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Thirza Cuthand

March 29, 2017

Thirza Jean Cuthand was born in Regina and grew up in Saskatoon. She is of Plains Cree and Scots descent, and a member of Little Pine First Nation. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, youth, love, and race. They have screened in festivals and galleries internationally. She completed her BFA majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and her Masters of Arts in Media Production at Ryerson University. Her work is currently on display in the exhibition Just Dandy at AKA artist-run in Saskatoon.

1. Canadian resource extraction

There’s this scene in the film Independence Day where the President of the United States finds out that the aliens are hopping from planet to planet extracting all the resources they can and then moving on. That’s basically what Canadian settlers are doing here and it’s so frustrating because I know if even a fraction of these stolen resources were used to pay even the minimum infrastructure for First Nations like the funds allocated to non-First Nation communities, we would be in a hell of a different place. Also the infuriating fact that Canadian mining companies are happily fucking over ecosystems that Indigenous people rely on in other countries… yeah, I think I am obsessed with the injustice of it all.

2. Non-binary genders

I have a weird gender that I can never really classify comfortably as being either cis or trans, because I’m AFAB and still use she/her pronouns and like my body the way it is and identify as a lesbian, but still feel pretty genderqueer and gender non-conforming as a butch. It’s actually kind of a fun thing to think about and I think it has made me more open-minded to possibilities. It’s been interesting seeing transphobic people claim they have a right to say shitty things because of free speech, but not see that free speech means people are also free to identify themselves as they wish and talk freely about gender outside the binary.

3. Dachshunds

I have two dachshunds so basically my whole life revolves around my sausage dog roommates’ needs. One is a laid back, easy-going senior guy and the other is a tightly wound, anxious young girl. People are always sending me dachshund memes and videos and sometimes it drives me nuts, but only because I follow like fourteen different dachshund groups and pages on Facebook and probably already saw it five or ten times before my friends tagged me in it. They are ridiculous dogs, but also super sweet and I think they keep me sane and grounded.

4. The state of queer film fests

I remember the earlier days of festivals when edgy experimental work was valued and shown because we were underfunded and making work about our own communities in a very raw way. It was vibrant work, but now I think bigger festivals are aiming more towards mainstream polished “Hollywood” productions because they get more bums in seats. It’s been sad to see fests get co-opted. Overall it makes me sad that funding for the arts relies so much on needing big audience numbers when some communities are just tiny and can’t meet those requirements.

5. Cinnamon raisn toast

With butter. My dogs always beg me to share, but I never do because I have the excuse of it being raisiny and bad for them.



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