Growing Up Human Show at Research in Art Ottawa

Research in Art exhibits Tompalski’s Anti – Embarrassment Device from her Wet Nurse Series in 2014.

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Growing Up Human

As the world feels the shape-shifting effects of scientific and technological advancements with increasing intensity, a profound change in thinking about the human condition is taking hold. Humans have altered the earth’s life-systems to such an extent that earth scientists have suggested that the Holocene era has ended; we now live in the Anthropocene, an era in which the global human habitat is re-shaping the world.

National Gallery of Canada Are You In? Video

National Gallery of Canada video features Amanda Putz, Jennifer Hollett, Crush Luther, The Love Machine, Ukrainia,  Antizario, Sufi Girl, DJ D-Mass, Celpto and The Lost Cypsies.

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As part of the their annual festivities celebrating youth and diversity, Graham Thompson worked with the National Gallery of Canada to document their “Are You In?” event –hosted by Amanda Putz (of CBC Radio’s Fuse) and Jennifer Hollett (formerly of MuchMusic).

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The 2008 show featured live music and performances by Crush Luther, The Love Machine, Ukrainia, Antizario, Sufi Girl, DJ D-Mass, Celpto, The Lost Cypsies, The Canadian Capoeira group, Capital Poetry Collective Collective and the Canadian Floormasters – known for the community building work with Inuit youth in the Arctic. The event was a call for the youth to take a stand on diversity and inclusion, presented by the National Gallery of Canada’s Teen Council on  Thursday March 13, 2008 from 12 to 8 pm It featured live music, an Alternative fashion show, Art workshop with with Graham Robinson, Michèle Provost and Graham Thompson, and a Teen Art Exhibit.

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More on the Participants

Jennifer Hollett (born September 16, 1975) is a Canadian television personality and political activist. She was the 2015 New Democratic Party’s candidate in the new riding of University Rosedale. Hollett has a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Journalism and Communications from Concordia University in Montreal, and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her public speaking appearances include the Hart House Hancock Lecture  and TEDx. Jennifer Hollett is the Atkinson Associate on Civic Technology  and a Broadbent Leadership Fellow.  Hollett was a contributor to CBC News Network’s prime time show Connect with Mark Kelley and was formerly a MuchMusic VJ and videographer, she hosted MuchOnDemand, Much In Your Space, Combat Zone, Power Shift, Count Down, Live@Much and some specials until leaving the network in 2005. Hollett started out as a radio jockey at Concordia University. In 2013, she sought to be the New Democratic Party’s candidate in Toronto Centre for that riding’s pending federal by-election but was defeated for the nomination by Linda McQuaig on September 15, 2013. Her working career started with Sony Music Canada in the New Media Division working on websites for artists such as Our Lady Peace, Prozzak and Céline Dion. She later moved up to CTV, then to MuchMusic. She hosted “The Chatroom” on TalkTV on the recommendation of a CTV producer she met at Sony. At the end of that year, she was hired by MuchMusic.

Crush Luther is a Canadian pop-rock band based in Toronto, best known for their 2007 single “City Girl” and 2010 single “A Light”. The band formed in London, Ontario in 2002, with members from both Uxbridge, Ontario and Arnprior, Ontario. The original four members (Luther Mallory, Giggi Bongard, Brent Mills and Bodan Mulholland) worked together to build a strong catalogue of songs and sets before setting out to play shows in the Southern Ontario region. Towards the end of the same year, guitar player Matt Leitch (aka. Matt Fury) joined the band after learning the entire set the day before his first appearance with the band. Since 2004, the band has released a 12-song demo in several formats and pressings. In late 2006, Crush Luther signed with Toronto-based High 4 Records (owned and operated by Darrin Pfeiffer of Goldfinger), the same label to which the band Cauterize was signed. Their self-titled album was released February 13, 2007. It was recorded at Iguana Studios, Pocket Studios, and Crush Luther Studios; it was produced by vocalist Luther Mallory, and engineered by Brent Mills. The first single from the album was “City Girl”, which included a music video that was popular on both MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic. It also reached number one on the MuchMoreMusic Top 10 countdown. A second single, “The Cools”, was released to radio and the music video was in heavy rotation on MuchMusic. Crush Luther appeared on several stints of the Warped Tour (2005, 2006, and 2007) in both Canada and the United States.

After a brief hiatus in late 2007 the band reformed with a new line up: Luther Mallory singing in addition to handling rhythm guitar duties, Matt Leitch on lead guitar, Dustin Wood, former bass player of Grand:PM handling bass guitar, and PJ Herrick, former drummer of Forty Cent Fix on drums. Ryan Snyder later replaced Dustin Wood on bass, Shael Fox, AKA former rhythm guitarist Dee Tard of The 3tards, later replaced Ryan Snyder. Crush Luther’s second album, Some People Have No Good To Give, was released in 2009. The first single from the album was “A Light”. The video reached #2 on the MuchMore Top 10 Countdown. Videos for the second single “28” and third single “I Was Electric” also charted on the countdown and received favourable rotation on Much Music.

The Love Machine – In a fast-paced world filled with chaos and uncertainty, stands The Love Machine – a band consisting of four hopefuls. Dreamers, some may call them, or optimists, as others may say. But in all reality, The Love Machine are a group of believers; genuine believers in love and a collective positivity. Nothing about The Love Machine is manufactured. The name simply stands to represent their approach to writing music – as a team of talented and hard-working artists who collaborate with the swift efficiency of a well-oiled machine. This machine’s main function, however, happens to be pumping out indie pop rock tunes that capture the heart and soul of listeners. With a musical catalogue bursting with pop sensibility laced with twists and hooks at every turn and bridge, how could you not fall head over heels with their hopeful ideals? The Love Machine – consisting of Allan Gauthier, Sean Prescott, Jordan David and Mike Laing – blossomed as a band back in the year of 2004, stemming from the amalgamation of two past bands that had befriended one another. Their chemistry as a group came naturally, as did their collective agreement upon collaborative creation, with each member contributing to the songwriting process. Similarly, each takes his turn on the microphone, thus proving that four songwriters plus four vocalists adds up to the collective sound that is The Love Machine. The Ottawa natives have shared their music throughout three releases, their most recent being Sweater Weather. The album boasts the band’s ever evolving sound, and sweet production at the hands of Jonathon Chandler (Amos The Transparent). Sweater Weather represents not the departure or straying from the path of The Love Machine’s original sound, but rather a paving of new avenues to where they want to be. It received recognition from the Ottawa Xpress newspaper where they found themselves on the cover and earned the Best Record of The Year praise by Canadian music website I HeartMusic.net! It should come as no surprise that these boys know how to kick it live with engaging and dynamic sets filled with crowd interaction and energetic antics. They have taken their live performance across the East Coast on three separate, extensive tours, along with tearing up stages throughout Ontario, playing over 200 shows in their career. The Love Machine has performed with the likes of Moneen, Metric, Passion Pit, and at festivals including Canadian Music Week, NXNE, Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop and Ottawa Bluesfest. MembersBand: Paul Granger, Damian Sawka, Dave Martindale, Tom Werbowetski.

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UKRAINIA! was formed in 2002, by four guys who believed the Ukrainian music scene needed a little jump start. They play vintage Ukrainian music, hardened by the members’ rock roots.Biography Armed with an arsenal of songs and a high-energy stage show full of audience participation, Ukrainia is without a doubt one of the most exciting live acts around The band’s sound is transforming the foundation of Ukrainian music as we know it, and bringing it to an explosive new level. It’s loud, passionate, in your face, and not for the weak. No banduras here – just three guitars, drums, and a whole lotta vodka fuel this musical juggernaut. The younger generation has embraced Ukrainia for the way they have transformed traditional Ukrainian music into a rock’n’roll floor-shaking party for the senses. Over the past eight years ,they have played some of the biggest festivals in North America, leaving a trail of awed and inspired new followers in their wake.

Amanda C. Putz (born March 1975) is a Canadian radio personality. Formerly the host of Fuse and Bandwidth on CBC Radio One, she moved to Hong Kong in 2006, and guest-hosted various programs on Radio Television Hong Kong’s English network, including announcing news for the station. In April 2007 Putz launched a new program, also called Bandwidth, on RTHK. As of August 2007, Putz was back in Canada, hosting on CBC Radio 3 over the summer, including two episodes of The R3-30. She also filled-in on CBC Radio One’s “Sounds Like Canada.” She returned to hosting duties on CBC Radio’s Fuse until that show was no longer produced in the fall of 2008. She got a regular slot on Radio 3 as of September 2008. However, as of January 1, 2009, she was assigned to producing live recorded shows for CBC Radio 2 on a full-time basis; she had been producing such shows part-time while hosting on Radio 3. In fall 2009 she resumed hosting duties on Bandwidth and later Alan Neal became host of All in a Day. As of winter 2012 she is on a maternity leave, and the show is currently hosted by Meg Wilcox.

Stephen Leafloor BluePrintForLife founder, Stephen Leafloor has a Masters in Social Work (MSW degree) and over 25 years experience as a social worker in the areas of probation, wilderness programs, and street work with youth at risk, residential group homes, child protection and community outreach.Stephen has also been an active participant in the Hiphop culture as a dancer since 1982 and completed his masters thesis on this culture and its importance for educators and social workers in 1986.He was recently appointed as an “Ashoka Fellow’ for Canada (One of the world’s most prestigious organizations for international outreach) and also appointed as a “Making More Health Fellow” to an international working group on health.For 2012 he was selected as one of Canada’s Top “45 over 45” for Zoomers magazine. Stephen is also a published author in publications regarding healing and Hiphop.Stephen has performed for James Brown, Rapper IceT, Grandmaster Flash, BlackEyed Peas and George Clinton. His dancing has been featured on Much Music, in assorted music videos and in a number of documentaries. He has also performed privately for the Kirov Ballet of Russia and opened for La La La Human Steps at Canadas National Arts Center.

Guerilla Mag Ottawa, Voicing Refugee Identity

Ottawa’s Guerilla Magazine reviews Voices of Refugees Installation at the Parliament of Canada, June 2009.

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Ottawa’s Guerilla Magazine reviewed the Voices of Refugees Installation at the Parliament of Canada in a piece call Voicing the Refugee Identity by Tony Martins in May 2009.

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Tompalski and Thompson’s Voices of Refugees Installation featured portraits and videos of refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Guinea, Congo, Darfur, El Salvador and Guatemala. The show was presented at the Parliament of Canada, June 15, 2009 during World Refugee Week. The presentation also featured speeches by the Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Abraham ABRAHAM, the senior representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Canada. The event included a live presentation by Guatemalan singer/song writer Tito Medina. Special thanks goes to Ontario Arts Council, City of Ottawa, Canada Council, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Guerilla Magazine Review Segment

The show was cover by Guerilla Magazine’s g-Gallery on June 22, 2009, and ran as follows …..One of the cool things about Canada: perhaps more than anywhere else, everyone gets a voice. Consider, for example, how the latest incarnation of the Talking Portraits project by husband-and-wife team Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson articulates the stories of some new Canadians who need it most: refugees. The newest portraits—each featuring mixed media and video components—took centre stage on Tuesday, June 16 at a Parliament Hill reception in recognition of World Refugee Day (Saturday, June 20). Key speakers at the event were the Honourable Jason Kenny, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Abraham Abraham, Canada’s representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees..

Minister Kenney Launches Refugee Voices

Voices of Refugees Installation launched by Immigration  and Citizenship’s Minister Jason Kenney, June 2009.

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The Voices of Refugees Multimedia Installation was officially launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada Minister Jason Kenney on June 16 2009.  SEE www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/2009/

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Minister Kenney Launches “Voices of Refugees”

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – June 16, 2009) – In recognition of World Refugee Day, “Voices of Refugees,” a new multi-media presentation combining portraits with videos of refugees telling their stories, was unveiled today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and Mr. Abraham ABRAHAM, Representative in Canada of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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“Voices of Refugees enables refugees to share their stories with all Canadians, to show that there are real people in real danger,” said Minister Kenney. “Refugees are sometimes forgotten as a faceless group stranded in a far away land. We need to heed these voices and listen to their stories.”

This project came from two ordinary Canadians – Graham Thompson and Sherry Tompalski – doing extraordinary things. The partnership between these two Canadians and the refugee artists featured in the multi-media presentation is the kind of initiative that will help bridge communities and build a more inclusive and cohesive Canada for all.

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“These works of art speak for themselves and help us understand that refugees are not faceless statistics, but real people with talents and with real needs like you and me. Ask them and you will know that every refugee has a moving story to tell,” said Mr. Abraham.

Every year Canada’s refugee programs provide protection to more than 30,000 people. We have a fair and generous domestic refugee protection system that is well regarded internationally. Through our resettlement program, we provide protection to 1 in 10 refugees who are resettled globally. In fact, since World War II, Canadians have provided refuge to over 1 million refugees.

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Even so, the Government of Canada is exploring ways to improve the refugee status determination system and our resettlement approach in order to better help refugees. Canada must focus our resources where they can do the most good. Working with its many partners including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, private sponsors and service providers, Canada is helping refugees begin their lives anew.

Voices of Refugees is a testament to those who have already come to Canada and of the thousands still in need of protection. This presentation highlights the remarkable bravery of these individuals and the important contributions they are making to Canadian society.

CBC All In A Day, Alan Neal Forced Migrations

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Alan Neal of CBC Ottawa Radio’s All In A Day program interviewed Sherry Tompalski regarding her show Forced Migrations: Portraits of Refugees from Africa, Central America and Central Asia at La Petite Mort Gallery in October 2009.

About the Show

All in a Day is music, news, current affairs, culture, theatre, movies, politics, history, humour and conversation, all wrapped up in an engaging and entertaining package. Airing weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. in the greater Ottawa, West Quebec and Kingston areas, All in a Day helps you wind down from a hectic day and get ready for the evening.

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Regular features include D Is For Dinner, a mouth-watering recipe prepared live on the radio to tantalize you on the drive home. The Political Panel gives an insider’s take on Parliament Hill, while the Book Panel presents the high and the low brow of the latest in literature. And on Thursdays, Robert Fontaine’s film reviews are always entertaining, even if the movie isn’t. All in a Day’s dynamic, up-to-the-minute pace ensures that if you miss a minute, you’ll miss a lot!

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About the Host – Alan Neal

Alan Neal is host of Ottawa’s favourite drive home show All in a Day, on CBC Radio One, 91.5 FM. Alan is known to CBC Radio One listeners in Ottawa as the former host of Bandwidth and Ontario Today on CBC Radio One. During his stint on the noon show, he traded thoughts and quips with musicians including Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies, The Arcade Fire, Feist, Hawksley Workman, Sarah Harmer, K’Naan, Sarah Slean, Metric, Emm Gryner, Most Serene Republic, Divine Brown and many more. (He actually feels a twinge of guilt making lists because he panics that people will feel left out. Then he remembers nobody reads these things. Which then makes him wonder why he’s typing this. And talking about himself in the third person. But anyway.)

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He’s been at CBC for 10 years now, massive amounts of that being as a casual associate producer and syndicated columnist (his TRENDS column was syndicated across the country), filling in as host of shows including THE ROUNDUP, OTTAWA MORNING and ALL IN A DAY, and launching a national summer show THE OTHER STORY. While his own musical career has not extended beyond singing songs about Canadian Idol and Dallas on the radio, he has had some success as a playwright, something he hopes to get back to once he figures out these shows.

Podgorica Indie Film Festival, Talking Portraits

Talking Portraits video exhibited at Podgorica Independent Film Festival, Montenegro, Nov 5-10, 2008.

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The “Talking Portraits” video by Sherry Tompalski (painter) and Graham Thompson (videographer) was exhibited at the Podgorica Independent Film Festival in Podgorica Montenegro. The Nov 5-10, 2008 program was curated by Nena Toth.

The Talking Portrait Video

The Talking Portrait Video provides an overview of the Talking Portrait series  The film features portraits painted from a live model. The audio portion of the film is edited from the comments, questions and reflections made by the model during the sitting. And  as well, time-lapse photography records the development of the portrait.

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The Talking Portrait Video provides an inside look at the creation of painted portrait – a psychological interplay of colour and personalty of the process. Where Tompalski’s painting style of brightly coloured patches shows  identity formation as a dialectical process of breaking-up and coming-together of personal and communal experiences. Although the faces are tightly cropped to foreground the individual subject, what is left of the background is filled in, in some paintings with words picked up from the video and in others with multiple photographs of the sitter.  Bright patches of paint, repeated photo-images, words and musical scores vie for attention in Tompalski’s portrait paintings.

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Tompalski describes her Talking Portrait series as follows: “To understand ourselves we look at others for clues as to what we are experiencing. The human face conveys a rich complexity of personal history, which I feel in an inexplicable way as an impression or an intuition. Consequently, I value painting from a live model. Most importantly, this allows for a reciprocal mutual influence that is interactive, bi-directional and largely unconscious. Thus the finished painting is a visual coalescence of this process, the process of co-construction.” (Co-construction is the theory that people uniquely contribute and influence the experience that develops between them and others, that is, our experience of ourselves varies greatly depending on the people around us.)

About The Podgorica Independent Film Festival

The film festival took  place in Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, at the  Cultural/ Information center “Budo Tomovic”. The festival was organized by Nena Toth,  a graduate from Prague’s renowned FAMU University’s film school, where she earned a Master’s degree in Cinematography. The purpose of the Festival is to entertain film lovers, to raise awareness of filmmaking with artistic value and to promote international collaboration, European coproduction and understanding between cultures.

About Nena Toth the Curator, Teacher & Film Maker

Toth has taught at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Belgrade (FDU),  the Academy of Film and Television and Art Muses (FAMU) Prague, the University of Southern California (USC) Los Angeles, the University of Toronto, and the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Toth has been the Director of Photography in over one hundred short films and videos, as well as in four feature films. Toth has worked a curator for the XX International Ethnological Festival of Belgrade, the Film Femina of Ottawa, the  Contemporary Canadian Short Film Festival of Podgorica, the International TV Festival Bar  Montenegro, EUROPRESS International Travel Fest of Subotica and Art Link of Belgrade.

Museum of Civilization, Trudeau’s Talking Portrait

Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibits Face to Face: Pierre Trudeau’s Talking Portrait Canada Day in Quebec, 2008.

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The Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibited Sherry Tompalski’s and Graham Thompson’s multimedia installation Face to Face: Pierre Trudeau’s Talking Portrait in  Gatineau Quebec on July 1, 2008.

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The installation was part of a ongoing virtual exhibition entitled Face to Face  which presents outstanding Canadians – men and women whose ideas and contributions have transformed this country.

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Grouped under five key themes, 27 individuals have been selected from thousands of potential candidates. Some are well known, others are not, but they have all helped shape Canada. This virtual exhibition reflects the information presented in the former Canadian Personalities Hall of the Canadian Museum of History.

Historic Canadian Personalities that Tompalski has Painted

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Lotta Hitschmanova was an early icon of Canadian international humanitarianism. She was born in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic, and came to Canada as a refugee in 1942. Grieving for the death of her parents in wartime Europe, she channelled her hope for the future into relief work. To help the world’s helpless – especially children – she founded the Canadian branch of an aid agency, the Unitarian Service Committee. For 36 years, she worked relentlessly – speaking, writing, travelling and raising funds for the needy. The work of USC Canada continues today. It is when I think of those youngsters that truly I feel I am the mother of 2,000 children. Lotta Hitschmanova, 1949

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Pierre Trudeau appeared suddenly on the political horizon, blowing in with
the exuberant spirit of the 1960s. Not everyone liked this brilliant, enigmatic man,
but no one was indifferent. Winning his first election as Prime Minister in 1968,
he set out to remake Canada. Though generally failing in the economic arena, he had a strong and coherent social vision.

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He fought for a powerful, centralized state, equality of French and English as official languages, multiculturalism and social tolerance. His legacy is crowned by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enacted in 1982: the same year that Canada repatriated the Constitution under his leadership. The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not to be worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1970.

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Trudeau Timeline – 1919 Born on October 18 to a wealthy, bicultural family in Montreal. 1940–1948 Studies political science, economy and philosophy at the universities of Montreal and London, at Harvard and at the Sorbonne in Paris, and returns to Montreal to practice law. 1965 Is elected to Parliament as the Member for Mount Royal, Montreal. 1967 Is appointed Minister of Justice and reforms the Criminal Code, decriminalizing  homosexuality and abortion. 1968–1979 Serves as Prime Minister in three successive governments. 1970 Invokes the War Measures Act in response to political violence in Quebec. 1971 Marries Margaret Sinclair, with whom he has three sons. Some years after his divorce in 1984, he has a daughter with lawyer Deborah Coyne. 1979–1980 Serves as Leader of the Opposition. 1980–1984 Returns to power as Prime Minister for a fourth term. Implements major constitutional reforms. 2000 Dies on September 28 in Montreal.

Guerilla Mag Ottawa, Metis Media Fest 2008

Metis Media Fest 2008 reviewed in Ottawa’s Guerilla Magazine piece “Old Cultures, New Tech”.

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Tony Martins features the 2008 Metis Media Fest in the September Issue #17 of Ottawa’s Guerilla Magazine in a piece entitled “Old Cultures, New Tech”.

The article ran as follows: Besides taking him around the world, Graham Thompson’s inter-cultural video and film projects have directly exposed him to the issues that threaten indigenous peoples in many countries.

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On Valentine’s Day 2005, at the start of a planned inter-cultural exchange sponsored by the Canadian Embassy in Manila, one of several bombs was detonated two blocks from Thompson’s hotel room. The bombings were what rebel group “Abu Sayyaf” called retribution for government assaults in the southern Philippines, a flash point of resistance since Spanish colonial efforts in the 1500s. In the bombings, 11 people were killed and 160 injured.

 

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A member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia (of Cree and Scottish heritage), Thompson sought to share and explore his Aboriginal experiences closer to home when he directed the first Métis Media Fest in August of 2007 at Club SAW. The success of that effort led to an expanded 2008 festival that took place September 6 and 7. Guerilla asked Thompson to write about the development and success of his Métis Media Fest—an intriguing mix of age-old cultures and leading-edge technology.

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Métis Media Fest 2007 featured 50 videos, 25 digital images and 10 audio tracks from Aboriginal artists in Canada, the U.S., Australia, Peru, and the Philippines. The event was an immersive installation of computers and video displays, where excerpts of the works were shown on the main screens and unedited versions archived on the computers within the installation. Audiences gathered at tables in the darkened space, lit only buy the glow of 13 video displays, to view a collage of works that ranged from traditional to experimental.

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This year’s festival followed a similar format, but the Aboriginal artists were all from the local region. The thrust this year was to explore social media and build a strong sense of local artists that belong to our growing Aboriginal urban population. The 50 videos depicted local fiddle players, jiggers, sculptors, painters, elders, lodge keepers, and poets.

Many of the videos were developed as collaborative projects, where I would interview local artists, elders, and writers in their studios, homes, or places of work. Often the artists would perform or otherwise share their work as we filmed. We developed 50 short videos ranging from one to 10 minutes in length, appropriate for viewing in an installation or on web sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and MétisFestival.com—the final destinations for the content after the festival.

Métis Media Fest is largely a social networking experience: people gather around computer nodes to compare choices and experience the work. In keeping with an informal Métis gathering where people of many cultures and traditions come together, the festivals unfold in “Indian time”—in unscripted fashion, without strict adherence to a fixed schedule. The festivals begin and end with the ebb and flow of its participants.

Inspired by the 400-year-old Métis society involving the Cree, Scottish, Ojibway, French and Saulteaux (to name only a few of the participants in the historic fur trade that shaped early Canada), the festival celebrates a unique culture that is a hybrid of European and Aboriginal civilizations.

The festival adheres to the Métis sense of adventure and innovation whereby European technology was adapted to the Canadian wilderness, leading to new forms of transportation, hunting, clothing, music, dance, art, and spirituality. Examples of such adaptation include the York boat, the Red River cart, the Métis buffalo hunt, flower design leather clothing, Métis fiddle music, and Métis dance known as jigging.

In further keeping with Métis tradition, the 2008 festival incorporated the traditional use of the circle (in this case, a ring of video displays) found in Aboriginal ceremonies such as the sweat lodge and the talking circle. The mix of technology included digital DVD players, hypertext interfaces, microcomputers, and video projectors.

Juxtaposition of technology and Aboriginal traditional knowledge is not unusual in today’s indigenous digital culture. In the remote southwestern edge of the Filipino archipelago, for example, the work of Aboriginal video artist Kanakan-Balintagos documents the most sacred rituals of his Palawan tribe in an effort to secure their ancestral domain claim in the Philippines.

In a sense, the Métis Media Fest was designed to incorporate traditional knowledge to help satisfy a growing need for spiritual unity on our shared planet. The experience of art seated in ancient tradition becomes a doorway to the experience the “oneness” of the universe—what Carl Jung described as the couplings of the inner subjective and the outer objective reality evolved through the influence of the archetypes, patterns inherent in the human psyche and shared by all of mankind.

The festival could not have happened without the generous support of Club SAW, SAW Video, the Government of Canada’s Canada Heritage Department, the City of Ottawa, P4 Social Venture Entrepreneurs, and Dakima Marketing and Communications of Ottawa. Métis Media Fest 2008 depended heavily on volunteers for everything from video shoots to installation set-ups to internet marketing and has been blessed by supporters from Francophone, Aboriginal, Pakistani, East Indian, African, and Yemen communities in the local region.

Asifa Akbar, a lawyer from South Africa, captured the feeling: “I think it’s great and so Canadian that we have people from such diverse backgrounds working on helping to preserve and promote one of the cultures unique to Canada, and that in effect spells out what it means to be Canadian.”

Some of the Ottawa-based artists featured in Métis Media Fest 2008

  • Jaime Koebel, from Lac La Biche, Alberta, is a Métis dancer (jigger)      with the dance group “Jig on the Fly.” As an MA candidate at the School of       Canadian Studies at Carleton University, Jaime has a strong focus on      Aboriginal youth issues in the context of indigenous knowledge, arts, and      culture.
  • Raymond Girard, a Francophone composer and performer from      Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, has performed on the Easter Seal Telethon on CBC      and hosted numerous episodes of the line-dancing show “Dancer, Dancer” on       Rogers Television. From his roots-music CD entitled Êtes-vous prêt pour, the “Lumber Jack” song has      become the most-played Franco-Ontarian video on YouTube.
  • Paul Brunneau, an Ojibway sculptor, has sold pieces to collectors in      Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Bahamas, Germany, and the United States. His work       has been featured on CTV’s Regional Contact, at the Muskoka Fine Arts      Summer Show, and at the Stone Carver’s Show in Bancroft Ontario, where he      exhibited a 4,000-pound piece made entirely of marble.
  • Anita Tuharsky, a Métis poet from Regina, Saskatchewan, is      often compared to Lily Tomlin for her use of humour to express the      absurdities of life. For Tuharsky, “Problems are challenges are lessons      are opportunities are gifts.”
  • Willy Bruce, an artist of Anishinabe and Scottish descent, is a      native veteran, a pipe carrier and a carrier of the Aboriginal Veterans’      Eagle Staff. Willy is currently lodge keeper at the Circle of Nations       Learning Centre at Natural Resources Canada. His traditional works are      conceived as vehicles for Aboriginal teachings.

Oxford University England Afghan Voices Video

Voices from Afghanistan video posted on Forced Migration BLOG of University of Oxford, January 2008.

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The Voices from Afghanistan video, part of the Voices of Refugees Installation, was posted in the Forced Migration BLOG of Online Refugee Studies Centre of the University of Oxford England’s Department of International Development (QEH) in January 2008.

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University of Oxford Backgrounder

The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University or simply Oxford) is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England, United Kingdom. While having no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation.

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It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled northeast to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two “ancient universities” are frequently jointly referred to as “Oxbridge”.

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Voices from Afghanistan Video

Notable Graduates from Oxford University
Theresa May
(1956- ) St Hugh’s Jul 2016 Conservative
David Cameron
(1966- ) Brasenose May 2010-Jul 2016 Conservative
Tony Blair
(1953-  )St John’s May 1997-Jun 2007 Labour
Margaret Thatcher
(1925-2013) Somerville May 1979-Nov 1990 Conservative
Harold Wilson
(1916-1995) Jesus Oct 1964-Jun 1970 Labour Mar 1974-Apr 1976
Edward Heath
(1916-2005) Balliol Jun 1970-Mar 1974 Conservative
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
(1903-1995) Christ Church Oct 1963-Oct 1964 Unionist/Conservative
Harold Macmillan
(1894-1986) Balliol Jan 1957-Oct 1963 Conservative

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The Refugee Studies Centre Overview

The Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) was founded in 1982 as part of the Oxford Department of International Development (Queen Elizabeth House) at the University of Oxford. Their mission is to build knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects of forced migration in order to help improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. They aim to lead the world in research and education in the area of refugee and forced migration studies and to share our work on a national and global scale. They seek to realise this vision by taking forward new and transformative approaches to research, teaching and engagement with society, informed by Oxford’s long traditions of independent scholarship and academic freedom. A world-class centre for the study of forced migration and refugees has been created at the University of Oxford. With its pioneering research and innovative education and training programmes, the Refugee Studies Centre has had a major constructive influence throughout the developed and developing world and has stimulated effective international networks. In the early 1980s Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond undertook research regarding one such challenge: how to improve the performance of humanitarian agencies in the field. During fieldwork in Algeria she realised the paucity of academic literature available on the subject, and on her return to Oxford she founded the Refugee Studies Centre (then known as the Refugee Studies Programme).

National Gallery of Canada, Global Voices 2012

Global Voices 2012 at National Gallery of Canada, 37 paintings, 23 videos and 18 artists of Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, Cree and Mohawk Nations.

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The Global Voices 2012 event at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa Canada featured 37 paintings, 23 videos and 18 artists of Central Asia, Africa, the Americas, Cree and Mohawk Nations, including musicians Eman the Warrior & the Abezamutima Burundian Traditional Dancers and paintings and videos by Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson respectively in December 2012.

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The Global Voices 2012 program featured:

  • Afghan Portraits and the Voices from Afghanistan video.
  • Native American Flute and World Beat composer David Finkle with Simon Handley (percussion, electronics) and  Andy W. Mason (percussion, guitar, vocals).
  • Iranian Portraits and a video of Iranian dancer Dr. Maria Modhaddam
  • The Abezamutima Burundian Traditional Dance Group
  • Residential School Portraits and the Irene Lindsay  video, Thomas Louttit video and Dr. Morgan Baillargeon (actor, costume designer and concept creator) in the Campfire, Tea and Bannock video
  • Eman the Warrior (Emmanuel Oletho) the Singer and Song Writer from Ethiopia
  • Central American Portraits and the Victor Fuentes and Tito Medina videos
  • Dr Lee’s West African Rhythms
  • Central American Portraits and the Delores of Guatemala video
  • African Portraits and Videos featuring the Hawa Kaba video and Hamid Ayoub vide

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Who Organized the Project?

The Global Voices 2012 Event was created and organized by Sherry Tompalski (painter) and Graham Thompson (videographer). The concept was based on the realization that many refugee artists and activists arrive in Canada with highly developed artistic skills and compelling personal stories of survival. As a result, the refugee’s work is uniquely suited to a multimedia presentation where audiences have the opportunity to see, to hear and to understand their personal accounts of, for example, walking across Chad, without food or money to escape the horrors of Darfur (Hamid Video).

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A Transcript of the Global Voices 2012 Event at the National Gallery of Canada

My name is Graham Thompson. I am a videographer. I am one of many artists you will see this evening. for 10 years we have created events involving art, dance, media and music, the projects have included over 100 separate artists. artists from Australia, Peru, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, the Philippines, Taiwan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Canada and the United States. This work has been shown in Taipei, Manila, Belgrade, Chicago, Melbourne, London, Vancouver and Toronto. we wanted to acknowledge the extreme challenges many people face in our complicated world and we wanted to have a focus on survival and renewal. IN ORDER TO CREATE THIS WORK we have been helped by a great many Embassies, NGOs, Universities, Museums, Government Departments and Arts Funding Agencies.

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Special thanks goes to: The Catholic Immigration Centre, The Canadian Red Cross, USC Canada, Ottawa Carleton Immigrant Services Organization, Odawa Friendship Centre, The Minwashin Lodge, Metis Nation of Ontario, The World University Service Canada, the University of Oxford in England, Carleton university, the University of Ottawa, York University, The United Nations, Library and Archives Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canadian Trade office in Taipei, Canadian Embassy in Manila, The Canadian Embassy in Belgrade Serbia, Canadian Heritage, the Parliament of Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The International TV Festival Bar Montenegro, the Coalition of New Canadians for Arts and Culture, Canadian Centre for International Justice, The City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, SAW Video, the SAW Gallery and Donna Cona Inc

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A Transcipt of the Event

TONIGHT WE OFFER DANCE, ART, MEDIA AND MUSIC. Representing Afghanistan, Sudan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Iran, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Cree & Mohawk Nations of Canada.

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WE  SHALL BEGIN  IN AFGHANISTAN. with the portraits, as shown on the screen,  of a family of refugees from KABUL. the paintings were created in Sherry Tompalski’s studio there were cameras covering the evolution of the artwork, and any comments the models wished to make we didn’t ask any questions, we simply let the people speak, if they wanted to for example, we will play 5 short videos from the sittings some people from the project, have requested that we use ONLY there first names. BAHARA from KABUL describes: a party which took place in her home which was invaded by patrolling soldiers as there  was a BAN on MUSIC. HER  BROTHER Remembers the escape from his village during an attack  in the Afghan war. HER other BROTHER Recounts his experience at the National football stadium where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery. FATIMA who insisted that she not be photographed is shown through the creation of her portrait. Her story of 30 years of War in Afghanistan  is translated by Bahara.

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WE Move to Iran, on the screen you can see portraits of the Iranian Scientist and Folk Dancer Dr. Maria Modhaddam our work with MARIA includes portraits, videos and dance performances. The work was first shown in the PARLIAMENT OF CANADA in 2009, The event included speeches by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Abraham ABRAHAM the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  in Canada. later we worked together at the University of Ottawa, As part of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. in the following video, which features dance footage from her own archive, Maria talks about the life of a REFUGEE.

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IN PART 4, we feature the ABEZAMUTIMA  Burundian Traditional Dance Group the dance troop is made of highly experienced Burundian folk and traditional dancers. Through its artistic endeavors, the group hopes to share its heritage with communities and promote cultural diversity in the National Capital Region. ABEZA = beautiful inside, MUTIMA = heart or soul. Has anyone been to BURUNDI? Has anyone visited AFRICA? Burundi is located on the equator in eastern Africa.

IN PART 5, We move to CREE NATIONS  in SASKATCHEWAN and ONTARIO on the screen we see portraits of 5 participants in a project involving people who attended residential schools. I am grateful for the help of the Odawa Friendship centre and the Minwashin Lodge in helping with this section of the project. The Indian residential schools of Canada were a network of “residential” or boarding schools for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit funded by the Canadian government’s Department of Indian Affairs, and adminstered by Christian churches, according to wikipedia – The system had origins in pre-Confederation times. The last residential school was not closed until 1996. We have selected 2 video clips that will play after the portraits where IRENE LINDSAY and THOMAS LOUTTIT describe their experiences BOTH activists attended residential school  for 8 years after Irene and Thomas, we have a short instructional video showing a metis fur trader creating a campfire and tea and bannock on a winter’s day.

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IN PART 6  We MOVE to ETHIOPIA. Specifically, to a singer song writer called EMAN his music promotes peace, love and inspiration. Emmanuel Oletho was a refugee for three years in Kenya Yet, he was granted a scholarship to study at Carleton University through the World University Service of Canada. He is graduating in 2013 with Bachelor of political science. EMAN WILL SING – SHINE A LIGHT

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IN PART 7, We move to CENTRAL AMERICA, these portraits are refugee artists from Guatemala and El Salvador, we have selected 2 video clips for tonight that will play after the portraits. VICTOR, whose music you hear in the second video was almost killed in El Salvador in a torture chamber. TITO, whose music you hear in a video,  was just a kid when his songs got him into trouble in his home country Guatemala. some of the portraits were created with mixed media using a collage of sheet music from an Ottawa orchestra, symbolizing the person reassembling themselves in a new setting, in Ottawa. Some of the portraits have exported video frames from their videos clips, which symbolize the person having to reinvent themselves in their new country.

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In PART 8, we return to AFRICA, to listen to DR LEE’S WEST AFRICAN RHYTHMS Dr Lee  studied in Guinea, West Africa with renowned drum master Aboubacar Camara. Dr Lee has collaborated with the Cirque du Soleil and The Soul Jazz Orchestra. 2 YEARS AGO, Dr Lee performed with us at the National Library and Archives of Canada. the installation featured 65 works of art, 25 artists, 23 videos, 19 speakers, 13 NGOs & 2 plays.

PART 9, we return to CENTRAL Amerca, these portraits are created with graphite on paper and  ink and graphite on paper. AND we have selected 2 video clips, that will play after the portraits of the participants. The following video is NOT SUITABLE for YOUNG AUDIENCES, as there are graphic descriptions of violence Ms D, whose name is withheld by request, provides a detailed account of the destruction of her family during a labour dispute. Her story includes graphic details of her kidnap and imprisonment.

IN PART 10,  We again feature singer song writer EMAN, He is a voice for the voiceless. EMAN is an advocate for the poor, the victims of genocide, HIV orphans, and humanitarian related issues. EMAN WILL SING –  I AM A WARRIOR

IN PART 11  We look at portraits and videos of artists  from Guinea and Sudan we have selected 2 video clips that will play after the portraits of the participants that are shown on the screen. HAMID describes his escape from Sudan through the deserts of CHAD he Escaped, on foot, and without food, water or money. He trekked across the desert day and night, through small villages avoiding the main highways, and the possibility of detection. He survived a violent car jacking episode on his way to Niger. HAWA, who is A Refugee Artist from Guinea, West Africa, also tells her story…. she was sent to jail, because she filled out an application for a passport. In order to leave the jail, she was forced to sign a confession, that said she was a counter-revolutionary. HAWA exhibited paintings at the 2010 library and archives event.

IN PART 12 WE FEATURE COMPOSER DAVID FINKLE AGAIN, along with Simon Handley on percussion and electronics, and  Andy W. Mason on percussion, guitar, and vocals we have worked together since 2008 when David performed with NORTHERN VOICES in a large installation of 20 video screens and 8 computers. The installation featured 100 short videos of 30 aboriginal artists.

IN PART 13 we return to the ABEZAMUTIMA  Dance Group, the ABEZAMUTIMA Burundian Traditional Dance Group have created a 2nd dance for us this evening. Then  ALL MUSICIANS ON STAGE, DANCERS join musicians on stage, ALL speakers and behind the scenes people on stage playing available percussion instruments play a final song and dance.

I want to thank everyone for all their help and support in the creation of this GLOBAL VOICES 2012 event, including Sherry Tompalski, Petra Hawkes, Richard and Darren the Technicians, the national Gallery of Canada, The Abezamutima Dancers, David Finkle, Simon Handley, Andy W. Mason, Dr Lee, EMAN, the camera work of CE SOIR FILMS. This marks the end of our 10th international event in 10 years, involving over 100 artists from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, tonight we have selected an overview of a project that contains over 50 portraits, and 5 hours of video. Thank you for coming tonight.