MediaQueer + Taklif @ RIDM: Disorienting Diaspora: Shorts by Brown Queer Artists from the Canadian Archive

  • Event

MediaQueer + Taklif @ RIDM: Disorienting Diaspora: Shorts by Brown Queer Artists from the Canadian Archive

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:00 to 22:00

Disorienting Diaspora: Shorts by Brown Queer Artists from the Canadian Archive

Thursday, Nov. 16, 8PM at Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe, 1564 rue St-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2X 1K1

Curatorial Statement [Please see essay by Taklif below. Image: still from Atif Siddiqi's Erotic Exotic]. Thomas Waugh + Taklif

Since 2006 the Queer Media Database Canada Quebec* has worked to resuscitate our rich heritage of queer or LGBTTIQA2S moving image makers and their works. The kernel of this program at the RIDM (Montréal International Documentary Festival) was planted in early 2017 in the wake of an alarming tide of islamophobia here and abroad. This political crisis compelled us to revisit this rich trove of films and videos by artists working in Canada, who had come or whose families had originally come from Muslim-majority societies and whose work is shaped by this cultural heritage and history. Curated in partnership with the evanescent collective Taklif, this genderful and political program was chosen to challenge, inform, amuse, provoke – or arouse – you, make you wake up or dream, and perhaps even inspire this archive to come alive in the coming years. Please see curatorial essay from Taklif below, and Samra Habib's Just me and Allah: Interviews with Queer Muslims, here online

1.  Erotic Exotic, Atif Siddiqi. A video performance piece: trans* resistance to clerical intolerance.

  • Country : Canada (Quebec)
  • Year : 1998
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles : French
  • Duration : 19 MIN

2. La Mélomane voilée, Hejer Charf. Billie Holiday helps orient Islam towards the search for pleasure and intimacy.

  • Country : Canada (Quebec)
  • Year : 2008
  • V.O : French
  • Subtitles :
  • Duration : 5 MIN

3. Puri, Arif Noorani and Kevin D*Souza. An essay on erotic fantasy and identity in the shadow of Bollywood.

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 1998
  • V.O : English, Hindi
  • Subtitles : 
  • Duration : 5 MIN

4. Cab Ride, Farrah Khan. An autographical encounter with a driver as well as Dad.

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 2011
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles : No
  • Duration : 5 MIN

5. Chic Point. Fashion for Israeli Checkpoints, Sharif Waked. Strut the runway, bare your midriff, challenge the Occupation with camp.

  • Country : Palestine
  • Year : 2003
  • V.O : Arabic, English
  • Subtitles : No
  • Duration : 7.5 MIN

 

6.    The Queen of My Dreams, Fawzia Mirza. A narrative romance, Bollywood, my girlfriend and me.

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 2011
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles : French
  • Duration : 3 MIN

7.    My Name is Ludmilla-Mary – Corpus Christi (TX), 2fik. The artist takes over Texas with high-style public genderfuck.

  • Country : Canada (Quebec)
  • Year : 2015
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles : French
  • Duration : 5 MIN

8.    Jangri, Safiya Randera. A personal essay confronting lesbian relationships and identities.

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 1998
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles :
  • Duration : 7 MIN

9.    “Rizwan,” Feroz Khan. Pedagogy and lust: a classroom fantasy. Excerpt from his distance between us (Kevin D*Souza, 7 min. 1999).

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 1999
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles :
  • Duration : 2 MIN

10.  The Migrant Mixtape, Eli Jean Tahchi. Queer Quebec migrants, refugees and diasporics in the age of Trump.

  • Country : Canada (Quebec)
  • Year : 2017
  • V.O : English, French, Arabic
  • Subtitles : English
  • Duration : 22 MIN

11.  Just me and Allah: Interviews with queer Muslims, extended interviews with Samira and Rahim.. Samra Habib. Two raw testimonies, Iranian and Palestinian, tell it like it is. Program supplement/online “trailer.” https://vimeo.com/100591577 

  • Country : Canada
  • Year : 2014
  • V.O : English
  • Subtitles :
  • Duration : 10 MIN

Disorienting Diaspora: Shorts by Brown Queer Artists from the Canadian Archive

Taklif : تکلیف co-presents Disorienting Diaspora in collaboration with Queer Media Database Canada Quebec (mediaqueer.ca). Departing from South Asia and arriving in the Middle East, logged in at Israeli checkpoints and touching down in the Maghreb before passing through Canadian border controls, and spanning almost two decades since 1998, this collection introduces itself as a migrant mixtape par excellence (to borrow the title of Eli Jean Tahchi ‘s forceful documentary from this year) . Although the eleven selected shorts touch on a variety of themes, their relation to disorientation runs through them as a common thread. Disorientation as the distance from the orientalizing tropes propagated within Western spectatorship, and also as the resistance to the promises of belonging we heard through our passages of home-leaving.

It is not clear exactly where to stand when negotiating (racial, sexual, political or poetic) identities that are fundamentally trans-national and trans-historical. The danger of essentializing both identity and difference haunts the margins of this project, as it does any work that concerns itself with vague notions of subjectivity. This is particularly true in the case of Brown diasporic artists whose home-work is founded on the logos of refusal: their work eludes the logic of either/or in favour of the neither/nor of unbelonging. We honour the intersections drawn by each of our eleven pieces and the complex web of identities they grapple with, all the while respecting any forms of distance they might also call for. In this specific context, it might of course be undesirable for these artists to be categorized under umbrella terms (i.e. queer, Muslim-descent, Person of Colour, Queer of Colour, etc.). That being said, the distances here are not meant to be fetishized by the spectator. The 11 shorts (including our online “trailer” Just me and Allah: Interviews with queer Muslims, Samra Habib, 2014) must be seen in their geo-gendered-sexual disorientation if only for them to maintain their agency and be liberated from the orientalist gaze toward them.

In choosing to speak of Brown diasporic identities, we are also conscious of operating with a terminology that is [hyper-]saturated with signification. In this context, however, Brown should be read as an encompassing term which seeks to include diverse diasporas of racialized and “othered” bodies sharing a specific type of distance to the White/settler/colonizer narratives. Brown diasporas refer not to strictly phenotypically Brown subjects, but rather to a set of common disorientations and alignments that queer normative trajectories. Indeed, this queerness is precisely the fold that has allowed QMDCQ to gather a virtual archive in the first place: a queer film and media database. On the one hand, the archive has traditionally been the defining method of putting historical knowledge in order, while on the other hand, moving images have proved themselves capable of stirring up many imposed forms of historicizing; this paradox might make sense here thanks to the term “queer”. This selection as a film archive is queer, if not strictly in the temporal and spatial meanings of the term. In other words, our collection is simply a recollection of the relational differences between non-normative experiences (racially, culturally, sexually, historically, etc.) and their surrounding normative archive (in this case, Canada as a geopolitical entity).

As they play and experiment with frames and expectations, these shorts open the way to a lucid, radical and unyielding reflection on the marginal and marginalized trajectories of Brown diasporas in Canada since the 1990s. These marginalized subjects are not to be centered as the markers of the geographically distinguishable traits, but rather we hope they will act as compasses for archival (dis)orientations. To this end, rather than creating a perimeter to frame any significations of nationhood, Canada becomes a landscape for such subjectivities to manoeuvre: an unceded land to be re-membered.

Taklif : تکلیف is an imaginary space and a travelling library dedicated to (un)learning practices and radical imaginations through art and dialogue.

www.taklif.org

info@taklif.org