Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by alumni UBC.

One of the most respected filmmakers of his generation and a true artist, Atom Egoyan is the director behind modern classics such as Exotica, the Oscar-nominated The Sweet Hereafter, Ararat, and Chloe. A master of visual and verbal storytelling, Egoyan takes bold non-linear routes through complex psychological terrain in his films.

Please join us for a very special evening in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of film classes in UBC’s Department of Theatre & Film where Atom Egoyan will share how he tells compelling stories in Canadian film and a rapidly changing industry, and why bold film-making has never been more important than it is in our current global political climate.

Speaker Biography

Atom Egoyan
In his films, Atom Egoyan—an Egyptian-born Armenian-Canadian—often returns to common themes of intimacy, displacement, and the impact of technology and media on everyday life. His ability to understand and inspire teams of highly talented but disparate people is critical to tackling these subjects and to producing his unique vision. Egoyan’s keen ability to blend insightful stories that don’t fear being complicated with universal human themes has resulted in a daring body of work, popular with critics and audiences alike.

Egoyan has collected prestigious awards from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, acted as President of the Jury at the Berlin Film Festival, was knighted by the French government, and received Canada’s top civilian honour, The Order of Canada. From 2006 to 2009, he was the Dean’s Distinguished Visitor in theatre, film, music and visual studies at University of Toronto. Egoyan has been Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Ryerson University since 2013.


Select Books and Articles Available at UBC Library

Burwell, Jennifer L., and Monique Tschofen. Image and Territory: Essays on Atom Egoyan. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ont, 2007;2006;.[Link]

Egoyan, A., & Morris, T. J. (2010). Atom egoyan: Interviews. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.[Link]

Hogikyan, N. (2015). Atom egoyan et la diaspora arménienne: Génocide, identités, déplacements, survivances. Paris: L’Harmattan.[Link]


Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by alumni UBC.

One of the most respected filmmakers of his generation and a true artist, Atom Egoyan is the director behind modern classics such as Exotica, the Oscar-nominated The Sweet Hereafter, Ararat, and Chloe. A master of visual and verbal storytelling, Egoyan takes bold non-linear routes through complex psychological terrain in his films.

Please join us for a very special evening in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of film classes in UBC’s Department of Theatre & Film where Atom Egoyan will share how he tells compelling stories in Canadian film and a rapidly changing industry, and why bold film-making has never been more important than it is in our current global political climate.

Speaker Biography

Atom Egoyan
In his films, Atom Egoyan—an Egyptian-born Armenian-Canadian—often returns to common themes of intimacy, displacement, and the impact of technology and media on everyday life. His ability to understand and inspire teams of highly talented but disparate people is critical to tackling these subjects and to producing his unique vision. Egoyan’s keen ability to blend insightful stories that don’t fear being complicated with universal human themes has resulted in a daring body of work, popular with critics and audiences alike.

Egoyan has collected prestigious awards from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, acted as President of the Jury at the Berlin Film Festival, was knighted by the French government, and received Canada’s top civilian honour, The Order of Canada. From 2006 to 2009, he was the Dean’s Distinguished Visitor in theatre, film, music and visual studies at University of Toronto. Egoyan has been Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Ryerson University since 2013.


Select Books and Articles Available at UBC Library

Burwell, Jennifer L., and Monique Tschofen. Image and Territory: Essays on Atom Egoyan. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ont, 2007;2006;.[Link]

Egoyan, A., & Morris, T. J. (2010). Atom egoyan: Interviews. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.[Link]

Hogikyan, N. (2015). Atom egoyan et la diaspora arménienne: Génocide, identités, déplacements, survivances. Paris: L’Harmattan.[Link]


Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the UBC Museum of Anthropology. This panel followed a performance by artist Peter Morin entitled ‘Hello Darlin’’.

Chair:  John Wynne.
Panelists: Margery Fee, Patrick Moore, Peter Morin, Khelsilem Rivers.

This session explores the museum as a site of cultural contestation and issues of appropriation and commodification. How is cultural identity conveyed in art – by whom and for whom?  We hope to explore a variety of perspectives. One view is that in dealing with Indigenous issues, non-Indigenous artists and researchers are simply engaging in ‘metaphorical microcolonialism’ (Corbett).  Alternatively, some see in cross-cultural collaborations the potential for ‘a dialogue across the boundaries of oppositions’ (Smith).  As such, how do ethical considerations and artistic license co-exist?  Are issue-based and socially-engaged artistic practice simply a less effective form of activism or do they have a unique contribution to make in defining cultural identity and promoting recognition of the value of indigenous languages

About the Participants:

Margery Fee is a Professor of English at UBC where she teaches science fiction, science and technology studies and Indigenous literatures. In 2008, she was Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, writing about how some discourses of genetics/genomics contribute to the racialization of minority groups, particularly Indigenous people. Her current research project is Wacousta’s Dilemma: Literature and Land Claims, which examines how land ownership figures in the work of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Patrick Moore is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He has worked with Athabaskan languages in Alberta, the Yukon, and British Columbia for over three decades. With Angela Wheelock, he translated and co-edited Wolverine: Myths and Visions and Dene Gedeni: Traditional Lifestyles of Kaska Women. He edited a collection of Kaska stories Dene Gudeji: Kaska Narratives and wrote a Kaska, Mountain Slavey and Sekani noun dictionary Gūzāgi K’ū́gé’.

Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist and curator. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Open Space (Victoria), MOA Satellite Gallery (Vancouver) and Urban Shaman Gallery (Winnipeg). His artistic practice investigates the impact between indigenous culturally-based practices and western settler colonialism. Morin recently completed a series of new performance works for the Indigenity in the Contemporary World research initiative at Royal Holloway University, London, UK.

Khelsilem Rivers was born in North Vancouver, BC in 1989 and recently given the names Sxwchálten and X̱elsílem by his paternal grandmother, Audrey Rivers (Tiyáltelut) of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. His work has been focused on the rebuilding of Indigenous language fluency in the face of language speaker decline. He is a strong believer that “languages don’t die in healthy communities”, and as such has worked on the concurrent effort of rebuilding healthy community through language-fluency revitalization and vice versa.

John Wynne is an award-winning sound artist whose work includes site-specific installations, ‘composed documentaries’ for radio, projects with speakers of endangered languages and a body of work with heart and lung transplant recipients. He has a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London and is a Reader in Sound Arts at the University of the Arts London.

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The public symposium ‘On Endangered Languages: Indigeneity, Community, and Creative Practice’ took place at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia on Sept. 14th, 2013. It was co-organized by Karen Duffek, Kate Hennessy, Tyler Peterson, and John Wynne.

Symposium Description:

As the multi-sensory installation Anspayaxw opens for exhibition in the Satellite Gallery in Vancouver, we bring artist John Wynne, linguist Tyler Peterson, anthropologist Kate Hennessy, Musqueam elder Larry Grant, and Gitxsan participants Louise Wilson and Barbara Harris into conversation with scholars and artists on the preservation of endangered languages, the interconnected role of digital media, and engagements with artistic practice.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith has described research as “probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary” – but as she also acknowledges, “at some points there is, there has to be, dialogue across the boundaries of oppositions.” Beyond the customary exploration of academic interests and language maintenance efforts, this symposium will problematize research and raise questions about the opportunities and consequences of language documentation for local communities and collaborating outsiders.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has drawn attention to the enduring significance of Indigenous languages. Against this backdrop we will explore some of the ways in which language documentation is being used by speakers to communicate identity, sovereignty, and contemporary representations of community. We will further examine the ethical and moral obligations created in the act of documentation, while questioning how research relationships and collaborations might raise awareness of the status of endangered languages. As documentary and archiving technologies rapidly change, we ask what role digital technology plays in the preservation––or conversely, the loss––of documentary media. What are appropriate uses and reuses of language documentation, and who, ultimately, are the beneficiaries of these documentary initiatives? In the context of Anspayaxw, are creative and artistic explorations of language documentation at odds with the goal of revitalization, or do they open up new possibilities for understanding the complex social and historical territory of ongoing colonial relationships?

Wynne’s Anspayaxw (2010) is a 12-channel sound and photography installation based on his collaborations with Tyler Peterson, artist/photographer Denise Hawrysio, and members of the Gitxsan community at Kispiox, British Columbia. Using innovative sound technology, the installation merges recordings of the endangered Gitxsanimaax language, oral histories, and songs with situational portraits of the participants and photographs of hand-made street signs on the reserve made by one of the participants in the 1970s. The work highlights the subjective nature of language documentation, interpretation, and creative expression. The complex relationships between linguistic researchers and language speakers are recognized and represented in image and sound, cut through by questions of power, ownership, and the desire to document, preserve, and revitalize endangered languages.

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