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On display Wednesday 9 March to Saturday 26 March 2022

Saturday 19 March 2022 6-8pm
Opening Reception and Remarks
Yuma Dean Hester (Bawaadan Collective) and Janet Marie Rogers (Ojistoh Productions)
with Cultural Presentation by Karl Dockstader

Cinema Indigena
is a media exhibition featuring the combined creative short works of two independent, Indigenous media houses; Bawaadan Collective and Ojistoh Productions.

The collected short works represent strong Indigenous voices and creative perspectives of Indigenous realities, speculations and commentaries with one short film produced by both media entities pooling their resources in an experimental offering titled Monologue Harmonic. Bawaadan Collective representative Yuma Dean Hester and Ojistoh Production’s producer Janet Marie Rogers, have curated Cinema Indigena hosted by the Niagara Artsits Centre for public viewing during gallery hours from Wednesday March 9th to Saturday March 26th 2022.

A community reception, exhibition opening and artists’ talk is scheduled for Friday 11 March at 6pm-8pm at the Niagara Artists Centre 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines Ontario.

Bawaadan Collective

Formalized in the Spring of 2019, we envision a group of like-minded Indigenous artisans and accomplices who seek to continually develop our collaborative approaches to modern artistic, storytelling and film production processes. It is our goal to constantly adjust our organizational structures and modes of storytelling to create inclusive, mindful spaces, and better represent Indigenous peoples in the mainstream”

Ojistoh Productions

Ojistoh Productions doubles as a literary publishing label and media production house operating from Six Nations of the Grand River. Owner and producer Mohawk/Tuscarora writer and media artist Janet Marie Rogers believes in the growth of Indigenous art practices and communities where room for new voices and practices is infinite. Established in 2019.

the program

Ego of a Nation (3:18 minutes)
Ojistoh Productions

This video poem features poetry of the same title from the book of the same title which represents a creative reaction to centuries of court injustices experienced by Indigenous people more specifically the acquittal of Colten Bouchie’s murderer in February 2018.

I Pity The Country (2:07 minutes)
Produced / Written / Directed Bawaadan Collective

Together via a rampant media we witnessed with shock and horror, young children and adults being hit with “non-lethal” weapons. In the comment section, heated responses, and the question: “Why would parents bring their kids to a protest?”

This piece is a direct response to that question, a response to the privilege of being able to say that children don’t belong at a protest. To the privileged assumption that children, especially BIPOC children, are safe elsewhere.

We need to show our children the strength & beauty of our communities, teach them to arm themselves with knowledge and the strength of their own voices. Fact of the matter is, they don’t have the luxury of idly standing by.

The Spirit of Rage (7:18 minutes)
The Spirit of Rage video poem is a production of 2Ro Media, Jackson 2Bears, Director and Editor and Janet Rogers Ojistoh Productions,Writer and Performer with camera work by Wes Day of Fresh Shift Productions.

Filmed on the Six Nations Reserve July 2020 the poetry and film is a response to the invitation from Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective for the group exhibit Thinking Through Blood. In case there is any question; this is an Indigenous collective’s response to the absurdity of white supremacy and the danger it poses to the lives of BIPOC and that of humanity overall.

House Back (2:40 min)
Produced / Written / Directed / Score
Mike & Kate Murphy-Bettley / Bawaadan Collective

We’ve often found ourselves fantasizing about the old country – what life might have been like if we took to the open seas – the freedom of being an explorer, feeling the winds flow through our braids. The sense of knowing, just knowing, that whatever we came across we could lay claim to as our own. The privilege of knowing – ‘Everything’s gonna be ok, we own this shit now’.

SJAM (1:00 min)
Produced / Written / Directed / Score
Bawaadan Collective
Head of John A Macdonald by – Keitha Keeshig-Tobias

Recently, New Zealand’s government addressed changes required within their educational system; the government proposed that all children learn the history of #Maori people and the legacy of British #colonization.

Advocates of this change have recognized the “glossing over” of atrocities against Indigenous peoples. This is a step towards a national reckoning that must take place in order to ensure action follows recognition – to ensure that #reconciliation is not an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to present their hearts, still raw from the intergenerational trauma embedded, in a national narrative that still seeks to benefit from their pain.

Colonial systems can no longer ignore the fact that their dominance relies on the erasure of Indigenous peoples from the land and their stories from the history books.

A Sorta Fairytale (6:05 min)
Produced / Written / Directed / Score
Bawaadan Collective / Teyenónhkwake / Alex Jacobs-Blum / O’nahkwi:yo

One of the more provocative images this past year was that of John A. Macdonald’s head resting peacefully on the ground in Place Du Canada, Montreal. Presented here; a decolonial love story between a young girl who is generously gifted said decapitated head, and their relationship that grows and develops over her lifetime.

*We would like to dedicate our final piece in this web series to the more than 200 historians, policy experts, educators, business leaders, public figures, and thought leaders who have signed a joint statement in defense of Macdonald.

Monologue Harmonics (6:10 minutes)
Ojistoh Productions – Producer/Writer/Performer
Bawaadan Collective – Camera/Directing/Editing

Monologue Harmonic is a seemingly paradoxical visual and sonic offering speaking in part from legend, despotic visions, collective cultural analysis and individual repeal. Featuring two distinct and intrinsically connected worlds we witness a spiritual journey so thinly tethered to life familiar, being lured by dark matters towards total disconnect. This journey mirrors a reality not unlike Indigenous current experience with respect to constant colonial resistance; where coming to terms with lost cultural distinction is fast becoming the new culture, of today/tomorrow.