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  • Film Screening + Q&A w/Artist – Shelley Niro: Kissed by Lightning

Film Screening + Q&A w/Artist – Shelley Niro: Kissed by Lightning

Shelley Niro, Kissed by Lightning, film still, 2009.


Listen to the Q&A with Shelley Niro here:

For a transcription of the conversation please click here


To celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day, the RMG is pleased to present an artist Q&A and online screening of the film Kissed by Lightning (2009)  by Kanien’kehá:ka artist Shelley Niro. The artist Q&A will be in dialogue with Samuel Powless, to discuss the production of the film and its connection to the Kaianere’ kó:wa (Great Law of Peace).

Links to both the film and the talk will be available here on the RMG website from June 21-27, 2020.

This event is part of a wider programming initiative produced in partnership with Bawaajigewin Aboriginal Community Circle and the City of Oshawa. For more National Indigenous People’s Day programming including a bannock making workshop, language lesson, and drum performance, visit

Film Synopsis

Kissed by Lightning follows fictional painter Mavis Dogblood as she drives from her home on a small southern Ontario reserve to New York City for a solo exhibition. Haunted by the death of her late husband Jessie Lightning, Mavis’ journey traces that of the one made by Tekanawí:ta [Peacemaker] and Aienwátha over 800 years ago. A beautifully shot film filled with contemplative moments, Kissed by Lightning is a lovingly crafted study of how one works through grief, one of the central themes of Haudenosaunee history and culture.

Artist Bio

Shelley Niro is multi-disciplinary artist with a career spanning more than three decades. Primarily known for her art photography and filmmaking, Shelley is also a painter, bead worker, and sculptor. Often filled with campy humour and satire, her highly-influential work dismantles stereotypical representations of Native peoples while exploring what it means to be “Indigenous” in modern times.

In March Shelley received the Career Achievement Award from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and in 2017 was the recipient of both the Scotiabank Photography Award and a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.