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Visiting Artist: Alanis Obomaswin

Mon, Nov 7, 2016, 1:20 pm to 3:05 pm
Communications 150 (Studio C)

Join us for a master class with Canadian filmmaker Alanis Obomaswin.  

Alanis Obomsawin will discuss her methodology of working with and filming indigenous communities for the past half-century. Her mission is to use film as a way to give voice to the various communities that her films serve. At times, her films have had direct impact on legal policies in Canada concerning First Nations communities.

For more than 40 years, Obomsawin has made films revealing the effects of colonialist history and destructive government policy on indigenous Canadians, while simultaneously bringing to light the power of resistance and regeneration in First Nations communities and individuals across the country. As Steve Gravestock writes, “Her numerous documentaries comprise an alternative history of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples—markedly different from the official versions promulgated by governments and mainstream media, whose attitudes have ranged from neglect to racism.” Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki Nation, whose traditional lands extended through a large part of New England, Quebec, and the Canadian Maritimes. Born in New Hampshire and raised in Quebec, Obomsawin began her career as a storyteller in the coffeehouses of Montreal, where she told traditional stories and sang songs in French, English and Abenaki. Recruited by the National Film Board of Canada to consult on films about Aboriginal subjects, she started making her own films there in 1971. Since then Obomsawin has mastered the tools and resources available at the NFB, applying her passionate voice and powerful vision to making history one film at a time. (Kate Mackay, BAMPFA) 

Presented by: Film and Digital Media, Feminist Studies, History of Art and Visual Culture and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies