Movement as Medicine and Screendance as Survivance: Indigenous Reclamation and Innovation During Covid-19

Kate Mattingly, Tria Blu Wakpa


Indigenous screendance challenges US settler colonial constructions that drive political, environmental, and global injustices, which the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated. This article analyzes online workshops taught in 2020 by Rulan Tangen, Founder and Director of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS, as "movement as medicine" and "screendance as survivance." By connecting Tangen's workshops to Indigenous peoples' historical and ongoing uses of dance and the digital sphere for wellbeing and survival, we show how and why these practices provide powerful possibilities to counter settler colonial concepts of anthropocentrism, Cartesian dualism, patriarchy, and chronological time. Tangen's teaching offers ways for humans and more-than-humans—meaning land, cosmos, nonhuman animals, water, and plants—to (re)connect, drawing on the past to imagine the future and building human solidarity, which we theorize as "homecoming." Ultimately, we link our concept of "homecoming" to the Land Back movement because of the vital connections among Indigenous bodies, sovereignty, and survival.


Native American; Cartesian Dualism; Dance; Digital; Land Back; Survivance; Homecoming; Online; Settler Colonialism; Interdependence; Worldsense

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Beginning with Volume 9 (2018), The International Journal of Screendance is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license unless otherwise indicated.

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ISSN: 2154-6878