Vtape & The Centre for the Study of Black Canadian Diaspora present: TELL THE BODY, curated by Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa

Vtape & The Centre for the Study of Black Canadian Diaspora present: TELL THE BODY, curated by Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa


curated by Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa

In her program, Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa brings together video works that explore the relationship between language and the senses as constructions of knowledge. Through videos of poetry, dance, oral history, and documentary, layers of thought are uncovered, giving form to the immaterial nature of language. Tell the Body explores the capacity for language, the immaterial, to be given physical form within the body through Afro-diasporic experience. The program touches on the capacity for the immaterial to inform the physical, producing ways of knowing that are sensuous in nature and exist in material form only within individual bodies, returning to a space of liminality as they are passed from one to another.   FG-B

Following the launch of the final title in her program Hamartia by Louise Liliefeldt, on March 23, 2022, curator Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa will be in a LIVE ON-LINE conversation with some of the artists featured in her program, moderated by Dr. Andrea Fatona.

The  LIVE ONLINE conversation between Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa and the featured artists will be streamed at 7:00 pm ET via video that will be embedded below.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2022 @7pm ET

6. Louise Liliefeldt, Hamartia, 2001, 11:00

Born in Cape Town in 1968, Louise Liliefeldt is a multidisciplinary artist who attended the Ontario College of Art and Design from 1987 to 1992. Living and working in Tkaronto/Toronto, she has presented her work across Canada and internationally, using performance and metaphor to pose questions surrounding beauty and identity, particularly as they intersect with race and gender. InHamartia (2001), Liliefeldt gazes out at the viewer, only breaking eye contact when a black viscous liquid is poured over her face, forcing her eyes closed. This moment of slowed time and unbroken eye contact calls to mind questions of spectatorship and implication. Liliefeldt asks us as viewers to recognize the systems of oppression bearing down on descendants of slavery and evaluate our role in its perpetuation.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2022 @7pm ET

5. Dawn Wilkinson, Dandelions, 1995, 5:30

Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Dawn Wilkinson is an award-winning film and television director and screenwriter. Using her experience as a black Canadian as a point of entry, Wilkinson situates the discussion of identity within a context of language and the subtle yet immovable meaning produced every time a word is used or a question is asked. Seen holding flowers, dancing across a beach, and amongst a picturesque landscape, Wilkinson calls forward questions of location, belonging, and land. Dandelions (1995) emphasizes close-up shots of nature and clips of Wilkinson from afar, which gives the sense of being both within her and apart from her, contextualizing the discussion of belonging as a Black person in a white landscape with the sensation of simultaneously existing and being invisible.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2022 @7pm ET

4. Nadine Valcin, Emergence, 2017, 6:35

Nadine Valcin is an award-winning bilingual media artist, producer, writer, and director whose documentary and dramatic work explores the intersections of race, language, and identity. Her work addresses the effect of anti-black racism on the bodies and lives of diasporic peoples. In Emergence (2017), Valcin counters the one-dimensional and simplistic understanding of blackness perpetuated by contemporary Canadian blackface using only slow-motion clips to illustrate the beauty and truth of blackness. Showing the unique and diverse ways blackness exists using close-ups and extreme slow-motion, this video attempts to break from the constraining perceptions of blackness felt by every Black person. Pressing against an unseen force, the people in the video embody the physical evidence of the varying forms and beauty of blackness, pressing against the inherited burden of perceived homogeneity.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 2022 @7pm ET

3. Karen Miranda Augustine, I call myself2001, 2:30

 Karen Miranda Augustine is a Canadian mixed-media artist, writer, and video maker, whose practice explores the process of constructing meaning on an individual level and within broader social contexts. Her work addresses the metaphysical and ways in which shared experience can become the point of interconnection, often leading her work to include some participatory aspect, from strangers and friends alike. In I call myself (2001), Augustine parallels the concept of womanhood present within popular media with that of men’s preconceptions of the word “woman”. Augustine layers interview audio and footage over music video clips, demonstrating the multiplicity of truths present in a word, and its ability to bring forth unique memories and experiences for the individual speaking it.



2. Donna James, Maigre Dog1990, 7:50

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1960, Donna James is a photographer, videographer, and artist whose practice centres on the ways that generational knowledge is passed down. Her work emphasizes oral history and personal memory as the location from which politics of representation and notions of Black womanhood can be interrogated. In Maigre Dog (1990), James considers the importance of oral history and familial ties in the construction of a definition of self. Through audio clips of a conversation with the Jamaican women in her life, James uses the nostalgia of her memory to explore representations of the self in media. This work examines the capacity for language, inherently intangible, to become a physical embodiment of the complex ways identities are constructed.

FEBRUARY 16, 2022 @7pm ET streaming HERE with a LIVE introduction by the curator in conversation with Dr. Andrea Fatona.

1. Katrin Bowen & Tanya Evanson, Almost Forgot My Bones, 2004, 5:00.

Katrin Bowen is a Vancouver-based, award-winning film and video director of dramatic and comedic feature films. Tawhida Tanya Evanson is a Tiohtià:ke/Montréal born and based poet, multidisciplinary artist, author, producer, and arts educator. Bowen and Evanson join together to create a video poem about the self-reflective nature of relationships and those things – geography, language, profession – on which our construction of self depends. In this video, the narrator’s quest to understand and accept her cultural heritage begins in her search outside of herself, only for those relationships to reflect her truest self. Almost Forgot My Bones (2004) explores the transience of identity and how the impermanent cornerstones of our identity are made permanent through their absorption into our very sense of self, our bones.


Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa is a Nigerian-Canadian writer, curator, and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her writing engages care theory, community, afro-futurism, and the archive. Her art practice and research centre Afro-diasporic experience to build an understanding of the ways archives of physical and immaterial knowledge are constructed in the Black community.  

For more information contact Artistic Director Lisa Steele: lisas@vtape.org

Image credit: Hamartia by Louise Liliefeldt (2001)