SNOW SCREENING: #Asinabka screens #Inuit & #Sámi shorts 2nite in #Ottawa for “Unikkaaqtuarniq: Stories from the North”

UNIKKAAQTUARNIQ: Stories from the North – Inuit & Sámi films projected onto a screen made of snow!

Last year Ottawa based Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival screened a program of shorts produced by Indigenous filmmakers at Landsdowne Park. The winter weather cooperated with enough snow to build a large screen upon which the films were projected. At last year’s opening, along with the films, hot drinks were served as well as performances by local Indigenous artists. This year Silla + Rise was the opening act for the first day, Thursday, February 1 and the programming theme is “Indigenous filmmaking from the Arctic.”

Tonight is the final night for the screenings! This initiative has been in partnership with the Embassy of Norway with programming that has included shorts from Sámi filmmakers. The Sámi are the Indigenous people from the territories that are now known as Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Russia.

This event is FREE and features family-friendly programming. Dress warm and come on out to enjoy the final evening.

WHEN: Sunday, February 4, 2018 @ 6-9 pm
WHERE: Lansdowne Park (Outside the Horticulture Building) 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa

“Unikkaaqtuarniq” means Storytelling in the Inuktitut language, and is an ancient form of magic, with the power to connect the past with the present, teach lessons, impart values, heal, to explain the world and connect us to the universe through language and mythology. The stories in this program come from the Inuit people of Canada and Sami of northern Scandinavia, Indigenous peoples who have thrived in the arctic regions of the world for thousands of years, sharing stories inside the Sami lavvu and Inuit tupiq, enduring the changing seasons of dark and light, of colonialism, of climate change. Although these cultures live thousands of kilometres away from each other, they share a common history of resilience in their language, culture and magic through storytelling.

More information is available on their FB Event Page.

Iđitsilba Trailer from Davás film on Vimeo.

PROGRAMMING: 

PROGRAM #1 (1 Hour)

We Are Still Here
Sofia Jannock • 5:14 • 2016 • Sweden
A powerful song and music video that is a statement about the continuing presence of the Sami people.

Just Give Me the Word
Sara Margrethe Oskal • 4:00 • 2017 • Norway • Sami
Sami artist Emma Elliane raps in her mother tongue about exploitations of the earth. Shot in Guovdageaidnu, a Sami community that has been fighting against multinational mining companies for years

Hila
Adam Bentley • 3:27 • 2016 • Canada
An Inuit woman becomes the first person to ever be featured in a choreographed snowshoe dance video.

Inuk Hunter
George Annanack • 2016 • 4:04 • Canada • Sign Language
A poetic and contemplative film about an Inuk man hunting for northern lights with his camera.

Kuujjuaq
Sammy Gadbois (Inuit) • 4:54 • 2016 • Canada • English
A video essay about the perspective of a teenager on his hometown.

Snow
Nivi Pederson • Greenland • 2017 • 7 Min.
Shovelling snow in the capital of Greenland is a big part of everyday winter life. Three Nuuk residents share their reflections – and frustrations – about this seemingly never-ending task. The Tao of Snow Shovelling!

Jurret On (Under Two Skies)
Anssi Komi, Suvi West • Sapmi – Finland • 2017 • 12 Min.
Pregnant with her first child, Helsinki-based director Suvi West shares her longing to return north to her ancestral lands to ensure her child has a northern Sámi identity. While her Finnish partner Anssi does not feel at home up north, his love for her makes him contemplate a change in lifestyle and a move to Sápmi. This personal documentary is a portrait of a couple at a crossroads in their lives and a testament to one’s deep love for their land.

Shaman
Echo Henoche • Canada • 2017 • 5 min
The story of a ferocious polar bear turned to stone by an Inuk shaman. Hand-drawn and painted by Henoche in a style all her own, Shaman shares with the world her perspective on this Labrador Inuit legend.

Three Thousand
Asinnajaq • Canada • 2017 • 14 Min.
Artist Asinnajaq throws a creative net into the National Film Board of Canada’s audiovisual archive, weaving historic footage of the Inuit into a stunningly original animation. In 14 minutes of luminescent cinema, she recasts the past, present and future of the Inuit in a surprising new light.

PROGRAM #2 (1 Hour)

Sámi Bojá
Elle Sofe Henriksen • 9 min • 2015 • Norway
Mikkel is a reindeer herder who has the entire responsibility for the herd of his family. He has a tough shell like a sámi boy should have. But in his inside there is chaos.

Burning Sun
Elle Márjá Eira • 12 min • 2015 • Norway
Májjen carries a very special hat. All the women in her tribe wear this hat. Its shape resembles a horn. The hat is of great value for her. But the men representing the church mean the hat has a likeness to the horn of the devil itself. So the hats must be extinguished

Edith & Aljosja
Ann Holmgren • 8 min • 2015 • Sweden
A woman and a man, a river keeps them separated. They have to break the laws of nature to come close to each other. A simple story about love that defies cultural differences.

Áile & Grandmother
Siljá Somby • 12 min • 2015 • Norway
Grandmother and Áile are close to one another and Grandmother teaches Áile the powers of Nature and healing, however Áile has a secret that puts their bond to the ultimate test, forcing Áile to open up, but can she save their relationship?

The Afflicted Animal
Egil Pedersen • 15 min • 2015 • Norway
A young girl seeks help for her afflicted dog, but other members in her family need more help. The mother is lost in her own mind, the father wants to cure his loneliness and the girl is searching for truth. The film takes place in a small Sámi home in a remote area in Northern Norway and portrays a dysfunctional relationship between father and daughter.

ASINABKA CELEBRATES 5 YEARS: #Indigenous #Film #Media #Arts #Festival on #Algonquin #Territory #Ottawa

Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival returns to Ottawa for another year of unique programming.

This year Ottawa’s locally minded but internationally connected Film and Media Arts Festival, Asinabka, turns five. I have been attending this annual festival for the last 3 years and I am looking forward to my 4th year. I have seen it mature and grow its audience while still maintaining an important discourse with the local community of Ottawa especially regarding issues impacting Indigenous communities here on Algonquin Territory. Co-Director / Programmer Howard Adler shares that as “Asinabka Festival returns for our 5th year we couldn’t be more excited about our programming and our local and international partnerships.”

Each year the festival opens on Victoria Island at the site of Aboriginal Experiences, a beautiful location that foregrounds the Indigenous opening night film against the background of Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada – a highly symbolic vista. This year’s festival opens with Fire Song (Director Adam Garnet Jones), a film about youth suicide, sexuality, family obligations and future options.

Prior to the screening Indigenous Walks will be giving a tour that will begin at the Human Rights Monument (Elgin Street by City Hall) and end at the island where there will be a feast provided to the festival goers to share before the screening begins. Regarding the 2016 Festival programming “this is no doubt our most ambitious festival yet, showcasing more Indigenous film, media art, music, and performance than ever before, utilizing two of Ottawa’s best artist-run Centre’s for our Gallery Crawl (Gallery 101 & SAW), and continuing with our stunning traditional opening night welcome and outdoor film screening on Victoria Island!” states Howard. “There will be more delegates, filmmakers, and guests attending our festival than ever before, and there’s not enough room here to express how excited and thankful we are to host and present so much amazing art! Chi-Miigwech to everyone involved and to our faithful audience who return every year.

Work by Geronimo Inutiq. Image provided by Asinabka. 

Also this year Inuk media artist Geronimo Inutiq will have a solo show (ᐃᓱᒪᒋᓇᒍ – isumaginagu – don’t think anything of it) opening at Gallery 101 (51 Young St. Suite B). Regarding his contribution and involvement Geronimo says that Asinabka “gives us an opportunity to show and see contemporary original art works in a context that goes beyond inter-national boundaries. I am grateful and honoured to exhibit my work with video and images, and – with the Festival – help push the boundaries of what indigenous and Inuit media and art can be today.” 

A little bit about the show:

How do you feel? Have you listened to your instinct today? What is your gut telling you? All the combined fields of natural and social sciences have elucidated great intellectual theories as to the nature and function of what we do and the reasons and functionality behind it. To Geronimo Inutiq, the process of artistic expression is an alternative language to all that. Guided by some sort of arbitrary intuition and abstract sense of aesthetics, he produces cultural artefacts that have been shown in galleries and museums in the context of contemporary indigenous and Inuit art exhibits and performance – both nationally and internationally. read more…

“Cowboys N’ Indians” by Alison Bremner in “Neon NDN.” Image provided by Asinabka. 

“Urban Inuk” Jocelyn Piirainen is an “emerging curator with a growing interest in indigenous contemporary art. Her entry into the curatorial world began in with the first ever Indigenous Curatorial Incubator program, where she put together the “UnMENtionables” screening program and helped coordinate the “Memories of the Future” exhibition for the 2015 Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival.”  This year Jocelyn returns to Asinabka to curate Neon NDN: Indigenous Pop-Art Exhibition at SAW Gallery (Arts Court Building, 67 Nicolas St.).

From her curatorial statement:

In an article titled “Is There an Indigenous Way to Write about Indigenous Art?”, Richard William Hill recently contemplated “in purely practical terms, how would you bracket off Indigenous culture? Where do you draw the line? No more pop culture?”Had certain Indigenous artists bracketed off pop culture, Neon NDN would have been something quite different. In this Information Age, pop culture is everywhere and it’s not surprising many contemporary Indigenous artists engage with popular characters from film, television, video games, comic books, even corporate symbols and brand names. Through interacting with, reclaiming, and repurposing popular culture, Indigenous artists challenge a number of stereotypes and Hollywood tropes that have been set against Indigenous people and culture. read more…

Jocelyn states that “for this show, I really just wanted to create a sense of fun and bring in lots of colour. The theme is pop art – and for Indigenous artists, this theme isn’t quite so new as one might think.”

Both shows open on Saturday, August 13 and their will be Gallery Crawl with a FREE Shuttle bus provided. The bus will leave SAW Gallery after the 3 pm screening (OKA Legacy) wraps up. The bus will leave Gallery 101 to head back to SAW after the opening of Geronimo’s show that also includes a FREE BBQ. Neon NDN‘s vernissage will begin at 7:30 pm. Stay for the Music Night that will start at 9 pm.

From the Opening Night at Victoria Island to the closing party at Kinki Lounge (41 York St. in the Byward Market) you can find the best in contemporary Indigenous film, media and visual arts at multiple venues across the city from Wednesday, August 10 to Sunday, August 14, 2016.

For the full schedule click here.

Follow on Facebook & twitter @asinabkafest.

Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag unless otherwise noted. 

SUBTEXT AND THE CITY: Canada Know Your Brand


View from Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec while visiting the Indigenous & Urban Exhibit for Sakahàn.

The True North strong and free where nature is cherished and everyone lives happily ever after (?)

This place country we call Canada is kind of a mixed bag. ‘Multiculturalism’ in theory sounds welcoming but in practice can be problematic and is often accompanied by language that renders people tongue-tied and inarticulate.

So it’s easy to leave the talking to logos, slogans, and flags or monuments commemorating memories that are more complex than snapshot on vacay allows. But if you are willing to listen the city speaks!

Why not take a tour right now? If you click on each of the images below you can find out more about the work that’s in the picture as well as the artists and how each piece deepens the dialogue of the narrative of this nation.

Mixed Bag Mag would like to thank all the Cultural Provocateurs encountered while in the Capital visiting the National Gallery’s exhibit Sakahàn and offsite partner events. When it came to food for thought you each provided an all-you-can-eat buffet and I appreciate the exchange of ideas.

Harold Adler & Christopher Wong of Asinabka Film Festival

Jason Braeg – Artist / Curator and one of the founding members of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective.

Chris Henderson – Authour of Aboriginal Power

Greg Hill – Audain Curator & Head of the Department of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery

Alexandra Nahwegahbow – Artist / Researcher @allgussied_up

Jeff Thomas – Artist / Curator and contributing Sakahàn artist

Ola Wlusek – Curator at Ottawa Art Gallery

Also it was a pleasure to meet one of the international Sakahàn artists’ Nicholas Galanin. Nicholas’ beautiful masks can be seen inside the exhibit but outside, for the next week or so, you can check out Nicholas carving out another commission at the back of the gallery right by Roxy Paine’s One Hundred Foot Line. Suggested donation for watching the performance of what I refer to as ‘artist chipping away’ – a double shot Americano.

Thanks as well to Amy from the UK for being the guinea pig upon which I practiced my tour guide abilities. And to my other bunk mate Candace – Welcome to Canada! May it be a wonderful new home for you!

MIXED BAG MAG recommends Niigaan’s Treaty Workshops:

Niigaan workshops use “blankets to represent the lands of what is now Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they step onto the blanket, they are taken back in time to the arrival of Europeans…the exercise goes through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada.”

“Anishinaabe prophecy tells of a time when two nations will join to make a mighty nation. These two nations are the original people of Turtle Island (today known as North America) and the settlers of this land. However, it is warned that this mighty peaceful nation will only be built if both nations choose the right path. We all must understand the history behind the current political and social relationship before we can begin the process of decolonization. The legal history includes the treaties of peace and friendship, the British North America Acts, Section 35 of the Canadian constitution, the Indian Act, and the legal duty to consult First Nations; all these agreements and legal documents influence our ability to go forward together on the right path.  Our history is littered with forgotten events, either deliberately overlooked, or rationalized away somehow.” (cited from Niigaan’s website)

Metal sculpture of native man in traditional attire kneeling with quills. Canada's Parliament Buildings in the background. Metal sculpture of two men and a woman in armed forces attire with words reconcilation underneath them and antique church spires behind them.
Facade of old stone building, tree branches and fence of boards with phrase Idle No More written on it.
Metal sculpture of native men in traditional attire with eagle spanning wings above their heads, wolf at their feet and building with Canada written on it in the background.






Above images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.