DocuAsia Forum 2018: Displacement

DocuAsia Forum 2018: Displacement

Where is ‘Asia’? Where is ‘East’?

What does it mean to be Asian in this globalized era where so many of us carry diasporic identities? In today’s world, is ‘Asian’ a geographic marker, a racial marker, an ethnic marker, a political marker, a cultural marker, or some slippery combination of all of the above? And where exactly is Asia anyway?

Cinevolution’s DocuAsia Forum returns to Metro Vancouver in March 2018 with a series of lyrical, provocative documentary films. By bringing together filmmakers, artists, academics, community representatives, and the general public, DocuAsia provides a platform for informed dialogue concerning the current cultural and economic development in Asia, and global implications for the future. This year’s films leap outside of Asia as a land bound concept and into the diasporic, migratory and mobile experiences that characterize what is happening in Asia — and much of the rest of the world — today.

Zaatari Djinn - March 6, 6:45pm

ZAATARI DJINN – March 6, 6:45pm

Netherlands | 2016 | 91 min | Arabic w. English Subtitles | Director: Catherine van Campen

Venue:  Melville Centre for Dialogue (8771 Lansdowne Rd, Richmond)
Register:  zaatari.eventbrite.ca

Featuring spoken word performance by Angelica Poversky. Screening followed by discussion, featuring Dr. Ross Michael Pink and Dr. Moharram Aghazedeh.

Zaatari Djinn - Trailer - English

The first of three films chosen for their exploration of ‘Displacement,’ Zaatari Djinn (2016) is gently magical in the way of childhood, but also frank and unsentimental. Beautifully shot and carefully crafted, the film is an intimate portrait of four children who are growing up in a city that does not exist….

In the middle of the desert, under the sweltering sun, an entirely new city has emerged. A city that consists for 80 percent of children. From the perspective of four children from different social backgrounds, we get to see and feel what it is like to grow up in this city; the refugee camp Zaatari. A place with little resources or prospects for improvement, but with space for dreams.

Despite their situation the children show the ability to make something out of nothing; a wad of paper becomes a soccer ball, two insects a zoo. Zaatari Djinn is a rarely intimate movie about the resilience of children who view life a lot rosier than adults. Zaatari may be a place lacking history or future, it is also a home.

Awards

IDFA, Dutch Competition
Cleveland Int. Film Festival – Standing Up Competition
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival – Human Rights Competition
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival – NEW DOCS Competition
Montreal Int. Documentary Festival – International Feature Competition

SPECIAL GUESTS

Angelica Poversky is a spoken word artist, performing artist and arts programmer residing in Vancouver BC. She is 5’3″ (moving into the 5’4″ realm) of vertically challenged creative passion who wants to use spoken words to create movements of thought. Interested in clown, music and media art, Angelica is Vancouver’s Top 24 under 24, a TD Scholar, Richmond’s 30 under 30 and a Richmond Arts Award Winner. She’s been on the author panel at National Culture Days, a speaker at The Top 25 under 25 Canadian Environmentalists Awards and the feature performer at the CHIMO Violence Against Women Conference. Other notable performances include Word Vancouver, The Vancouver Sustainability Conference and The Vancouver Earth Day Parade.

Dr. Ross Michael Pink is a Lecturer in the Political Science Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, teaching in the areas of Politics, Sustainability and International Relations. His 2016 book, ‘Water Rights in Southeast Asia and India’ was published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has been a guest speaker on water rights and sustainability issues at the United Nations WaSH and Well-Being Symposium in 2013 at McMaster University, The Central Tibet Administration in Dharamshala, India, the National University of Singapore, Thammasat University, The University of Yangon, and the KPU TALK Speaker Series. He is Co-Founder of the educational NGO, Global Water Rights. Ross wrote and directed the groundbreaking TV documentary ‘Aids and the Streetchild in Bombay’, co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada and broadcast in 7 countries. As a journalist he has written many articles on human rights and politics in several publications including Policy Options, The Nation, and Mid-Day Publications.

Moharram Aghazadeh, PhD, CTDP is a senior executive originally from Tehran, Iran. He holds a PhD and MA in Curriculum and Learning, with a BA in Educational Technology. A scholar and educator, Moharram was a professor at the University of Tehran, University of Beheshti and Allameh Tabatabee University. Moharram also worked as national and international consultant for UNICES, UNESCO and UNDP. He developed learning and development programs for more 1.5 million Afghan Refugees including women, girls, youth, out of school youth and students. He also developed basic life skills modules for refugees who lived in camps and remote areas. The programs that Moharram had developed for UNESCO, UNDP, Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) and UNICES were implemented in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan with the assistance of Nongovernmental Organizations.

Les Sauteurs - March 10, 7pm

LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP) – March 10, 7pm

Denmark | 2016 | 80min | French, Bambara w. English Subtitles
Directors: Moritz Siebert & Estephan Wagner, Abou Bakar Sidibé

Featuring spoken word performance by Juliane Okot Bitek. Post film discussion panel with Yasin Kiraga Misago, Carla Hilario, and Minah Lee.

Venue:  Terasen Cinema, SFU Harbour Centre (515 W Hastings St)
Register:  lessauteurs.eventbrite.ca

Les Sauteurs - Trailer - English

Here in Metro Vancouver, discussions of the Asian diaspora has become commonplace, usually not without a nod to the Jewish diaspora. Yet one of the most widespread and arguably most complex diasporic communities in our midst is rarely acknowledged. The African diaspora traces migratory paths both coerced and voluntary. Examined, it reveals much about the structural forces behind our individual and collective stories of movement and displacement.

By the producers of Academy Award Nominees THE LOOK OF SILENCE and THE ACT OF KILLING, Les Sauteurs is a fascinating insider’s look into Mount Gurugu, an informal camp on the Spain-Moroccan border where over a thousand hopeful African migrants live, waiting for a chance to jump the fence that marks the distance between Europe and Africa, hope and despair…

In northern Morocco, lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla: Europe on African Land. On the mountain above, live over a thousand hopeful African migrants, watching the fence separating Morocco and Spain. Abou from Mali is one of them – the protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it. For over a year, he has ceaselessly attempted to jump the fence.

At the fence, they have to overcome the razor-wire, automatic pepper spray and brutal authorities. After every failed attempt, they return to Mount Gurugú, scouring for food in the nearby villages, trying to uphold some sort of order in the camp and building up their confidence again. Some give up and return home, others never return.

Select Award(s):
Nominated for Robert Prize for Best Documentary (the Danish Film Academy)
Cinema Eye Honors 2017 – Spotlight Award
Amnesty International Award, Docs Against Gravity 2016
Main Prize, dokKa Karlsruhe, 2016
The Jury’s Second Prize, Feature length Competition, DocumentaMadrid 2016
Main Award: Int. Feature length Award, Frankfurt Lichter IFF 2016
Ecumenical Jury Award, Berlinale 2016iting Award

SPECIAL GUESTS

PERFORMER // Juliane Otok Bitek

Juliane Okot Bitek is a Liu Scholar alumna and PhD candidate (Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Program) with her home department at the Liu Insitute for Global Issues. Her research around identity, citizenship and forgetting has led her to do fieldwork in Arusha, Kigwa, Tabora, Gulu, Musoma, Tarime, Butiaba, Bukoba, Kampala, Lira, London and Mwanza. Her latest publication, 100 Days (U of Alberta Press 2016), is a collection of poetry that negotiates ways to remember the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. 100 Days has been shortlisted for the 2017 Pat Lowther Award, the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry and won a gold prize for the 2016 Foreword INDIES Award for Poetry.

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PANELIST // Carla Hilario

Carla Hilario is a PhD candidate in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia and a research associate in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Her work focuses on community-engaged research aimed at improving mental health outcomes for immigrant, refugee, and visible minority populations at the intersections of gender and race.

PANELIST // Yasin Kiraga Misago

Yasin Kiraga Misago is Founder and Executive Director of African Descent Society BC, founder of African Descent Festival BC and the Creative Director for Hogan’s Alley Historic Memory Traveling Exhibition and History Research for people of African descent in Canada and BC. He is an urban historian and heritage walking tour guide in Vancouver with Black Strathcona Heritage Walking Tour in East Vancouver and other places of historical signifiance for people of African Descent in BC.</p> <p>Yasin is also the coordinator for UNESCO General History of Africa Project within Vancouver, working to advance the Canada Commission on UNESCO General History of Africa and United Nations International Decade for the people of African Descent 2015-2024.

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PANELIST // Minah Lee

Minah Lee is a world citizen who was born and raised in South Korea. She is currently one of the unlanded on this land today and also a proud member of a secret army called ESL poetrees planted in the soil. She wants to use her privilege of standing in academia as a researcher/artist to delve deeper into the issues of being and belonging against the commodification of citizenship; human security; identities of migrants, located in the state-driven paradigms. Minah wants to inspire new ways of becoming and longing by re-imagining Home and borders. She believes that securing more places to summon and share personal/social traumas and memories is essential.

Ubuntu - March 22, 7pm

UBUNTU – March 22, 7pm

2017 | Documentary | Lebanon, Cyprus, Sweden | 64min | Director: Christian Abi Abboud

Director in attendance! We’re extremely excited to be bringing director Christian Abi Abboud to Vancouver for this program. Join us for the post film talkback for a chance to hear about Christian’s creative process, and the story behind the film.

Venue:  Room B2160, Rennie Hall, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver)

Register:  ubuntu1.eventbrite.ca

Ubuntu - Trailer - English

Poetic and meditative, Ubuntu (2017) is the final film in Cinevolution’s 2018 DocuAsia Forum series. The film is an intimate look into the inner life of Darin, who considers [her]self free of all affiliation; to neither religion nor country. “The universe,” she says, “is bigger than any pride in identity or fight in a cause.”

Her voice carries us through her journey from the Middle East to Europe and back again as she sifts through different pieces of her identity – formative moments, border crossings, moments of darkness and despair, her quiet reflections and beliefs.

This is the story of a 34 years old Syrian woman, who left her life in Dubai to seek asylum in Sweden along with her sister. After she finds security and balance in the tranquility of her new home, she finds herself compelled to return to the middle east because of a love story. Lost amongst the complications of a Syrian passport, and tangled between a love story and her stability in a European country, we follow her from a place to another, in the endless search of her inner self ….

SPECIAL GUESTS

DIRECTOR // Christian Abi Abboud

1980 : Christian Abi Abboud was born >> 1999 : french baccalaureate // 2003 : diploma of audiovisual arts - university saint joseph beirut >> 2003 - 2004 : freelancer sound engineer >> 2004 - 2007 : freelancer editor >> 2008 - 2013 : owner / partner at tic motion post production house >> 2014 - current : filmmaker & videographer

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Ubuntu + Closing Night Party - March 24, 7pm

UBUNTU + Closing Night Party – March 24, 7pm

2017 | Documentary | Lebanon, Cyprus, Sweden | 64min | Director: Christian Abi Abboud

Director in attendance. Cash bar + Refreshments. 

Live Performance by Amal Rana. Post film panel discussion featuring Christian Abi Abboud, Laura U. Marks, Pia Massie, and Simone Rapisarda.

Join us for this relaxed screening and panel discussion over wine and nibbles. Meet Director Christian Abi Abbound and hear from a group of local thinkers, artists, and filmmakers as we explore the craft of a documentary-based practice and the delicate dance between artist and subject as the boundaries are increasingly blurred.

Venue:  Centre A, 268 Keefer St, Vancouver

Register:  ubuntu2.eventbrite.ca

Ubuntu - Trailer - English

Poetic and meditative, Ubuntu (2017) is the last in a series of three films in Cinevolution’s 2018 DocuAsia Forum series. The film is an intimate look into the inner life of Darin, who considers [her]self free of all affiliation; to neither religion nor country. “The universe,” she says, “is bigger than any pride in identity or fight in a cause.”

Her voice carries us through her journey from the Middle East to Europe and back again as she sifts through different pieces of her identity – formative moments, border crossings, moments of darkness and despair, her quiet reflections and beliefs.

This is the story of 34-year-old Darin, who left her life in Dubai to seek asylum in Sweden along with her sister. After she finds security and balance in the tranquility of her new home, she finds herself compelled to return to the middle east because of a love story. Lost amongst the complications of a Syrian passport, and tangled between a love story and her stability in a European country, we follow her from a place to another, in the endless search of her inner self …

SPECIAL GUESTS

PERFORMER // Amal Rana

Amal Rana is a queer Pakistani poet and social justice educator. In a time when even exhaling while being Muslim is considered a crime, she conjures poetry as an act of collective liberation. Her work has appeared in several publications and literary journals including the acclaimed anthology, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices. Amal is a founding member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Vancouver and Breaking the Fast, an arts collective centering LGBTQ Muslims and Muslim women. Recently, she has initiated several collaborative projects envisioning liberatory futures for those on the margins.

Find out more about Amal's work

DIRECTOR // Christian Abi Abboud

1980 : Christian Abi Abboud was born >> 1999 : french baccalaureate // 2003 : diploma of audiovisual arts - university saint joseph beirut >> 2003 - 2004 : freelancer sound engineer >> 2004 - 2007 : freelancer editor >> 2008 - 2013 : owner / partner at tic motion post production house >> 2014 - current : filmmaker & videographer

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PANELIST // Laura U Marks

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent book is Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015). Marks curates media art programs for venues around the world. She teaches in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

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PANELIST // Pia Massie

Pia Massie is a multi-media artist, environmental activist, and teacher. She is currently at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, in the faculty of Culture + Community, as the artist/designer/scholar in residence. Her work has been exhibited in museums, festivals, and galleries throughout North America and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; and the grunt gallery in Vancouver, BC. - receiving international awards, including: the American Film Institute’s Independent Filmmakers award (LA), Prix St. Gervais (Geneva), and Prix de l’Institut de Design de Montréal. Her writing has appeared in DAMP: Contemporary Vancouver Media Art, Foret-Frontiere : Une Action Art / Nature, The Bulletin, Adbusters and Ricepaper magazines. She is deeply grateful to work and live in the Pacific Northwest unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

PANELIST // Simone Rapisarda

Simone Rapisarda is a Professor of Film in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University as well as internationally acclaimed filmmaker whose work challenges the traditional border between creative and critical practice. His feature-length films have garnered accolades at major festivals worldwide and are part of the permanent collections of<br /> museums and galleries, such as the MoMA in New York and the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He was the recipient of the Best Emerging Director award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014. His films have been reviewed in Artforum, Film Comment, Sight & Sound, Cinema Scope, IndieWire, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, and Filmmaker Magazine.

Our Partners and Sponsors

The 2018 DocuAsia Forum: Displacement is presented in partnership with City of Richmond, SFU’s David Lam Centre, KPU’s Asian Studies Department, Centre A, African Descent Society of BC, and the United Nations International Decade for the people of African Descent 2015-2024.

Illustration by: cinemedia-Yun-Jou

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