May – October 2015

SAW Video Media Art Centre is pleased to be partnering with the Asinabka Film & Media Arts Festival to provide a unique opportunity for emerging Indigenous media art curators. In the summer of 2015, we are leading two young people through the process of curating a theatrical screening and a gallery-based exhibition of media artworks.

Based on an open call, representatives from both Asinabka and SAW Video selected two applicants, who are working together as a team: Charlotte Hoelke and Jocelyn Piirainen. They are collaborating under the guidance of their mentor, local media artist Ariel Smith over a four-month period. Charlotte and Jocelyn will get the chance to meet with various other local arts and culture professionals, receive specialized training, take part in workshops, go on field trips to galleries and distributors, perform coordinated library and online research, and other activities that will build their expertise as media art curators.

They will also be guided through the process of collaboratively creating a theme, writing a curatorial essay, and taking on some administrative and staging/mounting duties. The program will culminate in the presentation of both a screening at Club SAW (67 Nicholas St.) on August 22nd and a gallery exhibition at Platform Gallery in October.

This program is made possible through a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa. We would also like to thank Elektra Festival for their contribution to the field trip to Montreal.

Program Participants 2015

Charlotte Hoelke

Charlotte Hoelke received a BA in Native Studies and Religions from Nipissing University in 2010, a MA in Religion and Public Life from Carleton University in 2012 and a MA in Canadian Studies (Indigenous Studies and the North) in 2013. She is currently a student in the PhD program in Canadian Studies at Carleton. Her research and curatorial interests include: Indigenous erotic art; sexuality and gender; Queer Theory; and sexual and reproductive justice. From her participation in the Indigenous Curatorial Incubator Program, Charlotte aims to gain insight into curatorial practice and to meet and learn from leaders in the field.


Jocelyn Piirainen

Jocelyn Piirainen obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from Carleton University. She also studied Interactive Media Design at Algonquin College including digital photography, video production and sound design. Aside from watching films nearly all the time, Jocelyn is the current Programming Assistant for the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Until she starts directing her own films, Jocelyn wants to get a better insight into current curatorial media arts practices through this program.



Program Mentor 2015

Ariel Smith

Ariel Smith is an award winning filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker who has shown at festivals and galleries internationally. She was a technical coordinator for SAW Video Media Arts Centre from 2008-2014 and has also worked as a programmer & arts educator for imagineNATIVE & the Ottawa International Animation Festival. She has written essays and articles on the subjects of Indigenous media arts as self determination and as response to gendered colonial violence for Concordia University, Ottawa Art Gallery, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, Bitch Flicks, and the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Journal.Ariel is active in Indigenous media arts advocacy and administration and is currently the director of National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).

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