Performigrations: Unspoken Intersections

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Saturday, August 22, 2015
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Co-presented by the Italian Cultural Centre (ICC)
75 minutes

Curated by Juli Saragosa, this screening will feature film and video works – made by queer artists with transnational or colonized backgrounds. Each work addresses notions of language; the double meaning of words and various (mis)interpretations and clashes that can occur at the cross-sections of different cultures. This event precedes the presentation of “Italian-Canadian Queers Chat in East Van” an upcoming video installation by Saragosa, commissioned by VIVO and the ICC as part of Performigrations a travelling research project and exhibition funded by the European Union and premised on collaborative art-making practices and academic research on mobilities.

Screening Program:

Salty Wet
Desiree Lim and Winston Xin 2002, 9 min
Country: Canada
Language: Cantonese and English
Distribution: Video Out

Salty Wet will take you through a sexy and humorous language experience about interpretations of queer Cantonese and English slang. Ten Cantonese-English speakers are asked to explain the meanings of queer words in English and Cantonese. Unlike English, Cantonese words are made up of existing Chinese Characters. Often, new words are constructed by putting two characters (words) together. Thus, the two words, “salty” and “wet” when put together actually refer to someone who is “horny” or a “sex maniac”.

Notik Masowan?
Frederick Cummings, 2011, 5 min
Country: Canada
Language: Cree and English
Distribution: Video Out

Notik Masowan? mesmerizes the audience through Frederick Cumming‘s depiction of three different Cree-speaking individuals: the warrior, the shaman, and the berdache (two spirit). Throughout the video “he” transforms “us” and our opinions of First Nations mother tongues and their continual disappearance.

Woa Enjelsch
Kandis Friesen, 2011, 8 min
Country: Québec
Language: Mennonite Low-German and English
Distribution: independent

woa enjelsch is an auto-ethnographic document/ary recording a Mennonite family gathering in 1980s southern Manitoba. Working with this appropriated footage, the artist frames and focuses attentions to the dynamics playing out in the opening performance; The Mennonite infatuation with history and family connections, attitudes towards assimilation and change, nostalgia for the ways of the past, all with the humourous approach inherent to Mennonite Plaut’deitsch. Literally translated as ‘to have become English’, woa enjelsch looks at the locations between belonging and outsider, the liminal spaces within linguistic and cultural identities, the contradictions of a static faithfulness to an eternally shifting culture.

Happy Profiling
Wassan Ali, 2012, 5 min
Country: Sweden and Germany
Language: English
Distribution: independent

This film is an answer to letters and emails the filmmaker received from the Postbank two years ago when she refused the bank’s request to provide proof that she is a “normal citizen”. She could not sue the bank for discrimination, however, since the law actually did permit such profiling.

spuren legen_verwehen
lahn hornscheidt and laYla zami, 2012, 13 min
Country: Germany
Language: German, English, Turkish, French and Spanish
Distribution: independent

This film, inspired by the book “Feminismus Schreiben_Lernen” explores quest_ions of language, position_ing and beLong_ing to comm_Unities beyond heteronormative mainstream. A unique collaboration between gender studies professor Lahn Hornscheidt and filmmaker Layla Zami, it stresses intertwined aspects of gender and race. This challenging mix of poetic documentary and experimental essay portraits people who leave temporary traces of their identities and politics in their surroundings. In the audiovisual medium, the u-topian quests for spaces and words are re-created, suggesting alternative linguistic practices and demanding new ways of seeing_listening.

Qu‘est-ce que ça veut dire? (What does it mean?)
kimura byol-nathalie, 2010, 2 min
Country: Canada
Language: French Flemish and English
Distribution: GIV

A Flemish song from childhood… changed into questions of identity… numbering people, gender and [queer]

Tomboi Gatoey Mango, Eps.1
Jai Arun Ravine, 2010, 3 min
Country: USA
Language: Thai and English
Distribution: independent

This video is about the way my mother peels mangoes and the meanings of “gatoey.” I read a definition of “gatoey” (more commonly transliterated as “kathoey”) from Se-Ed’s Modern Thai-English Dictionary, and a passage from “Toms and Dees: Transgender Identity and Female Same-Sex Relationships in Thailand” by Megan J. Sinnott.

Kettle’s Boiling
Alison Smith, 2013, 3 min
Country: Scotland
Language: BSL and English
Distribution: independent

Part of Sandra Alland’s QTDD Video Project. Alison narrates her life in poetry, exploring sexual identity, deafness, traveller community, and her sense of belonging.

Writing the Land
Kevin Lee Burton, 2007, 8 min
Country: Musqueam
Language: Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Hunkamenum)
Distribution: NFB

In this short documentary, a Musqueam elder rediscovers his Native language and traditions in the city of Vancouver, in the vicinity of which the Musqueam people have lived for thousands of years. Writing the Land captures the ever-changing nature of a modern city – the glass and steel towers cut against the sky, grass, trees and a sudden flash of birds in flight and the enduring power of language to shape perception and create memory.


Italian-Canadian Queers Chat in East Van
Juli Saragosa, 2015, 15 minute discussion and presentation of the interactive video
Country: Canada
Language: English and Italian

A 15 minute presentation and discussion about the interactive video installation that collages together footage from Vancouver’s east end of 3 Italian-Canadian queers talking about their strict Catholic upbringings (eg; expectations to marry), a personal essay about the characteristics I inherited from my immigrant father, and an interview with my Nonna about her experiences coming to Canada from Italy after WWII. Different perspectives on the multi-generational effects of uprooting are presented through a multi-genre collage of video, old photos and voice-over.

Venue Accessibility

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.

Wheelchair/Walker Access

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.

About the 
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About the 

Growing up in an immigrant family, encouraged to try everything and the economic necessity to use what’s at hand (like a home photography darkroom), Juli Saragosa became an artistic experimenter from an early age.  As an interdisciplinary media and performance artist, Juli’s work extends to the curatorial and educational: she is a grassroots organizer of several independent festivals (The Project8 Super8 Film Festival and Mentorship Program-Vancouver, CA and the entzaubert queer DIY uncommercial film festival-Berlin, DE), a workshop leader (LIFT-Toronto, CA and VIVO-Vancouver, CA), mentor to young artists (Inside Out- Toronto, CA, Project8, and CFC-Toronto, CA), and as a media arts instructor (SFU- Vancouver, CA, UBC-Kelowna, CA and dBs Film-Berlin, DE).  Her works have been shown at festivals in Milan, London, L.A., Chicago, Berlin, Vancouver and Toronto.