The North is a Lie – Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center

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The North is a Lie

September 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pmDecember 8, 2018 @ 9:00 pm EDT

Opening Friday, September 14, 7–9pm
On view through December 8, 2018, Tue–Sat, 12–5pm
Free and open to the public
This exhibition is accompanied by public programs featuring guests announced throughout the season. Follow Squeaky Wheel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,  @squeakybuffalo for updates!

The North is a Lie is a claiming of space against the myth of a tolerant and more equitable “North.” Thinking about the futures and histories of communities who have suffered most at the hands of this myth, The North is a Lie present a series of performances, installations, screenings, and potlucks, with the participation of guest artists. This collaboration between Nitasha Dhillon, Rhys Hall, and Elisa Peebles will utilize Squeaky Wheel to gather and provoke questions towards liberation and the possibility of a decolonial existence. This exhibition is accompanied by a brochure featuring newly commissioned writing by Dana McKnight.

The North is a Lie. We know it because we live it. Your grandmother knew it. Latin American refugees separated from their children know it. Marooners running away from plantations into swamps and mountains knew it.

There is no North. If you know, you know.

If there were, racism would stop at the Mason Dixon line.

If there were, fascism would not be on the rise again.

If there were, there’d be no:

Stolen land

Police lynchings


Forced eviction

Red lining


The North is a Lie is not a conclusion, it is a starting point. During the course of this three month residency, we seek to overcome the growing desire to escape and begin answering the questions of “where to?” and “what’s next?” by examining the truth of what’s been, rethinking the possibilities of what can be, and empowering the imaginary. The North is a lie celebrates the histories, present and futures of people and communities that have suffered the most at the hands of the Northern myth. It brings these narratives together in hopes of building structures that are imagined and tangible, for the nourishment and survival of these communities. We begin by acknowledging the land we stand on is stolen land, this was and is haudenosaunee territory. We base the residency at Squeaky Wheel, and open the space as a commons for the movements of Buffalo. We will create relations with each other through a series of events that include but are not limited to performances, parties, potlucks, screenings, conversations, actions and experiences. The attempt is to create conversations that give us better questions to challenge the Northern myth, and to create a compass that directs us towards better answers for liberation and decolonial existences. – Nitasha Dhillon, Rhys Hall, Elisa Peebles


About the Artists and Contributors

Nitasha Dhillon has a B.A. in Mathematics from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and School of International Center of Photography. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Media Study – University of Buffalo in New York. Nitasha’s practice joins research, aesthetics, organizing, and action as part of MTL Collective with Amin Husain. As MTL, they are co-founders of Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy magazine, Global Ultra Luxury Faction, the direct action arm of Gulf Labor Artists Coalition, Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee, Direct Action Front for Palestine, Decolonial Cultural Front, and most recently, Decolonize This Place, a movement space and formations in New York City that combine cultural events with organizing, art, and action around five strands of struggle: Indigenous Struggle, Black Liberation, Free Palestine, Global Wage Worker, and De-Gentrification.

Rhys Hall is an aspiring medicine man from various parts of Bailey and East Ferry, in Buffalo NY. Between making ends meet, he raps, sings and makes films. This has been a pattern for 18 years now, which is probably why he doesn’t have kids. He tried to escape Buffalo for the military, but The Universe wasn’t having it. Fortunately, the B.A. he received in African American studies from SUNY at Buffalo helped him survive as an Assistant Dean in Queens and an emcee and singer with Grand Phee as the Hip Hop duo, We Stole The Show. 5 years and 5 grams of mushrooms later, he returned to Buffalo and helped start the artist collective, The United Melanin Society, with several other accomplished vocal and visual artists. An avid meditator, you might see Mr. Hall walking at a snails pace through Delaware Park, or finishing his Masters degree in Film and Media Studies at the University at Buffalo.

Dana McKnight is a multidisciplinary Black/Queer artist and writer. She is the founder of Dreamland Arts in Buffalo, NY. She lives in Austin, TX.

Elisa Peebles is an artist, activist and producer originally from the East Side of Buffalo, NY. After receiving a B.S. in Media, Culture and Communication Studies from New York University, Elisa has spent the past several years living, working and creating in Buffalo and New York City. Her most recent exhibition, Bodies of Light: Exit Strategy, at the gallery pop up Decolonize This Place, brought artists of color from both cities together around the themes of resistance and perseverance. Prior to this, Elisa created and co-directed the Buffalo Myth Project, and was a producer on the Sundance and SXSW – selected short Actresses, as well as several other independent and commercial short films. A hip-hop performer, Elisa was selected to perform at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2015 Everybooty Pride Festival. She uses music, film, audio and other methods of storytelling to contemplate issues around collective memory, urban development, social justice, and the intersection of race, gender and sexuality. Currently, Elisa is a producer of the satirical web-series Dark Justice.


September 14, 2018 @ 7:00 pm EDT
December 8, 2018 @ 9:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Squeaky Wheel
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Squeaky Wheel
2495 Main Street, Suite 310
Buffalo, NY 14214 United States
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