asinnajaq (Inuk) is a visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and curator born in Inukjuak, Nunavik, in 1991. Her practice is research-based and collaborative, utilizing film, photography, installation, and performance to deconstruct erroneous perceptions of the Arctic as a frozen and sterile landscape. She draws inspiration from ritual practice, human rights activism, Indigenous knowledge, and a desire to explore her own personal Inuit heritage. She received a BA in Film from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2016). Her films Upinnaqusittik (2016), Three Thousand (2017), and other artworks have been exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries around the world, including Palais de Tokyo, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, e-flux, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Skábmagovat Film Festival, Esker Foundation, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Christina Parker Art Gallery, National Film Board of Canada, McClure Art Gallery, and Katingavik Inuit Arts Festival, among many others. She was co-curator of Isuma’s exhibition for the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and is co-creator of Tilliraniit, a three-day festival celebrating Inuit art presented at FOFA Gallery in Montréal. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a REVEAL Indigenous Art Award (2017), the International Indigenous Award from Wairoa Maori Film Festival (2018),a Clyde Gilmour Award from Toronto Film Critics Association (2018), and the Sobey Art Award (2020). Three Thousand was awarded Best Short Documentary from the Canadian Screen Awards (2018). She lives and works in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal).
ONLINE SCREENING DATES: January 9 – January 30, 2023
FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: Three Thousand, 14 mins, 2017This series is co-selected and presented with COUSIN collective and is generously funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Three Thousand, 14 mins, 2017
In this short film, Inuk artist asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe—14 minutes of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema that recast the present, past, and future of her people in a radiant new light. Diving into the NFB’s vast archive, she parses the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, harvesting fleeting truths and fortuitous accidents from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and beautiful possibility. – NFB
Our understanding of the past is always evolving, and the representation of Indigenous Peoples has changed dramatically over the decades. You get these government-sponsored films from the ’50s, subtly or not so subtly racist, that promote residential schooling. And then you’ll find recent footage by Inuit filmmakers that presents a completely different perspective. It’s a fantastic resource for an artist. – asinnajaq