HOMELAND SECURITY, THAT’S AN AMERICAN THING?
THE QUEEN’S BEAVERS
What’s purer than snow, sweeter than maple syrup, more wholesome that the ever-earnest beaver? Canada of course! If the United States positions itself as the world’s geopolitical center and self-appointed police (backed up by righteous military might), the spin of Canadian nationalism can be seen as one of moral exceptionalism (backed up by a more reluctant and benevolent militarism). Under the menacing shadow of the U.S.’s belligerently imperialist nationalism, the light of Canada’s constructed sense of national innocence glows ever so bravely and brightly. Delivered through an expanding and dazzling array of national and international public relations performances, Canada’s dominant white-settler mythology requires the near-wholesale denial of Canada as a nation founded in colonial violence.
A cross between Canadian First Nation’s artist, Kent Monkman’s beseeching “King’s Beavers” and a gender-neutral and gender-queer version of the feminist activist collective the Guerrilla Girls, the Queen’s Beavers are a Canadian activist-performance collective who use embodied irony to comment on a range of idealized tropes of Canadian nationalism. With “Homeland Security, That’s an American Thing?” the Queen’s Beavers take a vacation from their otherwise industrious lives to explore Canada’s playground, Niagara Falls. Tourism, patriotism, gambling, border security, giant dams—what more could a beaver ask for? Follow the beavers as they explore Canada’s answer to both friendly tourism and border security!