Welcome! Young Indigenous people in Quebec invite you into their community to discover their daily life and culture through places that are important to them. This virtual encounter will surely touch you. We hope it will be an opportunity for a real connection.
Who we are
La Boîte Rouge VIF is an Indigenous non-profit founded in 1997. Our mission is to promote and transmit the rich cultures of First Peoples and contribute to the affirmation and expression of their identity.
We don’t do this work alone. Through a wide range of exhibits, publications, audiovisual productions, websites, workshops and training, our multidisciplinary team has built a vast network of relationships with many Indigenous individuals and communities.
This collaboration, based on trust, has yielded many benefits. Among these, the establishment of the Mamo Constituent Assembly, composed of cultural representatives of each of the Indigenous nations present on Quebec territory. As a result, we were able to meet more than 700 people in eighteen communities during field work carried out between 2010 and 2013. It allowed us to hear, from the very mouths of the culture bearers, about the values and knowledge they consider important to preserve and transmit to future generations.
This rich body of information was the foundation for the permanent exhibition This is Our Story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century, inaugurated in 2013 at the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City, and illustrated by Voices, Faces, Landscapes: The First Peoples and the 21st Century, published in 2016 by Presses de l'Université Laval.
An approach that brings us closer together
When a community expresses the desire to preserve elements of its cultural and material heritage and to highlight them to shed light on its past, present and future, La Boîte Rouge VIF supports it. Borrowing from traditional Indigenous knowledge and governance principles, it establishes a dialogue with the project's initiators, while maintaining permanent contact with the community. It immerses itself, observes, records. It notes words, silences and gestures. It travels the territory, feeds on the landscapes, contemplates the darkest and brightest skies, then adds, with all due respect, its colour to the community.
Using video to foster relationships
La Boîte Rouge VIF uses video as an archiving tool and as an identity edification tool. Through training and exchange, it makes the camera the link between those who film and those who are filmed. The instrument then becomes a trigger for potentialities and a catalyst for social links.
At the heart of a collaborative approach, the filmmaker works according to encounters and opportunities, without any initial scenario. With respect and openness, the filmmaker comes into contact with people and environments and is discreet when in direct contact with events. Filming takes place without interventions or questions. It's a state of mind. What is revealed then is expressed. Each scene captured reveals both documentary and symbolic content. It transmits a culture and makes us witnesses to daily life or an environment. It’s this intimate territory that La Boîte Rouge VIF invites you to explore as part of this project.
Limited to the technologies available at the time the project began, the innovative approach focuses first on the authenticity of the moment. Six GoPro cameras capture the moment, often in uneven shooting conditions. The experimental nature of collaborative production and the multitude of segments presented explain the varying visual quality of audiovisual extracts.
A virtual exhibit – Real encounters
Through its various segments – Encounter – Visit – Learn – the virtual exhibit Hanging Out offers a sensitive experience of the territory and culture of First Nations and Inuit. It offers direct and privileged access to the voices of members of these communities and specifically to young people, who are invited to describe and share their environment in the most natural way possible.
Encounter – We connect with young people through community partners in a smooth, step-by-step process. We get to know each other and little by little, interest in the project grows. This is confirmed when we give them a 360-degree video immersion experience, the cornerstone of the projected production, in which they will be the main actors. Very quickly, they see the potential of the medium and the sensory environment it allows them to explore. Digital technology catches their attention and gains their support.
The exchange continues and leads to the development of a list of important places in the lives of these young people. In each of these places, they tell us what motivated their choice: activities with friends, moments of rest or meditation, opportunities for meetings, family or cultural gatherings… This is what they will tell the visitors of the virtual exhibition during the next stage: video recording. After choosing the location and how they want to be filmed, they address the camera directly, which captures the scene in 360 degrees, allowing them to highlight the setting that inspired them. There is no staging, no pre-established text, no technical intervention. Young people express themselves in their own words, with their expressions and accents, as if they are talking to a relative or friend and asking them to come and visit.
Visit – In a second phase, more contemplative scenes are also shot with a 360-degree camera, but without commentary. They simply show, in real time, the unfolding of a moment, an event.
Learn – Several themes related to First Nations traditional and contemporary culture emerge from the statements made by young people. To complete the virtual exhibit, these themes are developed by drawing on the database of testimonies and knowledge gathered during the extensive consultation conducted by La Boîte Rouge VIF with Indigenous nations. These words, often spoken by elders, help to anchor those of the young in a historical continuity. The wrinkles of the elders join the laughing eyes of their grandchildren to draw the self-portrait of living communities, strong in their roots and looking to the future.
Immersing ourselves in a culture…
Before offering young people the opportunity to share what unites them to their territory using the latest digital technologies, members of La Boîte Rouge VIF experienced a similar cultural immersion during their work in the field. They also had to tune in to their senses to be immersed in ever-changing scenery and events. Thanks to the binaural recording device, they captured these discoveries, which they accompanied with spontaneous impressionistic descriptions. They present them to you as sound portraits on which you can superimpose your own images.
... to build bridges between cultures
All these technical means have one objective: to build bridges between young people from the communities visited and those from other nations, by exploring Hanging Out at school, in interpretation centres and museums or at home, using a computer. This intercultural mediation also aims to reach a wide audience in order to initiate or continue a real dialogue as part of a necessary and inspiring conversation.
La Boîte Rouge VIF