Disordering Enactments and (Re)mapping the Reserve in Rhymes for Young Ghouls


  • Shannon Claire Toll University of Dayton


This article discusses how Mi’gmaw director Jeff Barnaby’s 2013 film Rhymes for Young Ghouls embodies the horror of the residential school system and interrogates colonial schemas of space that brought it into fruition. It focuses on the protagonist Aila’s enactment of artistic (re)mappings and “disordering” refusals that upend the violent colonial geographies that shape life in the fictional Red Crow Reserve. By employing Mishuana Goeman’s term “(re)mapping” as a frame for examining the film’s use of speculative fiction and comic book aesthetics, this article demonstrates how Rhymes portrays the historical and ongoing traumas caused by these schools, while making space for a violent reckoning of its own.