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Oct 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Flaherty NYC’s Aftermath: Violent Civilization

Screening to be followed by a discussion with Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys moderated by Dessane Lopez Cassell


Violent Civilization considers the settler-colonial state as living, breathing and thoroughly contemporary matter. Eschewing the tendency to historicize the oppression and displacement of indigenous communities in the United States, the films presented here by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys both re-imagine and re-contextualize contemporary native identity. Based on the ancient Anishinaabe Seven Fires Prophecy which both predates and predicts the arrival of Europeans, INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./ blends documentary, narrative, and experimental elements to explore the resonance of the prophecy through generations in their specific Ojibway community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Reflecting on the innate violence of museum archives and the relegation of human beings to artifacts, The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets considers the case – and consequences – of the “discovery” of the “Kennewick Man,” a prehistoric Paleo-American man whose remains were found in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996.

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The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets

Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys, 2017, so-called United States, 10 min

An urgent reflection on indigenous sovereignty, the undead violence of museum archives, and postmortem justice through the case of the “Kennewick Man,” a prehistoric Paleo-American man whose remains were found in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996.


Adam and Zack Khalil, 2016, 75 min

History is written by the victors, but this film reminds us that the history of the oppressed can still be saved from being extinguished. Native American video artists Adam and Zack Khalil here reclaim the narrative of the Ojibway of Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, from the archives and museums that would confine it to the past. Using personal interviews, animated drawings, performance, and provocative intercutting, the Khalil brothers’ feature debut makes a bold case for the Ojibway people to be their own storytellers—while seeking a cure for the damage inflicted by colonization—in a spiritual reconnection with tradition.

85 min


ADAM KHALIL (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist. His practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Adam’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Sundance Film Festival, and more. Khalil is a 2017 Sundance Art of Nonfiction grantee, 2017 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellow, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar. In 2011 he graduated from the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College.


Zack Khalil (Ojibway) is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. His work often explores an indigenous worldview and undermines traditional forms of historical authority through the excavation of alternative histories and the use of innovative documentary forms. Zack’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, UnionDocs, e-flux, and Maysles Cinema. He recently completed a B.A. at Bard College in the Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a 2017 Sundance Institute Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellow, UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar.


Jackson Polys is an artist from Tlingit territory, living and working between what are currently called Alaska and New York, whose work examines negotiations toward the limits and viability of desires for Indigenous growth. He has been engaged by museums seeking replacements for repatriated works, recently collaborating with Adam and Zack Khalil on The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets, which examines attempts to deny the repatriation of human remains, along with dreams of becoming indigenous. He is the recipient of a 2017 NACF Mentor Artist Fellowship and Advisor to Indigenous New York, the collaborative program initiative co-founded by Mohawk artist Alan Michelson and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University (2015), and is a co(n)founding contributor to the New Red Order (NRO). His individual and collaborative works have appeared at the Alaska State Museum, Anchorage Museum, Artists Space, Burke Museum, Images Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Oct 1, 2018
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


32 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003 United States
+ Google Map
(212) 505-5181
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