Interdisciplinary artist Emilie Monnet founded ONISHKA in 2011 to herald performance-based work, created from unique collaborations between artists of different cultures and disciplines. Her work experiments and creates from a place where languages, imagination and memory intersect; telling stories with theatre and media art forms that weave the symbolic realms of dreams and mythology – both personal and collective.
As actress and director, Emilie co-directed and performed Bird Messengers, for which she was awarded the LOJIQ prize for best Art/Culture project of 2011. Bird Messengers, presented in Vancouver and Montreal, was created under the guidance of Marie Brassard. In May 2012, Emilie directed the musical and theatrical performance Songs of Mourning, Songs of Life, in collaboration with the Aboriginal women’s drum group Odaya and the Rwandan traditional musical ensemble, Komezinganzo, to reflect on the imprints of genocide on Self and communities. She has two works into development: writing a play inspired by a recurrent dream of her great great-grandmother and the creation of a nomad interdisciplinary artistic laboratory with Waira Nina, an indigenous artist from the Amazon in Colombia.
A graduate of Ondinnok’s First Nations Theatre training program in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal, 2007), Emilie also studied media arts and holds a Masters in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution from Deusto University, Spain and from Uppsala University, Sweden. Her artistic engagement is inspired by years of social activism with indigenous organizations in Canada and Latin America as well as community art projects with incarcerated women and Aboriginal youth. Emilie is part Anishnaabe and French, and lives in Montreal.