Making connections


09 July 2010


 This site is part of an ongoing effort to create links between Inuit media artists in Nunavut and indigenous media groups in Mexico.  It is also a reflection about cultural connections more generally. In what ways do cultural exchanges bring about new and innovative creative conversations?  What do people learn from them?

  An Igloolik-Oaxaca artistic exchange Our project began as a set of email conversations between people from Arnait Video Productions, an Inuit women’s video collective from Igloolik, Nunavut, and Ojo de Agua, a video activist group in Oaxaca, southwest Mexico.  A 12 day tour (in February-March, 2009) was planned to visit different Oaxacan communities.  Joining the original Arnait crew of video-artists (Madeleine Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, Marie-Helene Cousineau and Carol Kunnuk) were Marie-Helen’s 8 years-old son Alexandre Apak Cousineau, actor Lucy Tulugaarjuk, anthropologist Nancy Wachowich and her 4 year-old son Hector Lorimer.  In Mexico City, the Inuit youth circus, Arctcirq, having just recently completed a performance stint in Veracruz, also joined the tour.  Thus, Arctcirq performers Guillaume Saladin, Toby Otak, Salomon Ujurasuk, Jackie Qurnut and Guillaume’s mother, Sylvie Pharand became part of the group.  We all spent three days in Mexico City exploring different sites.  Wow, that city is huge!  Artcirq performed one night with a Mexican circus troupe.  We then travelled to Oaxaca, from where, with Guillermo Monteforte and Clara, members of Ojo de Agua we set off for three villages: Capulalpam de Mendez, Taleo de Castro (both mainly Zapotec) and Tlahuitoltepec (Mixe).  Other artists and activists hitched rides with us and joined us in activities along the way. For awile we travelled with a group of Argentinian mining activists and healers.  Later on it was a group of Oaxacan circus performers.  In each place, a combination of workshops, seminars, cultural performances and screenings were held so that people could meet and get to know each other in different types of spaces.  Our hopes were that people could compare cultural experiences, find out who is working on similar things, be aware of who is on the same frequency.  What will come from extending these networks between north and south?  We don’t really know.   But this has been an effort to set up a network, a conversation that spans periods of time and that bypasses national boundaries. Our hopes is that it will generate more meetings, forums, exchanges between people around the world, comparing challenges that they face, where they draw strength.     What follows are a series of descriptions.  We would love to hear your views!!!  Please post comments as they come to you.  We would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Arts Council for this project. 
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Media on this Channel

Interview with Guillermo Monteforte

Interview with Guillermo Monteforte from Ojo de Agua, a video activist group working with Indigenous groups of Oaxaca, Mexico.

This interview was done by Marie-Hélène Cousineau when Arnait worked in collaboration with Ojo de Agua.

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April 12, 2012

Arnait collective en Thlahuitoltepec

This is a very interesting discussion and meeting between Inuit women, filmmakers  from Igloolik, and Indigenous women from Thlahuitoltepec, also involved in videomaking. They share experiences, cultural values and teach other about their recent history. Also present are non indigenous activists from Canada and Mexico.

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April 11, 2012

Discussion between Arnait collective and Alberto Cortes, Mexican filmmaker

Madeline Ivalu, Susan Avingaq, CArol Kunnuk , filmmakers from Igloolik, meet Alberto Cortes, Mexican filmaker in Mexico City. They discuss the process of filmaking. Alberto's film Corazon del Tiempo, is taking place in a native community of Chiapas. Also contributing to the discussion are Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Nancy Wachowich.

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April 5, 2012

On the road in Mexico with Arnait and Artcirq

The Arnait collective and the Artcirq group leaves Mexico City towards Oaxaca ;discussion in the van about shamanism, singing to the tree, meeting community leaders of Capulalpam de Mendez. The aleas of translating in 4 languages start...Example of ecotourism by the community.

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April 5, 2012

Artcirq and Arnait en Talea de Castro

Synopsis:Video montage of a presentation by Artcirq and Arnait in Talea de Castro, Oaxaca, March 2009. On the public place, Artcirq performed for the kids of the town, they laugh and participated, throat singing with Lucy Tulugarjuk. The film "Before Tomorrow" was presented on the wall outside, using a sheet as a screen. After there was a question and answer period.

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March 22, 2011

Toby Otak on the road

 Here is Toby Otak.  The van stopped at historic sites along the way. We are on a remote hillside here 4 hours from the city of Oaxaca.  The man with teh cowboy hat behind her had just given us a brief history of the region.  What is Toby thinking?  

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July 16, 2010

screening Before Tomorrow in Talea de Castro

 Here is a photo of the Before Tomorrow being screened in the public square in Talea de Castro.  The theatre was a series of chairs arranged under an overhang in the public square.  We had to wait until the sun went down to show the film. 

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July 16, 2010

public talk at Capulalpam de Mendez

Here is Carole, Susan and Madeleine giving a public talk at the town hall in Capulalpam de Mendez. We were all quite excited to meet the people at Capulalpam de Mendez. They have been fighting mining development in the community of decades. Iglulingmiut are relatively new at this. This photo was taken just before a public screening of Before Tomorrow.… Read more

July 16, 2010