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Fourth Wave Film Screening

Still from "Goldilocks tahnon ohkwari" by Karahkwenhawi Hopkins

January 12, 2022 12:00 PM - January 19, 2022 12:00 AM

It is often misunderstood that when the camera was introduced to Indigenous peoples, they were fearful of it. The work of popular American ethnographers such as Edward S. Curtis and Frederick Webb Hodge presented an image of Indigeneity that was frozen in time, seemingly unable to change or adapt to ‘modern’ Western technologies. Recent revisionist studies are looking back at this early interaction and suggesting that the Indigenous sitters documented by Curtis were in fact active participants in the memorialization of their own images.[1] As early as the late 1890s, we begin to see Indigenous-run and owned portrait studios popping up within Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, indicating the sitter’s increasing desire for control over their self-representation.[2] This practice is inherently different to the images produced by their non-Indigenous contemporaries, and sets the stage for Indigenous storytelling across all lens-based media.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many Indigenous artists began to turn to a new medium: film. In the time since, Indigenous cinema, or “Fourth Cinema”[3], has come to be defined by the will of Indigenous filmmakers to tell Indigenous stories through an Indigenous lens. In this film screening, we will be looking at films that address both the loss and the revitalization of Indigenous languages across so-called Canada.

 

 

Films

Aviliaq: Entwined | 2014 | 15 min | Dir. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Aviliaq: Entwined is set in a 1950’s arctic outpost camp and tells the story of two Inuit women struggling to stay together in a community that is pressuring them to marry men. The film, spoken entirely in Inuktitut, reveals how the encroachment of Christianity fractured the community’s ability to practice their language, culture, and beliefs, highlighting the painful and violent loss of language at the hands of the colonial state.

 

Enough | 2020 | 4 min | Dir. Kay Nadjiwon

Enough is Kay Nadjiwon’s personal lamentation of living the in-between; between white and brown, between settler and Nishnaabeg. The film discusses the many intergenerational traumas and questions urban Indigenous youth carry and how they often muddle our understandings of ourselves, our connections to our communities, and our relationships to our family. In this film, we see language as an entryway, a practice we can begin in solitude, and a labour that can be undertaken in an effort to legitimize and strengthen our ancestral ties to our Indigeneity. Enough is optimistic in its interest in reclaiming language, and tells the story of a local artists’ own journey with accepting themselves as “Indigenous enough”.

 

To Wake Up the Nakota Language | 2017 | 6 min | Dir. Louise BigEagle

In To Wake up the Nakota Language, 69-year old Armand McArthur states “when you don’t know your language or your culture, you don’t know who you are.” The film, spoken largely in the Nakota language, follows McArthur, one of the last fluent speakers in his community, and his commitment to language revitalization. In the film, we see what many of us likely imagine language learning to look like; community members gathered in a small classroom after hours, practicing in front of a whiteboard. There is a sense of comradery, a comfort in learning with folks you know so well.

 

Learning Dene and the Tale of the Raven | 2017 | 4 min | Dir. Wapikoni Mobile

Learning Dene and The Tale of the Raven shows how Dené is being taught to children in Clearwater River Dené Nation. The film begins with the instructor, David Ruelling, explaining how difficult it is to learn the language, hence the importance of teaching it to young children. The latter half of the film sees Elder Mary Ruelling telling the tale of the Raven, showcasing how storytelling is utilized in their community to help the children connect words to ideas, and also as a way of involving the elders in the teaching.

 

Goldilocks tahnon Ohkwari | 2015 | 16 min | Dir. Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa and Karahkwenhawi Zoe Leigh Hopkins

Goldilocks tahnon Ohkwari is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, although more adult and spoken entirely in Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk). In the film, Goldilocks visits the home of the three bears, which to a Western audience appears all the more ‘human’ compared to Goldilocks’ own family back in the trailer park. When the bear family arrives home, they find Goldilocks passed out on Papa Bear’s bed. It is here they decide to return to their old ways, a parallel that is made between the bears and the language learners who they’ve gotten to act in the film.

 

Remembering Inninimowin | 2010 | 76 min | Dir. Jules Koostachin

Remembering Inninimowin follows Cree filmmaker, Jules Koostachin, through her personal journey with loss, language, and belonging. The film addresses the impacts of genocide on the Inninuwak (Cree) communities of Mushkegowuk territory in Northern Ontario, who have for decades been systematically severed from their language and cultural practices. In the film, Koostachin takes a trip with her eldest son to her home community of Attawapiskat First Nation to grieve the loss of her grandmother and to connect with her first language, Inninimowin (Cree).

 


[1] Pedri-Spade, Celeste. “But They Were Never Only the Master’s Tools’: The Use of Photography in De-Colonial Praxis.” AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples 13, no. 2 (2017): 106-113.

[2] Mique’l Icesis Dangeli, “Bringing to Light a Counternarrative of Our History: B.A. Haldane, Nineteenth-Century Tsimshian Photographer.” In Sharing Our Knowledge: the Tlingit and their Coastal Neighbours, edited by Sergei Kan and Steve Henrikson (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2015).

[3] This term was first coined by celebrated Maori filmmaker Barry Barclay.

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January 12, 2022 12:00 PM January 19, 2022 12:00 AM America/Toronto Fourth Wave Film Screening It is often misunderstood that when the camera was introduced to Indigenous peoples, they were fearful of it. The work of popular American ethnographers such as Edward S. Curtis and Frederick Webb Hodge presented an image of Indigeneity that was frozen in time, seemingly unable to change or adapt to ‘modern’ Western technologies. Recent revisionist studies are looking back at this early interaction and suggesting that the Indigenous sitters documented by Curtis were in fact active participants in the memorialization of their own images.<a href="#_ftn1" name="_ftnref1">[1]</a> As early as the late 1890s, we begin to see Indigenous-run and owned portrait studios popping up within Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, indicating the sitter’s increasing desire for control over their self-representation.<a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2">[2]</a> This practice is inherently different to the images produced by their non-Indigenous contemporaries, and sets the stage for Indigenous storytelling across all lens-based media. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many Indigenous artists began to turn to a new medium: film. In the time since, Indigenous cinema, or “Fourth Cinema”<a href="#_ftn3" name="_ftnref3">[3]</a>, has come to be defined by the will of Indigenous filmmakers to tell Indigenous stories through an Indigenous lens. In this film screening, we will be looking at films that address both the loss and the revitalization of Indigenous languages across so-called Canada. &nbsp; <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/664471499?h=b57394b8ba" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe> &nbsp; <h3><strong>Films</strong></h3> <strong>Aviliaq: Entwined</strong> | 2014 | 15 min | Dir. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril <strong>Aviliaq: Entwined</strong> is set in a 1950’s arctic outpost camp and tells the story of two Inuit women struggling to stay together in a community that is pressuring them to marry men. The film, spoken entirely in Inuktitut, reveals how the encroachment of Christianity fractured the community’s ability to practice their language, culture, and beliefs, highlighting the painful and violent loss of language at the hands of the colonial state. &nbsp; <strong>Enough</strong> | 2020 | 4 min | Dir. Kay Nadjiwon <strong>Enough</strong> is Kay Nadjiwon’s personal lamentation of living the in-between; between white and brown, between settler and Nishnaabeg. The film discusses the many intergenerational traumas and questions urban Indigenous youth carry and how they often muddle our understandings of ourselves, our connections to our communities, and our relationships to our family. In this film, we see language as an entryway, a practice we can begin in solitude, and a labour that can be undertaken in an effort to legitimize and strengthen our ancestral ties to our Indigeneity. <strong>Enough</strong> is optimistic in its interest in reclaiming language, and tells the story of a local artists’ own journey with accepting themselves as “Indigenous enough”. &nbsp; <strong>To Wake Up the Nakota Language</strong> | 2017 | 6 min | Dir. Louise BigEagle In <strong>To Wake up the Nakota Language</strong>, 69-year old Armand McArthur states “when you don’t know your language or your culture, you don’t know who you are.” The film, spoken largely in the Nakota language, follows McArthur, one of the last fluent speakers in his community, and his commitment to language revitalization. In the film, we see what many of us likely imagine language learning to look like; community members gathered in a small classroom after hours, practicing in front of a whiteboard. There is a sense of comradery, a comfort in learning with folks you know so well. &nbsp; <strong>Learning Dene and the Tale of the Raven</strong> | 2017 | 4 min | Dir. Wapikoni Mobile <strong>Learning Dene and The Tale of the Raven</strong> shows how Dené is being taught to children in Clearwater River Dené Nation. The film begins with the instructor, David Ruelling, explaining how difficult it is to learn the language, hence the importance of teaching it to young children. The latter half of the film sees Elder Mary Ruelling telling the tale of the Raven, showcasing how storytelling is utilized in their community to help the children connect words to ideas, and also as a way of involving the elders in the teaching. &nbsp; <strong>Goldilocks tahnon Ohkwari</strong> | 2015 | 16 min | Dir. Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa and Karahkwenhawi Zoe Leigh Hopkins <strong>Goldilocks tahnon Ohkwari</strong> is a tongue-in-cheek adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, although more adult and spoken entirely in Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk). In the film, Goldilocks visits the home of the three bears, which to a Western audience appears all the more ‘human’ compared to Goldilocks’ own family back in the trailer park. When the bear family arrives home, they find Goldilocks passed out on Papa Bear’s bed. It is here they decide to return to their old ways, a parallel that is made between the bears and the language learners who they’ve gotten to act in the film. &nbsp; <strong>Remembering Inninimowin</strong> | 2010 | 76 min | Dir. Jules Koostachin <strong>Remembering Inninimowin </strong>follows Cree filmmaker, Jules Koostachin, through her personal journey with loss, language, and belonging. The film addresses the impacts of genocide on the Inninuwak (Cree) communities of Mushkegowuk territory in Northern Ontario, who have for decades been systematically severed from their language and cultural practices. In the film, Koostachin takes a trip with her eldest son to her home community of Attawapiskat First Nation to grieve the loss of her grandmother and to connect with her first language, Inninimowin (Cree). &nbsp; <hr /> <a href="#_ftnref1" name="_ftn1">[1]</a> Pedri-Spade, Celeste. “But They Were Never Only the Master’s Tools’: The Use of Photography in De-Colonial Praxis.” <em>AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples</em> 13, no. 2 (2017): 106-113. <a href="#_ftnref2" name="_ftn2">[2]</a> Mique’l Icesis Dangeli, “Bringing to Light a Counternarrative of Our History: B.A. Haldane, Nineteenth-Century Tsimshian Photographer.” In <em>Sharing Our Knowledge: the Tlingit and their Coastal Neighbours, </em>edited by Sergei Kan and Steve Henrikson (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 2015). <a href="#_ftnref3" name="_ftn3">[3]</a> This term was first coined by celebrated Maori filmmaker Barry Barclay. The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Queen Street, Oshawa, ON, Canada The Robert McLaughlin Gallery [email protected]

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