VTAPE VIDEO PLAY Program 6: Animation

VTAPE VIDEO PLAY Program 6: Animation

Vtape Video Play is a personal invitation to a series that features leading artists from different generations and cultural perspectives, who are among the most important artists working in video and digital imagery today. All of the titles represented have been closed-captioned for accessibility.

Vtape invites you to preview 8 programs addressing creative and critical practices about some of the most pressing conversations of our time.

All programs represented have been closed-captioned for accessibility. To purchase a program Vtape is offering educational institutions at a special discount of 20%. For more information please contact distribution@vtape.org


Program 6: Animation

This program highlights intersectional perspectives that use graphic narratives to share stories.

1. Neo-Neon, Hiba Ali, 2013, 3:49 English text

This video used the device of neon, as a line, to demarcate boundaries, whether social, political, economic or geographic. Visually their is a neon line present that grows into various symbols while a poetic text about “borders” glides in and out of the frame.

2. The Nicest Waterfall, Ghaku Okazaki, Maya Ben David, 2015, 2:10 EN CC

The Nicest Waterfall is a collaborative piece with Japanese artist Ghaku Okazaki. Ben David explores Okazaki’s paintings and prints through video manipulation and animation.

3. Repercussions, Terril Calder, 2013, 3:35, audio CC

Repercussions is a portal that examines the link aboriginal people have to the lands history and resonates into a future that is strengthened by this acknowledgement.

4. No Lies, b.h. Yael, 2017, 1:00 English text

A young girl considers the complex relationships and lessons of growing up in a polygamous household. 5. Blossom 1, Jesse Jordan, 2018, 3:52 audio CC Blossom is an animated diary that I have hand-drawn over the past 4 years. In this animation, I express my emotions with relevance to my body through exploring the varying ways I can metamorphosis and contort a stagnant form. Every contortion that I draw represents a particular feeling and experience that I’ve had.

5. Blossom 1, Jesse Jordan, 2018, 3:52 audio CC

Blossom is an animated diary that I have hand drawn over the past 4 years. In this animation, I express my emotions with relevance to my body through exploring the varying ways I can metamorphosis and contort a stagnant form. Every contortion that I draw represents a particular feeling and experience that I’ve had.


Program 5: Palestine in Motion

These five video works turn our view to a history of displacement, colonization and the deepening humanitarian crisis.

1. Untitled: Part 3b, (as if) beauty never ends…, Jayce Salloum, 2004 11:22, English, Arabic, French CC

A more ambient work of many things, including orchards blooming and plants growing, super-imposed over raw footage from post massacre filmings of the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon. Cloud footage, Hubbell space imagery, the visible body crosscuts and abstract shots of slow motion water, add to this reflection of the past, its present context and forbearance.

2.  A Hot Sandfilled Wind, b.h. Yael, 2006, 13:00 English, Hebrew, Arabic, CC

Part 3 of the Palestine Trilogy: documentations in history, land & hope. A Hot Sandfilled Wind expresses the despair and hope of contemporary politics in Israel/Palestine. This video, based on a poem by Nadia Habib, visually acknowledges, in the context of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, that Israelis and Palestinians live and work, and suffer loss, side by side; and that mutual recognition is the only basis for hope.          

3. Target, Rehab Nazzal, 2012, Silent    

Shot in Al-Kabri, a destroyed Palestinian village where only a cemetery remains beneath an Israeli park that memorializes the destruction of a series of villages in the  North of Palestine. The disorienting experience of being at the site inspired the  fragmented editing. The title is taken from a line by Karl Marx in “The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.”

4. Jehad in Motion, Richard Fung, 2007, 25:47 

Jehad Aliweiwi is a Palestinian Canadian who lives in Toronto but regularly returns to visit his family in Hebron. Rendered on two screens, Jehad in Motion is a double portrait both of the man and of the two cities he calls home. In Hebron, Jehad takes us to the old market where Jewish settlers have colonized the upper stories forcing Palestinians to build a horizontal fence to protect themselves. In Toronto, we walk around Thorncliffe Park where he works providing services in one of the city’s key neighbourhoods for newly arrived immigrants.

5. Bodies in Motion, Rehab Nazal, 2017, 3:00 silent 

Bodies in Motion emerged from my experience of the Palestinian Intifada (2015-2016). The work consists of hundreds of images of individual protesters, digitally converted into silhouettes on a unifying white background. The work sets in motion the still images through animated sequences of stone slinging and its distinct visual language. Every few seconds, a black and white photograph punctuates the screen, connecting the real with the symbolic, the past with the present and the local with the universal.


Program 4: Black Focus

Exploring an endarkened feminist approach through personal, experimental, performative and documentary videos. Five artists dismantle Western notions of origin and Blackness.

1. forgive me for speaking in my own tongue – 4 mins and 12 secs before entering melancholy., Erika DeFreitas, 2016, 04:12, EN CC

In forgive me for speaking in my own tongue (4 minutes and 12 seconds before entering melancholy), the artist is engaged in the act of meditating on her breathing; focusing on each inhale and exhale.

2. From Billie…To Me…And Back Again, Dana C. Inkster, 2002, 04:20, EN CC

This experimental animation depicts how a late night radio dedication leads to nocturnal reverie of an unrequited love.

3. Womanism is a Form of Feminism Focused Especially on the Conditions and Concerns of Black Women, Madelyne Beckles, 2016, 03:48, EN CC

Infomercial aesthetics sell hard theory, a reflection on feminist cannons and consumption.

4. Karina Griffiths, Repair, 2017, 5:47, EN CC

I looked at my work through the gaze of endarkened perspectives and found them in Repair, a film about my grandfather’s house in Georgetown and the rainforest in Guyana.

5. Coming To Voice, Anthony A. Browne and Glace W. Lawrence, 1999, 51:00, EN CC
Coming To Voice is a dynamic, visually stylistic documentary exploring the emergence of Black film and video makers in Canada.


Program 3: Radical / Accessible

“You’re not choosing to stare at me. I’m making the decision to let you see me. I’m making you see me.” – Sean Lee, Body Wrap

1. Inclinations, Danielle Peers + Alice Sheppard, 2019, 5:40 EN, CC

INCLINATIONS began as a moment of ‘crip’ play. Alice Sheppard and Danielle Peers find themselves literally somersaulting in their wheelchairs on a 90-foot ramp on “social street”: the main entrance of the Kinesiology building at the University of Alberta.

2.  Red Buffalo Skydive, Jude Norris, 2000 3:30, EN, CC

Red Buffalo Skydive is a 3-minute video featuring a repeating 6-second clip of an animated running buffalo combined with dialogue of the artist repeating a story told to her by a paraplegic man who picked her up hitchhiking.

3.  Just Like You Do, Alexandra Hickox, 2014, 1:35 ASL, EN, CC

As Deaf people we are constantly asked to explain, and through having to explain ourselves, to convince ourselves and others of our important role in society. I want to present and capture the beauty of sign language and show how powerful a tool for communication it is.

4. Body Wrap, Sean Lee, 2014, 17:05 EN text, AD

“Body Wrap” emerged through my desire to live up to my hypervisibility. As a queer, visibly disabled, person of colour, the choice to be invisible was never an option. Being invisible was always an unknowable elsewhere. And in performance art, which has a history of using the body as an art-tool, my body always seemed to include an unintentional underlay of provocation.

5. Sight, Thirza Cuthand, 2012 3:30 EN, CC

Paralleling the experience of Blindness with Mental Illness, Cuthand deftly elucidates that any of us could lose any of our abilities at any time.


Program 2: The Trouble With Normal (troubling identities)

Why are you asking about sexual identities and visible minorities if its not required?

1. My Heart the Rockstar, Niki Forrest, 2001, 2:00 EN, CC

I turned six in 1970. The beginning of a new era. I was just starting to understand the hugeness of gender. Everything seemed to be about that. It felt really heavy.

2. Gender Lace and Glass, David Findlay, 1992, 3:00 EN, CC

The protagonist begins the process of undoing / rewriting a self-image that doesn’t fit.

3. Labeeb, Abdi Osman, 2012, 4:23, sound, CC.

Labeeb is an intimate portrait of Sumaya, a Somali trans-woman. One video documents aspects of her daily life, while the other portrays Sumaya performing a Somali ritual usually reserved for women.

4. PASSING FOR WHITE; PASSING FOR BLACK in São Paulo, Emelie Changhur, 2007, 3:04, sound, CC

The expression of a first-generation Canadian, who passes for black in her home country, finds herself passing for white in Brazil.

5. SuperNova, Rah, 2019, 19:08 English/Pahlavi, Open caption

“SuperNova is a game show parody that mimics the tropes of American Idol reality tv shows and consists of seven characters in which Rah performs.


Program 1: Truth and Reconciliation

We are empowered, changed and healed by stories

1. Hope, Dana Claxton, 2007, 9:51 EN CC

The artist ponders the possibilities of reconciliation. Upon the first round of rebuilding, it works perfectly and then another try makes it more difficult.

2. Tree, Shelley Niro, 2006, 5:00 EN CC

Personifying Mother Earth, she walks through her domain. She observes her environment and what has happened to it. She weeps.

3. Dancing with Naango, Sharon Issac, 2018, 3:17 English/Ojibwe, CC

Dancing with Naango is a short film about my daughter’s journey as a Jingle Dress dancer. She takes the viewer through her journey of regaining her culture as she works on relearning her traditions.

4.The “Gift”, Terril Calder, 2011, 2:00 English, with English subtitles.

The “Gift” is an exploration of betrayal and deception wrapped in a cozy blanket infested with the small pox disease.

5.  THIRST, Gail Maurice, 2007, 14:15 English, CC

A probing documentary into the highly problematic and deteriorating water delivery systems servicing Northern Ontario First Nations communities.


Image Credit: The Nicest Waterfall, Ghaku Okazaki, Maya Ben David, 2015


Vtape acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council for Vtape Video Play