The Screen is a Mirror
Short Films + Artist Panel
Co-presented by Trinity Square Video and Bump TV
The Screen is a Mirror is a showcase of short films and artist panel about intentional space-making and radical self-love; showcasing works that imagine methods in which queer and racialized identities can be fostered for survival, belonging and flourishing. Artists Thirza Cuthand, Jeremy Saya, Umber Majeed and Kim Ninkuru experiment with self-portraiture, performance, narrative formats, collage and pastiche to express playfully nuanced experiences and desires of love, acceptance, assimilation, freedom, and being unapologetically joyful.
Thirza Cuthand grew up in Saskatoon. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, Queer identity and love, and Indigeneity, which have screened in festivals internationally, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paolo, ImagineNATIVE in Toronto, Frameline in San Francisco, Outfest in Los Angeles, and Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. Her work “2 Spirit Dream Catcher Dot Com” uses a Butch NDN "lavalife" lady (performed by director Thirza Cuthand) to promote a website that seduces the viewer into 2 Spirit "snagging and shacking up" with suggestions of nearby pipeline protests to take your date to, and helpful elders who will matchmake you and tell off disrespectful suitors. It's the culturally appropriate website all single 2 Spirit people wish existed.
Kim Ninkuru is a performance artist from Burundi and based in Toronto. Using spoken word, voguing and visual art, Kim tells stories about being a black queer gender non-conforming body irl and url. You can find Kim on instagram (@sista_betina) where she uses self-portraits inspired by afrofuturism and r’n’b music to document her thoughts and tips on how they’re surviving white supremacy. Her work promotes being petty and carefree as an act of self-love and self-care. The video work “Dodo NightClub” comes from a need to imagine safer spaces for black femmes to dance and experience joy late at night. The word “dodo” comes from the french expression “faire dodo” meaning “going to sleep”. In this context, “dodo nightclub” is the safe place you go to party: your room.
Jeremy Saya is a queer interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto whose practice integrates elements of performance, installation, sound, video and electronics. His academic background in philosophy and social science often informs his work which deals with queerness, the body, identity, vulnerability, ephemerality and interactionism. Jeremy has performed at Ignite Gallery and at Cold Waters Media Arts Symposium & Festival in North Bay, Ontario. He has exhibited at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, White Water Gallery, Beaver Hall Gallery, VSVSVS, and has curated film programs for both the Toronto Queer Film Festival and Images Festival. Jeremy has worked at Vtape, Feminist Art Gallery, Trinity Square Video and currently holds the positions of Programmer and Box Office Manager at Images Festival. In the work “Perfect”, Saya uses video as a tool to process feelings of shame and perfectionism. By using humour, self-reflection and editing, Saya explores the irony of wanting to be the best at embracing imperfection.
Umber Majeed is (b. New York) is a multidisciplinary visual artist. She received her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2016 and graduated from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. Her writing, performance, and animation work engage with familial archives to explore Pakistani state, urban, and digital infrastructure through a feminist lens. In “Still Life” and “Two Fridas”, Majeed speaks to the disconnect she encounters in Western art institutions. As a Muslim woman living in the United States, she takes up the role of the “outsider from the inside”, exploring concepts of existentialism, identity, and self-representation.