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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri - A Kahnawà:ke Community-Driven Production

Thursday, April 4th, 10am - 1 pm

"Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri ("Grandma and Ohkwá:ri"): A Kahnawà:ke Community-Driven Production and the Renormalization of the Kanien'kéha Language." Presentation by Konwanénhon Marion Delaronde Animation artist and artistic director of the Kanien'kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center (KORLCC) in Kahnawà:ke. (With the participation of an additional guest from KORLCC) For 15 years, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) children have been enjoying a kids' show in their own language (Kanien'kéha), with their own culture and legends. In Kanien'kéha this is called Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri. This lecture looks at how this show came to be, its resources, limitations, and flexibility. Creating a film festival to help keep creative people supported in a small community will also be discussed. * The lecture will be preceded by a screening of selected episodes from Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri and a few shorts from previous editions of Kahnawà:ke's Eastern Connection Film Festival. Bio Raised in Kahnawà:ke, Konwanénhon holds a College Diploma in Languages and Literature and a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University. In 1999, she began a community initiative called Teioiaks 2000, designed to assist local teens in making short films. In 2004, she graduated from Kanien’kéha Ratiwennahní:rats, an adult immersion program where she enhanced her fluency level in the Kanien’kéha language (Mohawk). That same year she began working at Kanien’kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Centre in Kahnawà:ke as the director of Tóta tánon Ohkwá:ri, (a locally-televised children's puppet show in Kanien'kéha), and later as the director of the Eastern Connection Film Festival. Konwanénhon creates independent animated films (e.g., Skátne Ronatehiaróntie), and she co-hosts Tewawennakará:tats, a weekly radio program for Kanien’kéha second language learners. This series is part of Politics of Alternative Media, a year-long project conceived as a series of workshops, screenings, and lectures organized by a collective of researchers, artists, and curators gathered around la lumière collective, Concordia University’s Global Emergent Media Lab, and Feminist Media Studio. It aims to foster the exchange of ideas about grassroots, non-commercial and emancipatory practices using media as instruments of mobilization, empowerment, and community building. As an effort to counter the intensified reconfigurations of media landscape according to neoliberal logics, the project advocates forms of media cultures accessible to everyone and simultaneously invests in reimagining alternative media formations. PAM is curated by Giuseppe Fidotta, Sima Kokotovic, and Sanaz Sohrabi.

- Sanaz Sohrabi

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