and their film work includes themes of the Alien as kin, time traveling relatives, and Mvskoke lifeways in experimental forms.
Holding abusers accountable in this way is controversial, and in my work I trouble the narrative through experimental storytelling techniques, including movement.”
—Olivia Camfield (Mvskoke)
Camfield’s LIFT project, Lupinus, is a Native horror short film that will build around a character seeking revenge on male abusers who prey on Indigenous community members and until now, have never been held accountable. After each escalation of revenge and violence, they are left to reckon with the spiritual responsibility of their actions. The film will trouble the narrative with experimental storytelling techniques. This is a response to the whitestream narratives that normalize violence against Indigenous people; it is community centered and based on traditional stories of protection. The overall theme is the real and theoretical examination of abuse and the ethics of revenge. This project addresses the violence we have experienced without relying on the portrayal of Indigenous people as victims who cannot fight back.