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Where did you go, girl? – Vancouver Foundation

by ahnationtalk on September 12, 2017240 Views

September 5, 2017

A chamber opera called Missing tells the story of one woman who disappears, humanizing the profound loss behind the grim statistics

Ava, a 22-year-old UBC law student, motors along Highway 16 just west of Prince George in the pouring rain. As the car head- lights illuminate the outline of an Aboriginal girl hitchhiking by the side of the road, Ava wavers. Should she stop and pick her up? But the moment is gone, and she continues down the two-lane road known as the Highway of Tears—so named for the litany of women who have disappeared hitchhiking along its winding expanse. Then—disaster. Ava’s vehicle careens out of control on the slippery asphalt and is catapulted into a tree.

Many months later, Ava, still recovering from her injuries, returns to law school. However, she is haunted by flashbacks of the 16-year-old girl thumbing a ride, who has gone missing. But the image that comes most often to her mind’s eye is the girl’s corpse lying under trees in the dark. Somehow, in the dual act of violence—a horrendous car crash and a murder—the two women become entwined in a spiritual and metaphorical odyssey that exposes the deeply entrenched, systematic racism and gender violence perpetrated against Aboriginal women—at least 1,200 murdered and missing in Canada since 1980.

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