Breathing the Past Forward
It begins at the back of the throat: an inhalation, a movement. Breath carries the past forward with it through shared stories. Like a canoe moves through water rippling the surface, stories of past inform the present, shaping the future. Engaging footage collected from the National Film Board of Canada’s archive, these four filmmakers breathe resilience into vestiges of colonial representation. This screening at Lakeshore Campus is in conversation with Dbaajimowinan: Our Stories, an exhibition related through dance, painting, printmaking, sculpture, song, and beadwork by emerging Indigenous artists at the North Campus.
These works were made available through the National Film Board’s CAMPUS Program, which provides educational institutions with a collection of films about major contemporary issues and subjects with accompanying educational resources.
Asinnajaq, known also as Isabella Weetaluktuk, is an Inuk visual artist, writer, and curator. She if from Inukjuak, Nunavik and grew up in Montreal. Asinnajaq’s first job was travelling the Inuit Nunangat. During this time she was lucky to take in the immense beauty of places like the Torngat Mountains, Diana Island and the fjords of Baffin Island. This was also an opportunity to see many animals, old food caches, and the site of a Thule whale bone dwelling near Resolute Bay. While looking for her next move Asinnajaq made a storyboard for her father, Jobie Weetaluktuk’s, next film. This small task turned into the Assistant Director position, and the chance to film in Inukjuak, the place where many of Isabella’s aunts, uncles and cousins live. Inspired, Asinnajaq jumped into film school and complete her first film with the National Film Board, titled Three Thousand. Asinnajaq moves to honour the past and create a foundation for the future.
Inuk artist Nyla Innuksuk makes films, media art and VR content. Her short film Kajutaijuq premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was featured in TIFF’s 2014 Canada’s Top Ten Festival. A graduate of Ryerson University, she has made two films for the NFB’s Stories from Our Land series: Inngiruti: The Thing That Sings! (2012), featuring accordionist Simeonie Keenainak, and Finding Home (2013). In 2017, Nyla started NKSK, her own VR production company, and became the first artist to be awarded the imagineNATIVE Indigenous VR/AR Residency, where she worked with A Tribe Called Red on their Indian City 360 VR experience as part of the Canada 150 SESQUI project.
“I have a very real responsibility to bear witness,” says Michelle Latimer, a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker and performer who employs art as an instrument of change. Having studied both theatre and film studies at Concordia University, she’s distinguished herself as a director, actor and producer. Her many film credits include Rise, a documentary series on contemporary Indigenous activism, and Nimmikaage (She Dances for People), a beautifully crafted archive-based short made for the NFB’s Souvenir series. She produces work through her own company, Streel Films, and programs for Hot Docs, imagineNATIVE and other festivals.
A visual artist and filmmaker of Algonquin ancestry, Monnet has exhibited around the globe. Ikwé, her striking film debut, was an experimental short on the intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge. Additional film credits include the short drama Roberta and the documentary Tshiuetin. Her exhilarating short film Mobilize reframes archival images from the NFB collection to thrilling effect. “I want to speak about a people moving forward, a people who are mobilizing themselves,” she said of the film in a 2015 interview. “We are contemporary, culturally rooted and constantly on the move.”
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L Space will be closed December 17th, 2018 - January 6th, 2019 for Humber College's Holiday closure.