Vtape and imagineNATIVE present DAWSOMA: Making Meaning

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4 Directions, Victor Masayesva, Jr.

Vtape and imagineNATIVE present

DAWSOMA: Making Meaning
an essay by Dorothy Christian to accompany the Victor Masayesva, Jr.’s Retrospective at the 20th imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, October 22-27, 2019

Thursday, October 24, 2019
Victor Masayesva, Jr. Retrospective Screening
TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 2, 1:00pm

Friday, October 25, 2019
Worn Trails/New Trails: Footsteps – panel discussion
Artscape Sandbox, 31 Widmer St 1:00pm – 2:15pm FREE
Moderator: Dorothy Christian
Panellists: Zoe Hopkins, Lisa Jackson, Zacharias Kunuk, Victor Masayesva, Jr., Alanis Obomsawin

An interactive, intergenerational discussion of the unique experiences of each visual storyteller within the history of the development of Indigenous Cinema that will include topics such as visual/narrative sovereignty, aesthetics, the use of language, and the use of technology.


In honour of the 20th anniversary of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (October 22-27, 2019), Vtape has published (see link below) an essay by Dr. Dorothy Christian on the work of Hopi storyteller and filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr. based on the curated program she has produced for the festival. Dorothy Christian is a scholar and visual storyteller from the Secwepemc and Syilx Nations of British Columbia. She is currently the Associate Director of Indigenous Initiatives at Simon Fraser University.

Dawsoma a reflective 88-minute program of three films by Victor Masayesva, Jr. curated by Dorothy Christian. It includes his first work, Hopiit (1982), Ritual Clowns (1988 and 2013) and Waaki – Sanctuary (2019), his most recent film – all of which present complex interrelationships between humans, the plants, the food systems, the animals, the birds, the ceremonies and the cycles of the Earth, Sun and Moon within the universe. Victor Masayesva, Jr.’s visual stories have carved a path for generations of Indigenous filmmakers to truly tell their/our stories from a visually sovereign stance. Following the screening, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions of one of the most influential story keepers/makers in the global Indigenous screen world.

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Dorothy Christian, Cucw-la7, PhD is from the Secwepemc and Syilx Nations of the interior of BC. Currently, she is Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives at Simon Fraser University. Before graduate studies, Cucw-la7 worked for the national broadcaster Vision TV to bring Indigenous stories from across Turtle Island and Mexico to the Canadian screen culture.

Victor Masayesva Jr. (born 1951) is a Hopi filmmaker, video-artist, and photographer. Born on the Hopi Reservation of Arizona, and growing up in Hotevilla, Masayesva’s artistic career reflects his active participation with the Hopi community, his body of work promoting Hopi culture and worldview.

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