TRINITY SQUARE VIDEO IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE FIRST PARTICIPANTS IN OUR BIPOC-CENTRED MEDIA ARTS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM X-WAVE
November 2021, Toronto, Canada
Trinity Square Video continues to build programs to foster a legacy of inclusion in 2021 with the X-WAVE Mentorship Series supporting 7 BIPOC Emerging Creatives. Mentees get direct access to experienced BIPOC mentors in their chosen creative fields (writing, directing, producing). Trinity’s X-WAVE Mentorship Series breaks down barriers in a meaningful way means connecting Emerging Creatives with mentors and instructors who share their lived experience.
Maya Bastian and Trinity Square developed the X-WAVE @ TSV, a BIPOC-Centred Workshop Series in 2019, to address that need. The X-Wave Mentorship Series launched earlier this year, invited applicants to submit their wish list to advance their careers to the next level. Drawing from TSV’s membership of award-winning and notable BIPOC artists and creators spanning 5 decades, Trinity garnered support from mentors who could provide them with one-on-one coaching and provide meaningful advice on overcoming barriers and achieving their aspirations.
It’s an interesting time to be BIPOC talent in Canada. I’ve felt for a long while that we need programs that are by us, for us. There is something very special about having your career nurtured by another person of colour, the support and guidance is unparalleled. BIPOC artists face unique challenges that must be recognized. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Trinity Square Video on this initiative, as they are an organization that I feel has always sought to engage in equitable practices with a justice-focused lens.—Maya Bastian
The list of our first recipients includes:
• mentor Christina Battle with Naghmeh Ghasemzadeh, aka NAG;
• mentor Eshrat Erfanian with Sadaf Khajeh;
• mentor Farah Yusuf with Sina Dolati;
• mentor Maya Bastian with Ganesh Thava;
• mentor v.t. nayani with Shanti Dhoré;
• mentor Alicia K. Harris with Janice Reid;
• mentor Chrisann Hessing with Irene Braithwaite.
Trinity Square Video is a space to re-imagine media arts. Founded in 1971, it is one of Canada’s first artist-run centres and its oldest media arts centre. We are a not-for-profit, charitable organization. For 50 years, Trinity Square has been a champion of media arts practices. Our activities are guided by a goal to increase our members’ and audiences’ understanding and imagination of what media arts practices can be. Trinity Square strives to create supportive environments, encouraging artistic and curatorial experimentation that challenge medium specificity through education, production, and presentation supports.
Christina Battle is an artist, curator, and educator based in amiskwacîwâskahikan, (also known as Edmonton, Alberta), within the Aspen Parkland: the transition zone where prairie and forest meet. Battle’s work focuses on thinking deeply about the concept of disaster and the ways in which it might be utilized as a framework for social change. Much of this work extends from her recent PhD dissertation (2020) which looked closer to community responses to disaster: the ways in which they take shape, and especially to how online models might help to frame and strengthen such response. She has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries as both artist and curator, most recently at: The MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon), The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Colorado), Latitude 53 (Edmonton), The John & Maggie Mitchell Gallery (Edmonton), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver); Forum Expanded at the Berlinade (Berlin), Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga), Trinity Square Video (Toronto), and Untitled Art Society (Calgary).
NAG is a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary Iranian-French artist. She studied Visual arts in France and got her Master of Arts from UQAC, Canada. She has held numerous group exhibitions as well as a solo exhibition in France, showcasing works of installation, video projection, sound, mixed media, and photography. Her preferred topics are related to her own story of immigration and cultural assimilation, uprootedness, women’s rights, gender equality, and resilience. She expresses such subjects in her works through fragmented materials and narratives. These artworks depict her perpetual endeavor to find an imaginary link between events, beings, belongings, and destinies. Footages of domestic scenes, emotions as well as organic materials, medical waste, and images are assembled in installations and videos to create strange living organisms.
Eshrat Erfanian is an artist and educator. She was born in Tehran and lives in Toronto. Erfanian’s artistic practice attempts to subvert the reading of the images generated by new technology. Her work ranges from video and video installation to digital photography and site-specific installations. Erfanian’s work has been exhibited in The Jewish Museum in New York City, Incheon Biennial, numerous galleries in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto. Her latest work is permanently installed at the Immigration Hallway in the Canadian Embassy in Paris. Erfanian is an alumnx of the ISP Whitney Museum of American Art and holds a PhD from York University in Toronto.
Sadaf Khajeh is currently a candidate for the MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. She received her Bachelor of Interior Design from Ryerson University and has a certification in Photography Studies from the Chang School of Continuing Education. She has professional experience in Interior Design, Photography, and Visual Art, which has expanded her curiosity to explore different mediums and skills to create more diverse projects and push her creative boundaries. Having immigrated from Iran to Canada in her teens, Khajeh has always been interested in social issues, as she believes they are sometimes more pronounced for immigrants such as herself. Through her creative narrative, she tries to form a bridge between the two cultures she belongs to by further exploring the sociocultural similarities and differences between them.
Farah Yusuf is an independent curator based in Toronto of Guyanese and Filipino descent. Her practice explores themes of cultural identity, hybridity, language, and technology. She has held curatorial residencies at the Textile Museum of Canada and Humber College Galleries and currently works at the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers at OCAD University. She is the recipient of grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Association of Art Galleries, and Ontario Arts Council. Past curatorial projects include of movement and dwelling at Trinity Square Video (2017), Eutopia (2016), Occupy Space (2016), and Corpus Lucida at InterAccess Media Art Centre (2012). Yusuf holds an MA in Experimental Digital Media from the University of Waterloo and a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practices at OCAD University where she was awarded the Curatorial Practice Medal and Governor General’s Academic Medal. Her writing has appeared in C Magazine.
Sina Dolati is an Iranian-Canadian multidisciplinary filmmaker in Toronto, Canada, with his hands in narrative film, VR, music videos, and commercials. His recent accolades include: a series of upcoming videos for the popular Canadian music group, The Halluci Nation; the 360/VR music video, ADHD, for the taboo-breaking Iranian artist Säye Skye; and a commercial series for revolutionary start-up Ample Labs. His latest short film, Lily’s Day, is currently on the festival circuit and has recently premiered at the Oscar qualifying deadCenter Film Festival. Dolati holds an MA from Ryerson RTA School of Media, where he focused on immersive media research, and he is also a Co-Founder of Toronto New Wave, a non-profit annual film, music, and interactive media festival.
Maya Bastian is a Tamil-Canadian filmmaker and artist living in T’karonto/Toronto. From 2007 she spent several years travelling the world as an investigative video journalist, documenting areas of conflict and post-conflict which has culminated in an ongoing exploration of trauma as it relates to community and culture. She has won awards and exhibited her short films and artwork throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Her work has been supported by the Colombo Art Biennale, Edinburgh Fringe, Goethe Institute, Art With Impact, The Mosaic Institute, Regent Park Film Festival, and the Canada, Ontario, and Toronto Arts Councils. Bastian was selected for the Anda Residency in 2019 and was artist-in-residence at Al Ma’Mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, 2020. Her multimedia series Post-Memory will be shown at Gallery 46, Whitechapel, UK, this summer; Bastian will be premiering her Netflix/CFC supported short film, Tigress, at the Cannes Short Film Market 2021. As Vice-Chair of the board at Whippersnapper Gallery and as the founder of the X-WAVE programs at TSV, Bastian is always seeking to support BIPOC talent in any way she can.
Ganesh Thava is a Tamil-Canadian writer, director, and gardening enthusiast. With a marketing degree, he jumped ship from the competitive world of advertising mayonnaise and cat food into the obviously less challenging world of entertainment. The youngest of eight, he started writing because it was never his turn to do anything else. Having stumbled upon writing, he uses the medium to explore his voice by taking everyday moments like family feuds or love affairs and investigating them from underrepresented perspectives. His fascination with how humanity survives change and adversity is inspired by watching his immigrant father start a business from nothing. His feature film, MAN ABROAD, following the unlikely romance between a Tamil man and his fiancé’s brother, is shortlisted for the Whistler Film Festival’s Screenwriters Lab. This summer, Thava directed/produced his short thriller, BARK and the Toronto Fringe show MY KOREAN CANADIAN FRIEND.
v.t. nayani (pron. 9’knee) is a director, producer, and writer dedicated to stories for the screen. nayani is an alumni of the CBC’s Workshop for Diverse Creators, Hot Docs’ Doc Accelerator Program, Reelworld Film Festival’s Emerging 20 Program, and the CTI Creators of Colour Incubator. She is also a recipient of the UN Women Yvonne M. Hebert Award for filmmakers and photographers. nayani is presently a resident artist in the 2021 Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre (CFC). Her first feature documentary SHADEISM: DIGGING DEEPER (2015) had its World Premiere at the 2015 Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition. In 2020, she was featured in TIFF campaigns for RBC and L’Oréal Paris, celebrating women in film. nayani was most recently a recipient of Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund post-production grant and the Indigenous Screen Office’s Solidarity Fund Development Grant. Her artistic and professional development have been supported by groups including the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, ArtReach Toronto, and AWID. Her work has also been championed by festivals including TIFF Next Wave, Women of the World, Women Deliver, Reelworld, Lights Camera Africa, and Regent Park Film Festival. nayani is currently in post-production for her first dramatic feature, THIS PLACE (produced in partnership with Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Program), and in development for her second feature, SHAME.
Shanti Dhoré is an emerging writer and producer. She has been a member of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) since 2005 and decided to take the leap into filmmaking in 2018 when she created her 60 second doc MAA. Dhoré wrote and produced her first short film, The Story Maa Never Told, after being selected to participate in the CineFAM Micro Cinema Challenge supported by Trinity Square Video and Ryerson School of Image Arts. The Story Maa Never Told had its world premiere in September 2019 at the CineFAM Film Festival in Toronto. It was nominated for the “Best Micro Short Film” at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival and has also screened at the Dunedin International Film Festival. Dhoré’s short film Making Memories is currently in development. Official Facebook page for The Story Maa Never Told – Home
Alicia K. Harris is an award-winning filmmaker from Toronto, Ontario. Her latest short film PICK won Best Live Action Short at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards and Best Short Film at the Miami Film Festival. Harris directs in all mediums; recent credits include the Pressure music video for Grammy award-winner Koffee, and a Black hair documentary for Lush. She is an alumna of The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s directing program, sponsored by Netflix. She is known for her high-concept visual style, including elaborate set design; distinct colour palettes; and stylized cinematography. Harris is dedicated to celebrating the Black experience in her work, with a focus on beauty, spirituality, and vulnerability.
Janice Reid is an emerging artist based in Brampton, Ontario. Reid is a portrait photographer who received her diploma in creative photography from Humber College. Her photography focuses on the black female subject, innovations in fashion, and the urban landscape. Her colourful contemporary style has been shaped by a breadth of photographers and mixed media artists like Carrie Mae Weems, Lorraine O’grady, and Oroma Elewa. Reid’s real love series have been exhibited at the Gladstone Hotel and Band Gallery in Toronto, ON. Her real love series received media coverage on Breakfast Television and Spacing magazine.
Chrisann Hessing is an award-winning filmmaker and social impact producer based in Toronto whose films have screened at Hot Docs, Big Sky and the London Asian Film Festival. Chrisann’s latest film, TURNING TABLES, won Best Short Documentary at the 43rd American Indian Film Festival, screened in over 30 film festivals internationally and was acquired for online distribution by CNN’s Great Big Story. She is passionate about using visual storytelling as a tool to educate and inspire positive change, and has collaborated with a number of community arts organizations including TIFF, JAYU, Reel Asian and This is Worldtown, an online magazine featuring art and first person expression of women of colour storytellers. Most recently, Chrisann was selected as one of Reelworld’s Emerging 20 and named Talent to Watch by Telefilm Canada in 2020.
Aspiring to make waves in the world of journalism, Irene Braithwaite is completing a post-secondary education in the journalism program at Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. While gaining practical skills through her studies, Irene is passionate about her dedication to sharing stories through a variety of media outlets. In her first year at Centennial College, she has already conducted interviews with experts on differing subjects, including mindfulness, activism, and the importance of podcasting. Irene has a strong passion for her work and creative projects, and continues to improve on her skills in any way she can.
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Trinity Square Video acknowledges the support of: The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, with the support of the City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Our Interns, Our Donors, Our Volunteers, and Our Members.
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