Christian Bell


Land That Speaks (Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, USA), PerFarmance Project, An exchange project between farmers and performers workshopping the concept of community to produce a site-specific performance, 2015. Photo: Melissa Aldape, 2015.

Christian Bell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota and a settler of German and Polish ancestry currently residing in a city located on traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of the Dakota people. His ongoing research foregrounds critical performance ethnography in order to address: 1) The legacies of settlement that continue to shape cultural and academic institutions; and 2) How practice-based scholarship might amplify the ethical and political stakes of Indigenous-led artistic interventions and the narratives marginalized by institutional legacies.


In addition, his ongoing creative collaborations with White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) of the White Earth Nation aims to envision what mutually beneficial fieldwork might look like. His collaborative efforts with WELRP are working to discern potentially non-extractive ways of communicating ecological knowledge, that is ways that do not take Indigenous knowledges as a resource that can be removed from the community to enrich others, but rather return it to that community to strengthen and sustain its relationships.


Recent publications include “Unsettling Existence: Land Acknowledgement in Contemporary Indigenous Performance” (2020) and “Prompt for Acknowledging Relations” (forthcoming).


bell0259@umn.edu


Transfer Over Wooden Tables (Cloneen, Ireland), PerFarmance Project, An exchange project between farmers and performers workshopping the concept of community to produce a site-specific performance, 2013. Photo: Tarla Patel, 2013.
Noodin and Giizhiik (White Earth Nation, Minnesota, USA), White Earth Theatre Project, A collaboration with White Earth Land Recovery Project to amplify voices that are central to the work of preservation and protection, recovery and reclamation, 2019. Photo: Christian Bell, 2019.