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Passivity from Passivius

Passivity from Passivius

Nigeria 2 min 18 s

Passivity from Passivius explores the social issue of migration and mobility within, and out of Africa.

Jude Anogwih is a multimedia artist living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. Anogwih was a Goethe Fellow at the Documenta (13), Germany, and is a founding member and coordinator, Video Art Network in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Buy This (v3)

Buy This (v3)

UK 6 min 20 s

Buy This (v3) is an exploration of how environmental change is integral to the economic and political forces bringing about human displacement and racial inequality.

Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, producer and project manager, a collaborative audio-visual consultant for museums, also working in education, curriculum and learning development.

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Treasure Hill Camouflage

Treasure Hill Camouflage

Canada 2 min

Treasure Hill Camouflage is a performative video of the Treasure Hill village in Taipei, Taiwan. This village used to be an illegal settlement in Taipei where ex-soldiers from the war, as well as local artists built their homes.

soJin Chun is a Toronto-based artist whose work demonstrates the fluid nature of identity. She has exhibited and attended residencies internationally.

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Desire

Desire

Bangladesh 1 min 34 s

Desire explores memory and the displacement of the artist, from rural Bangladesh to the urban. His body of work explores human displacement, crisis, and terrorism.

Ashim Halder Sagor is a visual artist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has participated in numerous workshops and exhibitions in Bangladesh, Nepal, Canada, the UK and the US.

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A Ripe Volcano

A Ripe Volcano

Thailand 15 min

A Ripe Volcano is an allegorical revelation buildt around the recollection of human experience and shifts through the mental space distilled from the possessed memory of wounded time.

Taiki Sakpisit is hailed as one of the most distinctive experimental filmmakers working in Thailand today. His films are praised for their powerful audio, visual and extraordinary transformation of narrative structure.

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Ink

Ink

India 1 min 54 s

Local, hand drawn lithographic film posters contribute largely to the visual culture and character of the streets of Bangalore, India. Ink is a peek into where these posters are made.

Mehra & Lee, both interact with Bangalore’s ever-changing, ever-growing residents with their multi-lingual, cultural, economic backgrounds. They serve as mapmakers; mapping the desires, hopes, needs, dreams and disparities of Bangalore, which is born out of a desire to establish reference points for personal memories.

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look_im_azn

look_im_azn

USA 5 min 35 s

look_im_azn explores gay Asian men’s (GAMs) cruising strategies on American gay sex hookup websites.

Nguyen Tan Hoang is a Vietnamese American video artist whose work interrogates forms of desire in queer Asian male identities. His short experimental videos have screened at film festivals internationally.

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Coming Out

Coming Out

Canada 2 min 43 s

Coming Out is 1 of a 5 part video series that deals with the union of religion and homosexuality. In this video series, five volunteers pray while Lim simultaneously draw their portraits. “Vivek” is the first of the five.

Elisha Lim tells stories through comic strips, graphic novels and video, to celebrate their community of queer people of colour. Lim’s work has exhibited internationally.

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City Beyond

City Beyond

India 10 min 57 s

City Beyond is a film that speculates about the lives led by inhabitants of a submerged civilization. The images are of Bangalore city obtained through pinhole cameras made from matchboxes, paan masala boxes and cookie tins.

Shreyasi Kar is a photographer and moving image artist from India. Her work is interdisciplinary and explores relationships between space, belonging and inhabitance.

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Reality Dysfunctioned

Reality Dysfunctioned

Pakistan 1 min 57 s

Into the deep well / Absence of light /It was all white / No sense of self / It was only you or me / The water flowed within me / Whispered from above / Time stopped at bottom (and within me) / Continued in the world above / Only if reality exists.

Ahmed Faizan Naveed is visual artist, currently lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He graduated from School of Visual Arts and Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore in June 2012.

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Last Syllable of Time

Last Syllable of Time

Canada 3 min 20 s

Original footage of this video was filmed in January 2011 in Sri Lanka where the artist spent her formative years. Despite the horrors of nature and man, the people keep moving forward, yet, there remain traces of past destructions.

Pavitra Wickramasinghe was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Montreal. Her practice is guided by the need to know how things work; to break down motion, videos and screens to their most elementary steps and build them up again.

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Streams, Torrents and Waves

2013 60 min

By Nahed Mansour

Streams, Torrents, and Waves brings together eleven video art works that speak to bodies in flow. Drawing on Arjun Appadurai’s notion of global flows, these videos examine bodies negotiating the various mediascapes, technoscapes, financescapes, ethnoscapes, and ideoscapes shaping each artist’s specific context. Narrative styles include experimental documentary, story-telling through performance, use of digital technologies to assert identities, and commentary on the shifting visibility of subjects. An engagement with varied migrations serves as a focal point for these currents.

Trade routes have historically defined and continue to connect both Africa and Asia to colonial geographies. Filmed on the shores of Lagos, Jude Anogwih’s passivity from passivus initiates a conversation about the relationship between nationally situated bodies and global economies. Anogwih captures impressionistic scenes that allude to opportunities for people and goods to intersect through trade. Along these lines Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan’s Buy This (v3) is thematically focused on vital resources. Specifically Kooj deals with water, an invaluable vehicle through which people, labor and capital often move. Employing an array of experimental techniques, the result is a rich collage inundated with textual, audio, and visual information regarding the rapid commodification of working bodies and their deteriorating environments.

So-Jin Chun’s Treasure Hill Camouflage lightheartedly takes up the notion of assimilation through performances for video. Chun assumes various innocuous positions in the architectural and natural landscape of “Treasure Hill,” a heritage site in Taipei. In six short scenes the artist’s obscured body exposes the underlying correlation between culture, space, physicality, and belonging. Similarly, Ashim Halder Sagor utilizes his body in an endurance-based performance for video. In Desire, the artist submerges himself in the stream of a fresh pond until he swiftly surfaces for a breath. The repetition of this action abstracts the artists’ movement so that it effectively motions to a single site’s ability to trigger childhood memories.

Focusing on facial features, kinetic energy, and human sweat, Taiki Sakpisit’s short A Ripe Volcano presents mesmerizing portraits of Bangkok. Juxtaposing shots taken in the Royal Hotel (where military troops tortured protesters during ‘Black May’ in 1992) and Rajadamnern Stadium (a Muay Thai boxing arena built during WWII), Sakpisit infuses his film with an underlying sense of conflict. A Ripe Volcano culminates with images of instability that eventually erupt in disquieting images of mental, emotional, and physical distress. In Ink, Smriti Mehra and Matt Lee modestly gesture towards creative resistance. Filming a commercial lithographic printing press in Bangalore for outlawed B-movie posters, Mehra and Lee spotlight a simple act of defiance in the city’s underground distribution market. One after another, hand drawn lithographic film posters materialize. Opposition to existing laws is actively proclaimed, despite conservative state efforts to manage the cities’ visual landscape.

Nguyen Tan Hoang’s look_im_azn exposes the ambiguous racism prevalent in online cruising environments. An amusing assortment of screen-names and headless torsos provided by gay Asian men, allows Hoang to inflect spaces of virtual intimacy with the hostile nature of racialized pronouncements. Elisha Lim’s Coming Out continues to inspect broad stereotypes. Addressing the assumed conflict between religion and homosexuality, Lim draws a portrait of a single individual who we hear singing a prayer. Lim’s illustration provides a direct response to the invisibility of religious queers by making visible the faces of a silenced community.

Turning to landscapes of loss, an automated narrator in Shreyasi Kar’s City Beyond offers a fictional account of a once-prosperous civilization now submerged underwater. Using a handmade pinhole camera, Kar surveys abandoned shrines, structures, and machines in remote parts of the ocean. An eerie cyan-blue tint, achieved through cyanotype printing, augments the solemn mood. Ahmed Faizan Naveed’s Reality Dysfunctioned also uses ficton to consider the existence of passageways linked by water.

Returning to our starting point, a coastline, Pavitra Wickramasinghe’s Last Syllable of Time captures vigorous waves repeatedly crashing into Sri Lankan shores. A capsized ship soon takes up half of the frame, as the waves continue to crash onto the shore. Additional images of abandoned ships recall the country’s civil war, tsunamis, and other highly mediated images of ruin.

The images depicted in Streams, Torrents, and Waves share a familiarity with histories of colonial and imperial rule, gesturing to artists who find fuel in past and present horrors to create alternate readings of the personal, political and geographic spaces they choose to, or are forced to, inhabit. It is for this reason that an understanding of mobile populations and their dynamic struggles is vital in engaging these stories of existence, resistance, and survival.

Nahed Mansour is a Toronto-based artist that works in performance, installation, and video. Having completed her MFA at Concordia University, she is currently the Director of Mayworks Festival in Toronto.



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