imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 2020 Online | #iNfestival2020 Exhibitions: Kinship Stories


Angela Tiatia, Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis, 2010.
Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens, and Intimacies | Hxstoires, écrans et intimités samoans
A Space Gallery

#iNfestival2020 | EXHIBITIONS
Kinship Stories

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, October 20-25, 2020, is the world’s largest Indigenous festival showcasing film, video, audio, and digital + interactive media made by Indigenous screen-content creators. The Festival will present compelling and distinctive works from 153 Indigenous creators from Turtle Island and around the globe, reflecting the diversity of 97 different Indigenous nations and illustrating the vitality and dynamism of Indigenous arts, perspectives, and cultures in contemporary media. The overarching theme for the Festival is guided by Indigenous practices of gifting and expressions of generosity in recognition of collective responsibility to and for one another.

Storytelling remains central to the Festival, amplifying the voices of Indigenous artists and filmmakers globally. For six days, we will gather in the telling bearing witness to the transmission of Indigenous thought and innovation creating a constellation of kinship.

Contributing to the fluidity of Indigenous storytelling, four iN2020 EXHIBITIONS bring forward notions of sovereignty in relation to Indigenous bodies, land, kinship, and continuums. At A Space Gallery, Dr. Léuli Eshrāghi curates a world-first survey exhibition of interdisciplinary Sāmoan video art and short film classics featuring rarely seen works from 1995-2013 centred on faʻafafine (akin to Two-Spirit) transfeminine experience and navigating cultural belonging despite colonial displacement and trauma. Thirza Cuthand’s Medicine And Magic curated by Ariel Smith delves into the impact and traces ancestral memories through two specific instances in Cuthand’s family history separated by time and geography. Kinship and connectivity over vast distances are discussed further in Constellations of Kin, a three-person group exhibition curated by Eli Hirtle. Witnessing the profound influence of Kinship networks to uplift resilience, Tanya Lukin Linklater’s exhibition at Trinity Square Video looks further into site for cultural/knowledge transference.

Exhibitions can be viewed online in the iNdigital Space for free and in person as indicated by each gallery. On October 22 at 7:00 PM (EST), imagineNATIVE Artistic Director, Niki Little will guide a virtual tour of the exhibitions through the Online Art Crawl, a free Facebook Live event.

Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens, and Intimacies | Hxstoires, écrans et intimités samoans

Tufuga ō Measina | Artists | Artistes
Chantal Fraser, Yuki Kihara, Jason Edward Lewis, Dan Taulapapa McMullin,
Angela Tiatia, Lani Tupu with | avec Lisa Taouma
Leoleo ō Measina | Curator | Commissaire
Dr·e Léuli Eshrāghi
A Space Gallery

Sāmoan Hxstories, Screens, and Intimacies is the first exhibition in a larger project investigating the practices of Sāmoan artists and filmmakers engaging with bodies, sexualities, kinships, cultural knowledges and futurities. Among the first surveys of the moving image and digital artworks of the Sāmoan people, its scope includes the minority remaining in the homeland archipelago as well as the majority living in diasporic communities in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Germany and Canada. Multiple barriers to deepening cultural practice exist in all these territories, meaning that this project offers a timely and culturally responsive context to chart the relationships, important moments and achievements of recent Sāmoan moving image and digital art hxstories. Drawn into a non-linear temporality as siapo viliata (animated barkcloths) the works within this exhibition signal various purposes including the keeping of cultural memory, innovating artistic practices and strengthening international Indigenous visual arts research.

Sāmoan Hxstories: Screens, and Intimacies, presented by A Space Gallery with support from Nia Tero.

Medicine And Magic

Thirza Cuthand
Curator Ariel Smith

Curated with Ariel Smith, Medicine And Magic is a new dual-channel video installation created by Cree artist Thirza Cuthand. Cuthand pulls from her own familial history to connect two separate incidents that occurred over 100 years and 6,000 km apart. A story about the artist’s great-great-grandfather being doctored with bear medicine is juxtaposed with that of a Scottish woman who was executed for purportedly practising witchcraft. Correlations are drawn between the Christian colonial violence which sought to repress traditional Cree medicine and that which burned women at the stake.

Medicine And Magic, presented by imagineNATIVE, with support from Ontario Arts Council, K.M. Hunter Foundation, and Vtape.

Constellations of Kin

Elisa Harkins | Nicole Neidhardt | Whess Harman
Curator Eli Hirtle
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre

Kinship systems are fluid in nature, composed of constellations of non-human and human relations across boundaries of space and time. Each artist in this exhibition, Elisa Harkins, Nicole Neidhardt, and Whess Harman, engage with the concept of what kinship means to them and how the care, connection, and safety within these systems guide them in imagining futures where we are held in our collective worlds.

Constellations of Kin, presented by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre’s Poetic Justice Project is made possible with generous funding from the Canada Council for The Arts.


Tanya Lukin Linklater, The treaty is in the body, 2017
This moment an endurance to the end forever
Trinity Square Video

This moment an endurance to the end forever

Tanya Lukin Linklater
with Sassa Linklater and Tobi Linklater
Trinity Square Video

This moment an endurance to the end forever is an exhibition shaped in the living room of Tanya Lukin Linklater: an ever-shifting space that has witnessed gatherings of Omaskeko Cree families of North Bay and performances by Indigenous women and now acts as a shared studio space for the artist and her two children. As a site for the transmission of Indigenous knowledge, this space holds a history of making work with children and sharing Indigenous knowledge of treaties through their connections to land, ancestors and future generations.

This moment an endurance to the end forever, presented by Trinity Square Video with support from Nia Tero.

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
October 20 – 25, 2020
Toronto, Ontario

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 446
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

416 585 2333
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Media Contact: Damien Nelson,