At dawn, on 11 November 2013, twenty-five performers stood in the Boulevard front of Toronto’s Queen’s Park and the Ontario Legislative Building. Each participant had their hands bound and a blindfold placed over their eyes. Each blindfold was embroidered with name of one of the twenty-five Canadian First World War soldiers who were killed by firing squads made up of their peers, under the orders of their military commanders. As the names of each executed soldier was read out loud, a red X was embroidered onto the small white target pinned over their heart of the performer.
Shot at Dawn is the first of an ongoing series of Embroidery for the Forgotten Dead of History memorial projects that uses embroidery to draw attention to and disrupt narratives produced through the nationalist and militarist commemorative practices which act as frames that inscribe certain events and losses into social memory, while casting “others” (events and populations) beyond the realm of our (dominant) collective memory (Butler 2010).
A deep thank-you to all who participated in Shot at Dawn’s Remembrance Day memorial performance and its preview performance at Hub 14 as part of Link & Pin’s Feminist Fibres performance series: Kim Harmon, Melissa Lepp, Cassie Scott, Sally Morgan, Claude Wittmann, Fiona Louise Griffiths, Nicole Nigro, Patricia Allison, Debra Kriger, Veronica Abrenica, Adam Herst, Kallee Lins, Carla Melo Guarani Kaiowa, Kim McLeod, Grey Muldoon, Erin Vosters, Ellie Chesnutt, Holly Timpener, Gina Brintnell, Thea Fitz-James, Cassandra Wiesner, Paul Couillard, Heather Hermant, Moez Surani, Carling Tedesco, Beyhan Farhadi, Laura Jayne Nelles, Leena Raudvee, Sherry Bie, Elsa Lam, Emma Letki, Derrick.