Clint Enns & Jenny Western
Words Before All Else: Oral Histories in the Digital Age

On September 27, 2018 at 7 pm


Limited seats! Spectators will be let in on a first come first served basis.

Vidéographe and Dazibao reiterate for a second year their collaboration with the dv_vd screenings, and are pleased to present the video programme curated by Clint Enns and Jenny Western.

Words Before All Else: Oral History in the Digital Age

What happens when traditional stories are envisioned digitally? What is lost in a society that does not acknowledge specific types of histories? How have digital technologies transformed traditional storytelling? The works in this program make use of experimental forms akin to computer animation in order to work through these questions.

Programme — 60 minutes

Skawennati, Words Before All Else Part 1 (2017) — 1 min.
Skawennati’s avatar, xox, recites in English, French and Kanien’kéha the first verse of the Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen, the Haudenosaunee’s “Thanksgiving Address,” a text traditionally spoken at the opening
and closing of all Haudenosaunee gathering.

Mary Kunuk, Unikausiq (Stories) (1996) — 6 min.
“These stories and songs remind me of my childhood and the stories that my mother used to tell me. Recording them on video is my way of keeping them alive.” – Mary Kunuk

*French and Inuktitut, shown for the first time with English subtitles.

Skawennati, She Falls For Ages (2016) — 21 min.
This sci-fi retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story reimagines Sky World as a futuristic, utopic space and Sky Woman as a brave astronaut and world-builder. It begins on an ancient, alien world whose culture centres on the care and reverence for the beautiful, energy-producing Celestial Tree. The central figure of the tale is Otsitsakaion, a telepath. When she learns that her world is dying, she knows what must be done; she must become the seed of the new world.

Trevino L. Brings Plenty, Shedding Skins (2008) 
— 3 min. 30 sec.

“This is the best book trailer that has ever been made.” – Monica Storss

Elizabeth LaPensée, Native Representations in Video Games (2011) — 8 min.
This short film briefly overviews Native (Indigenous, Native American, American Indian, First Nations, Aboriginal) representations in digital games.

Zacharias Kunuk, Tungijuq (What We Eat) (2009) 
— 7 min. 30 sec.

A thought-provoking meditation on the seal-hunt and what it means to the traditional way of life for the Inuit. Tungijuq is a cinematic and musical expression of the organic and indisputable reality of hunting in Inuit culture, starring and with music by Tanya Tagaq.

Doug Smarch Jr., Ignition (2009) — 3 min.
This animated short evokes the experience of driving alone on an unlit rural road at night. Darkness is broken by the beam of headlights, creating dancing shadows that obscure what lies beyond the road. This film was generously made available through the National Film Board’s Wide Awake Initiative

Zack Khalil and Adam Shingwak Khalil in collaboration with Jackson Polys, The Violence of a Civilization Without Secrets (2017) — 10 min.
An investigation into the recent court case that decided the fate of the remains of a prehistoric Paleoamerican man found in Kennewick, Washington State in 1996 that reflects on indigenous sovereignty, the undead violence of museum archives, and post-mortem justice.

Clint Enns is a visual artist living in Toronto, Ontario. His work primarily deals with moving images created with broken and/or outdated technologies. His work has shown both nationally and internationally at galleries, festivals, alternative spaces and microcinemas. He has a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Manitoba, and has recently received a Master’s degree in cinema and media from York University where he is currently pursuing a PhD. His writings and interviews have appeared in Leonardo, Millennium Film Journal, Incite! Journal of Experimental Media and Spectacular Optical. vimeo.com/clintenns

Jenny Western is an independent curator based in Winnipeg. She holds an MA in Art History and Curatorial Practice from York University in Toronto. Her undergraduate degree is in history and art history from the University of Winnipeg. In 2009–2010 Western was Aboriginal Curator-in-Residence at Winnipeg’s Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery. Some of her recent exhibitions include co-curatorial projects Hovercraft at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, in Brandon; The Ephemerals: Trending, for Gallery 1C03 in Winnipeg; and Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, for Plug In ICA.


The programme was initially created and presented at the Vector Festival 2018 and InterAccess.
The curators would like to thanks the organizations for their support.

Dazibao thanks the artists and Vidéographe for their generous collaboration and its Board of Directors for their support.

Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.