RE:ORIENTATIONS

Richard Fung’s RE:ORIENTATIONS  brings together a filmmaker, historian, and sociologist to produce a groundbreaking longitudinal documentary film on LGBTQ Asian Canadians covering a 30-year period. It fosters collaborations between community groups and academic institutions and brings critical conversations around sexuality, race, and nation to wider audiences.

RE:ORIENTATIONS (2016) revisits the interview subjects of Richard Fung’s 1985 film Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians, which was the first documentary on diasporic queer Asians in North America. RE:ORIENTATIONS presents seven surviving subjects of the original documentary with raw interview footage from the 1980s, putting them in dialogue with their younger selves. Their reflections on identity, sexuality, racism, activism, and cultural expression are contextualized through conversations with six younger queer and trans activists, scholars, and artists. The project examines continuities and transformations in identities, political discourses, social processes, and legal frameworks as they relate to the intersecting and continually shifting categories of ‘LGBTQ’ and ‘Asian Canadian’.

RE:ORIENTATIONS had its world premiere at Inside Out: Toronto LGBT Film Festival on Saturday May 28, 2016.The film was presented in international LGBT film festivals as well as Asian and Asian diaspora festivals. It has been acquired by university libraries and screened at universities and academic forums. In addition, RE:ORIENTATIONS opened the inaugural Shanghai Queer Film Festival and was the focus of a residency and roundtable at Simon Fraser University, to be published in a peer review journal.

Re:Orientations has produced enriched discourse among, and advocacy on behalf of, LGBTQ and Asian/Asian diaspora/Asian Canadian communities. and provided a pedagogical tool for academic institutions and a resource for research.

 

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Creator: 
Still from Re:Orientations - Interview subject on a Toronto street, standing before a wall covered in LGBTQ-postive statements
Photograph of a dancer performing. He is lying on the ground, wearing a mask.
Film still: a photograph of a man playing the piano while an elderly man listens in the background.
Monday, October 30, 2017 - 10:15am
Lab Member: 
Richard Fung

Materializing the Philippines: Piña Textiles, Nationalism and Border Zones of Cultural Production

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 10:00pm

The sale of handmade objects -- “ethnic or tourist arts” -- has become an important source of income for artisans in many communities in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. A variety of products speaking of their national or cultural identity, change hands in complex, multistranded commodity chains that ordinarily link artisans from these communities to consumers, often from the upper and middle classes, of the United States, Canada, Europe and parts of the Global South. The trade in such objects ranges from inexpensive, functional souvenirs to a new breed of “high ethnic art” objects. Drawing on the contemporary production of
goods and clothing made from piña (pineapple) cloth, a textile distinctive to the central Philippines, this paper explores the alternative strategies that artisans and designers use to enter this global trade more on their own terms. Artisans may craft a “this plus that” sort of construction -- the “this” of global modernity plus the “that” of timeless indigenous tradition. Scholars and the public often decry such
crossing of aesthetic boundaries as indicative of cultural contamination.

This lecture argues that such cultural graftings, or border zones of production, celebrate negotiated meanings and the ongoing oscillations in objects that make and remake material relations between people, things and national and personal identities. In so doing, the lecture reflects critically on the taken-for-granted categories of “tradition,” “authenticity” and “high or low ethnic art”.

B. Lynne Milgram is Professor of Anthropology in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, Canada. Her research on material culture and on gender and development in the Philippines analyzes the cultural politics of social change with regard to fair trade, microfinance and women’s work in crafts, street vending and the secondhand clothing trade (the latter between the Philippines and Hong Kong). This research is published in edited volumes and in journals including Human Organization (2001), Anthropologica (2004), Asian Studies Review (2005) and Urban Anthropology (2005, 2008). She has co-edited (with K. Grimes) Artisans and Cooperatives: Developing Alternative Trade for the Global Economy (2000) and (with R. Hamilton) Material Choices: Refashioning Bast and Leaf Fibers in Asia and the Pacific (2007). Her forthcoming (2008) co-edited book (with K. Browne) is titled Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches.

Venue & Address: 
Institute of Advanced Studies; University of Western Australia 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Australia
Email: 
iasuwa@admin.uwa.edu.au
Cost: 
Free

Filipino American & Filipino Canadian - A Conversation with Dr. Yen Le Espiritu

Friday, October 9, 2015 - 11:30pm to Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 1:00am

Please join us as we learn more about the differences and similarities between Filipinos in Canada and Filipinos in the United States. Conely de Leon (PhD student at York University) and Jennilee Austria (youth settlement worker and writer) will interview Dr. Yen Le Espiritu, Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Espiritu has been at the forefront of research on Filipino-American and Pan-Asian experiences for more than two decades. Her writings on Filipinos/as in San Diego, in particular, have provided a vivid portrait of how youth, gender, class and race affect the lived realities of these communities. This event is free and open to everyone. Come with your questions, so that we may have fruitful conversation and debate.

There will be screening Casey Mecija’s wonderful short documentary, My Father, Francis before the interview.

My Father, Francis — which won the Women in Film and Television Award at the 2013 Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival—provides a moving portrait of the relationship between a second generation queer Filipina and her father, Francis. By focusing on an art exhibit that she and her father collaborate on, Mecija conveys the complex bonds, both familial and diasporic, that often exist between generations of post-colonial subjects. As a tribute to her father’s creativity, Mecija’s work is full of generosity, humility, and care.

This event is co-sponsored by OCAD University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences &York University’s Centre for Asian Research (YCAR)

Venue & Address: 
Room 230, 100 McCaul Street
Website: 
http://www.facebook.com/events/441618539374702/
Cost: 
Free

Monitor 11: South Asian Experimental Film + Video

SAVAC logo
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 11:30pm

How does trauma haunt us? How do we build fictions that tell the stories of our lived realities? And finally, how do we fantasize our way out?

The title of a 7” record by riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy, “These Monsters are Real” conjures feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic. While the reference to monsters elicits the realm of fiction and fantasy, the insistence on their realness re-centers experiences of horror and trauma, summoning images of mutated and abject beings.

Monitor 11 takes this title as its starting point and asks that we claim a space for the imaginary and the make-believe that can emerge from and entangle with the most monstrous acts, which have become a part of our everyday reality.

Featuring work by

Sahej Rahal (India)
Kush Badhwar (India)
Tala Madani (Iran/USA)
Payal Kapadia (India)
Anjana Kothamachu (India)
Mahardika Yudha (Indonesia)
Chulayarnnon Siriphol (Thailand)
Laleh Khorramian (USA)

Curated by Azar Mahmoudian & Leila Pourtavaf

Doors Open 7 p.m.

Q&A with curators to follow screening

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Central Hall, Room 230
Website: 
http://savac.net/monitor-11/
Cost: 
SAVAC members free | students, seniors & underemployed $5 | general $10 

Diasporic Intimacies event is first of its kind

Image shows mannequin covered by butterflies made from pieces of visual porn
Friday, February 6, 2015 - 5:00am

Diasporic Intimacies is the first explicitly queer Filipino/a event in North America. Co-organized by OCAD University’s Robert Diaz, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the event brought together artists, scholars and community workers to discuss the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

From the well-attended reception at OCAD U’s Open Gallery, to the day-long OCAD U conference panels that extended into the evening to accommodate all the speakers, Diaz and co-organizers, artist Marissa Largo and students Karlo Azores and Fritz Pino, were encouraged by the enthusiasm of the 250 participants..

Says Diaz, “The most innovative leaders in settlement work, academia, and the art scene are often Filipino/a and LGBTQ identified. We wanted to create a space for these individuals to share their creativity and to celebrate their work with the general public.”

Diasporic Intimacies is based on Diaz’s research at OCAD U. His interviews with LGBTQ Filipinos/as in Toronto (focussed on their everyday struggles and strategies for empowerment) inspired him to create a forum to encourage LGBTQ Filipinos/as to share their experiences, insights and art, as well as build networks between mainstream and Filipino/a  LGBTQ Communities in Canada.

During the conference, panelists and participants addressed such question as:

  • How might queer Filipinos/as in Canada contribute to our understanding of indigeneity and collectivity?
  • How do regional policies on labour, migration and multiculturalism influence queer Filipino/a Canadian lives?
  • How might Filipino/a lesbian and transgender communities reimagine social formations that have come to be attributed to Canadian queer oral histories?
  • What forms of resistance and resilience do queer Filipinos/as practice as they inhabit multiple spaces within Canada?

As well as the conference, a three-week long exhibit, Visualizing the Intimate in Filipino/a Lives, co-curated by the organizers, highlights the work of community-based artists and OCAD U alumni. Examples of visual culture, new media, community-based and critical work by Filipino/a artists are on display at Open Gallery from January 23 to February 15. Installations explore what is sometimes called the third space — where issues of identity and community are not considered fixed, but fluid and hybrid. In the case of Visualizing the Intimate, representations of immigration, gender and colonialism suggest how queer identity is neither universally understood nor expressed.

According to Diaz, “The issues, concerns, and contributions that LGBTQ Filipinos/as have made enrich how we see ourselves as Canadians. These events allow us to recognize the hard work of those who strive to make Canada a better and more equitable society, while also highlighting the areas we can still improve upon.”

Visualizing the Intimate in Filipino/a Lives art exhibition runs until February 15, 2015, at OCAD U’s Open Gallery, 49 McCaul Street. 

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries

Image of butterflies
Friday, January 23, 2015 - 2:00pm to Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 10:00pm

Art Exhibit: Visualizing the Intimate

This groundbreaking series of events brings together academics, artists, activists, and community members as they discuss the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

EVENTS CONFERENCE & RECEPTION
January 23, 2015. 9 am – 7 pm
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

FILM SCREENING
January 24, 2015. 6 pm to 9 pm
The 519 Church St Community Ctr.

ART EXHIBIT:
VISUALIZING THE INTIMATE
January 23 – February 15, 2015.
Hours, 9am - 5pm
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St.

Venue & Address: 
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul Street
Website: 
http://www.queerfilipinosincanada.ca/

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries

Image of butterflies
Saturday, January 24, 2015 - 11:00pm to Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 2:00am

This groundbreaking series of events brings together academics, artists, activists, and community members as they discuss the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

EVENTS CONFERENCE & RECEPTION
January 23, 2015. 9 am – 7 pm
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

FILM SCREENING
January 24, 2015. 6 pm to 9 pm
The 519 Church St Community Ctr.

ART EXHIBIT:
VISUALIZING THE INTIMATE
January 23 – February 15, 2015.
Hours, 9am - 5pm
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St.

Venue & Address: 
The 519 Church St Community Center
Website: 
http://www.queerfilipinosincanada.ca/

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries

Image of butterflies
Friday, January 23, 2015 - 2:00pm to Saturday, January 24, 2015 - 12:00am

This groundbreaking series of events brings together academics, artists, activists, and community members as they discuss the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

EVENTS CONFERENCE & RECEPTION
January 23, 2015. 9 am – 7 pm
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

FILM SCREENING
January 24, 2015. 6 pm to 9 pm
The 519 Church St Community Ctr.

ART EXHIBIT:
VISUALIZING THE INTIMATE
January 23 – February 15, 2015.
Hours, 9am - 5pm
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Room 190
Website: 
http://www.queerfilipinosincanada.ca www.facebook.com/events/1390559501235262/