Messages Across Time is a screening featuring a selection of video art and documentation footage from Video Out's distribution archive. Created by producers Nitanis Desjarlais (Cree/Metis,Tsimshian/Gitxsan), Sarah Shamash, and Annie Fraziér Henry (Blackfoot/Sioux/French), these works showcase the power of youth voices and their leadership against ongoing colonialism across time and space. Drawing together messages from Elders to youth as well as the voices of Idle No More in the 2010s and Native Youth Movement in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Messages Across Time asks viewers to consider and witness the legacy of these moments today.
Messages Across Time emerges out of recent efforts to highlight and support the works of Indigenous producers in VIVO's archives and conversations around violence, oppression, generations of resistance, hope, and the power of Indigeneity and collective being.
Some of the videos featured include depictions of state colonialism and police violence. Please take the care you may need with these works. At the screening, we hope to provide a space where different levels and kinds of engagement are welcomed and valued - from stepping in and out, crafting and the like.
On-site at VIVO Media Arts Centre
2625 Kaslo St, xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) land
Sep 15, 2022, 6 pm
Native Youth Movement: Secwépemc Chapter - Roadblock (Nitanis Desjarlais), 2002
E-12 Native Students Demonstration And Protest (monitor north), 1988
I is for Idle No More (Sarah Shamash), 2013
Sep 16, 2022, 6 pm
Words of Wisdom (Annie Fraziér-Henry), 1992
Native Youth Movement: Vancouver Chapter (Nitanis Desjarlais), 2001
This screening was developed as part of Syr Reifstek's 2021 archive internship, generously funded by the British Columbia Arts Council’s Early Career Development Program.
During their internship, Syr also developed extensive archive policy and "Presence – A Research Guide to Indigenous Materials at the CDMLA," an online, searchable and downloadable finding aid highlighting videos, ephemera, publications and other records created by, with, or about Indigenous peoples within the archive.
VIVO is located in the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in a warehouse space at 2625 Kaslo Street south of East Broadway at the end of E 10th. Transit line 9 stops at Kaslo Street on Broadway. From the bus stop, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight decline. The closest skytrain station is Renfrew Station, which is three blocks south-east of VIVO and has an elevator. From there, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight incline. There is parking available at VIVO, including wheelchair access parking. There is a bike rack at the entrance. The front entrance leads indoors to a set of 7 stairs to the lobby.
A wheelchair ramp is located at the west side of the main entrance. The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. There is an outward swinging door (34 inch width) at the top of the ramp leading to a vestibule. A second outward swinging door (33 inch width) opens into the exhibition space. Buzzers and intercoms are located at both doors to notify staff during regular office hours or events to unlock the doors. Once unlocked, visitors can use automatic operators to open the doors.
There are two all-gender washrooms. One has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The other is a single room with a urinal and is wheelchair accessible: the door is 33 inches wide and inward swinging, without automation. The toilet has 11 inch clearance on the left side and a handrail.
To reach the bathrooms from the studio, exit through the double doors and proceed straight through the lobby and down the hall . Turn left, and the two bathrooms will be on your right side. The closest one has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The far bathroom is accessible.
Annie Frazier Henry (Blackfoot/Sioux/French) works as a filmmaker, musician and writer in Gibsons, British Columbia. Many of her films reflect her life-long advocacy for Native youth. In 2003 her documentary The Spirit of the Game won the Milagro Award for Best Indigenous Film at the Santa Fe Film Festival. She also helped Native teens produce It’s Up to Us, named Best Student Film at the 1996 Dreamspeakers Aboriginal Film Festival. In 1999 Frazier Henry served as a juror at the Sundance Film Festival. She has composed musical scores for films, including Loretta Todd’s The Learning Path. She received the honour of Aboriginal Producer, Writer and Director of the 21st Century.
Nitanis Desjarlais, Cree/Metis,Tsimshian/Gitsan ancestry is the owner/operator of Shape Shyphter Studios (formerly ButterflyFX Productions) as an independent videographer, editor, director, wife and mother of six. She has produced an assortment of documentaries depicting the struggle of First Nations in British Columbia. She started her Video production company 2003 with more than thirty cultural productions to preserve Aboriginal culture, language and oral teachings. More recently the business name changed to Shape Shyphter Studios to describe the expansion into a mobile film training to work throughout British Columbia’s diverse Aboriginal communities. Throughout her life Nitanis has maintained a strong bond with the traditional teachings and values of her youth showing strongly in her love for and skill in the art of storytelling and displayed in her visual and artistic video expressions. Nitanis now lives in Port Alberni with her Nuu-chan-nulth husband where they raise five children while the oldest is a film studies student at York University in Toronto.
Sarah Shamash’s research creation practice is committed to decolonial, feminist critique and action; it encompasses film, art, writing, curation, and education. Her artworks comprise the use of media in a wide variety formats such as installation, documentary, photography, sound, performance, and video. They have been shown in curated exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Her work as an artist, researcher, educator, and programmer can be understood as interconnected and whole; they all revolve around a passion for cinema as a pluriversal technology of knowledge. She gratefully raises her son and lives on the unsurrendered and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh First Nations in what is known as Vancouver.
Monitor North was a non-profit media access centre that operated in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in the 1980s and 90s. In 1989 it directed the bulk of its resources to the support of “communication art” produced by Indigenous peoples living in remote and isolated communities in northwestern Ontario, and youth education.
Syr is a process and practice oriented archivist, maker, and slow time hermit dreamer. Their projects for VIVO have included research for new archival policies and the initial creation of a Indigenous media and materials research guide. Syr is also providing consultative support for VIVO's transition to a Collective Access based collections management and digital exhibition platform with a focus on accessibility and approachability. They grew up in Texas as well as the upper south of the 'USA', and have German/Irish/British/Choctaw ancestors. They have been living for the past decade on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ nations. Syr lives with a variety of humans, ferrets, and houseplants.