Sanita Fejzic & Ludmylla Reis
Kingston, ON Canada
Land Matters is a trans-medium artistic project with two distinct yet mutually constitutive goals: 1) To explore what good relations between humans and other-than-humans might look like in the midst of global social and ecological violence (henceforth, “other-than-humans” is understood as including nonhuman animals, land, bodies or water and other organic and inorganic beings), and by extension to explore settler and Indigenous relations. And 2) To create space for newcomers, including refugees, immigrants and those living in precarious legal situations, to explore and discuss the implications of awakening to the fact that Canada is a country built on colonial violence and genocidal tendencies. The subcomponents of this goal are to explore how the language of “settling comfortably” to Canada obscures and erases non-dominant histories of Western Empire and nation-state building; additionally, we will explore how refugee and newcomer bodies often do the “dirty” and “toxic” work that middle and upper class Canadians do not desire.
Land Matters builds on Sanita Fejzić’s lived experience as a lesbian and secular Muslim first-generation Canadian refugee turned immigrant from “developing” Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is an award-winning poet, novelist and playwright. Fejzić has been the lead editor of two anthologies, Refuge(e) and Dis(s)ent, published and launched at the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival in 2016 and 2018 respectively. She is presently the Playwright in Residence at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC). She has published numerous books, articles and literary essays. She has also published peer-reviewed essays and book chapters as part of her academic work, and presented at conferences in Canada, U.S.A. and Russia. Her SSHRC-funding PhD project, Land Matters, is the subject of this symposium.
Ludmylla Reis was raised in Brazil and moved to Canada in 2016 to further their artistic journey. With degrees in advertising in 2008 and directing for theatre in 2018, they’ve navigated live and digital storytelling for over ten years. Their work in storytelling started in 2012 and has evolved into a multidisciplinary approach. Ludmylla works with poetic filmmaking narratives sparked through human encounters. Their camera frames the beauty in daily life in order to reimagine narratives of oppressed humans through mythological lessons. My vimeo site: https://vimeo.com/lrei