Aynur Kadir is an Indigenous Uyghur scholar, filmmaker and curator with a research focus on the documentation, conservation and revitalization of Indigenous cultures and languages. Her work bridges the gap between Indigenous studies in Canada and in Asia. Her research interests are in global indigeneity from the Uyghur in China to Coast Salish and Six Nations in Canada; transnational Indigenous diplomacy; and the safeguarding and revitalization of languages and cultural heritage through digital technology and collaborative initiatives.
As a native of Altishahr (southern Xinjiang) who was educated in Uyghur language, she has extensive knowledge of written and oral Uyghur literature, musical traditions and cultural practices. She has documented and digitized an extensive amount of Uyghur folklore, festivals and other endangered cultural heritage. She is also working on collaborative digitization projects on Muslim Asia and on transnational Indigenous solidarity and history-making to expand the concept of global indigeneity.
Dr. Kadir’s films and exhibitions contribute to the conceptualization of the poetics and politics of digital media in the representation of indigeneity, traditional knowledge, memory, language and cultural heritage, and to the ethical use of new media through collaboration with originating communities. She is the recipient of several grants, including from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for the project titled Transnationally Indigenous.
Her previous collaborations include The Contest of the Fruits, Landscapes of Injustice, Sq’éwlets: A Stó:lo-Coast Salish community in the Fraser River Valley project, AI-generated Anonymity project, Ethnographic Terminalia multimedia and multi-sited exhibitions, and The Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project.
Her recent films and exhibitions include To Speak With a Golden Voice, qaʔ yəxʷ – water honours us: womxn and waterways, Húy̓at: Our Voices our Land, Haida Now: A Visual Feast of Innovation and Tradition, and Intangible: Memory and Innovation in Coast Salish Art.
- Dibaajimowin – Stories from this Land: History, Land, and Decolonial Curatorial Approaches in a Contemporary Museum (2023)
- Visualizing Collaboration: Video Production and Decolonial Curation between the Museum and the University (2021)
- “Immersive Spring Morning in the Han Palace: Learning Traditional Chinese Art Via Virtual Reality and Multi-Touch Tabletop” (2021)
- Collaborative Digital Curation and Recursive Publics: The Making of Sq’éwlets: A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley (2018)
- Embodied Interactions with a Sufi Dhikr Ritual: Negotiating Privacy and Transmission of Intangible Cultural Heritage ‘Virtual Sama’ (2017)