This Film Night of this symposium, Disfiguring Identity, brought together five short film and video works that go against the grain of traditional narratives about migration and exile. Sometimes bringing together elements of nostalgia, sometimes bringing together pieces drawn from memories, these are “historical facts” through the lens of “the other.”More often than not, we are curious or fascinated by “the other”, especially as we move through our world of being connected and dis-connected simultaneously through various means of social media.
The film and video works presented here challenge our assumptions of “who”, “why”, “where” we are in relation to ourselves, our world and people around us: our identities are challenged or questioned in Canada. The works included in the symposium’s film night, Ayesha Hameed’s Fire, Fences and Flight (2007), Kairin Lee’s Shattered (2007), and Ali Kazimi’s Rex verses Singh (2008), weave historical events taken from various perspectives and re-interpret these events and accounts. In both Vivek Shraya and Divya Mehra’s works, the artist/filmmaker uses his/her own body as performing subject in order to exploit the internal contradiction of the Instagram/Facebook/YouTube era in which private moments become familiar and subversive at the same time. All of the works tonight create waves. As we look at Vancouver, our port city, we can start to imagine the undercurrents that artists are trying to grapple with to comment on their shifting or disfigured identities.