White Dawn

Steele & Tomczak, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak

1988, 09:05 minutes, colour, English / French


We produced this tape at the height of the debate over the Free Trade agreement between Canada and the United States. We wanted to talk about cultural imperialism and its effect on individuals. What happens to that most personal aspect of personality - the dream - when you lose your sense of yourself, when you are not reflected in the culture that surrounds you, when you're absent? But rather than reciting the depressing and well-known statistics about America's cultural domination of Canada, we reversed the story. Using the visual and aural conventions of television to parody the "hard sell" of commercials, we construct an American who's losing it, who's insecure, doubtful of self but not quite sure why, who's grumpy but beginning to normalize the change. The corny K-tel style special effects add to the disorientation the character feels as he/she drops into the special void of "otherness."

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