School of Art Gallery: PAWS: Protest, Activism, Whimsy and Self Care in Animal Crossing, March 5 - May 7

PAWS: Protest, Activism, Whimsy and Self Care in Animal Crossing

Kayelynn Kennedy, Adelle Lin, and Hoku Kanoe Schurz

Curated by Ciel Noel

Designed by Battleax Bunny

March 5 to May 7, 2021

Online via Animal Crossing

During a chaotic and unpredictable time, many people have turned to the Nintendo Game Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a haven. Through decorating, forming relationships with animal residents, and custom designing outfits, Animal Crossing islands have been used to gather, share, inspire, and restore. They are refuges during a deadly pandemic, but they have also become the battlegrounds for activists who have put their lives on the line. Surprising many, this charming game has become the catalyst for government censorship, charity drives, political campaigning, and growing quiet warnings to keep politics "out of the game".

From Hong Kong to Black Lives Matter to razor blades and mayonnaise, the creative and complex Animal Crossing: New Horizon community grapples with questions every person who has fought for a cause has to ask themselves: when do I choose activism and when do I choose self-care?

Driven by the tension between safety and courage, PAWS looks at how a slow, sweet game of social relationships, crafting, and exploration became the stage for global tensions and tensions of the heart.

Associated Virtual Programming:

PAWS Artists in Conversation

Friday, March 5, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. CT

Facilitated on Zoom and livestreaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba YouTube channel

PAWS artists will speak to their experiences in activism and self-care as they relate to Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the community that has sprung up around this popular game. Moderated by curator, Ciel Noel. Panel will be ASL interpreted, recorded, and uploaded to YouTube.

School of Art Gallery

255 ARTlab

180 Dafoe Road

Winnipeg MB R3T2N2

For more information, contact School of Art Communications and Events Coordinator Cailyn Harrison,

The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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