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The Voices Have Always Talked Back

July 5 – August 3, 2023

Curated by Omolola Ajao and Nadine Valcin as part of Reciprocal Relations


In a society that is steeped in anti-Black racism, the dominant narrative positions Blackness as always just recently emerging in our national space, despite undeniable evidence of the longstanding Black presence. Black stories are repeatedly and strongly invisibilized. 


For The Voices Have Always Talked Back, filmmakers Omolola Ajao and Nadine Valcin reached into the CFMDC archives to highlight the rich creative legacy of Black women filmmakers, pairing together works to form an inter-textual, inter-visual, and inter-generational relationship.  Experimental and diverse  practices are always prescient, conceiving of society, self and systems, as sites of necessary imagining and reimagining. The chosen works invite audiences to engage with temporal bonds that bridge the contemporary and the past, highlighting the rich, continued history of Black experimental film in Canada.

These films will be presented online in groups of two staggered over the course of a month. For ten days, each filmic pairing encourages audiences to discover or rediscover works, in much the same way Omolola and Nadine intuitively navigated the archives. The pairings present differing themes that interweave, draw parallels, or contrast with one another. The goal is not to arrive at broad generalizations about the work of Black women filmmakers, but rather to bring forth the complex interrelation of these films, their artistic methods, and the aesthetic and critical theories that each artist is engaged with.

GROUP ONE (July 5-14):

Hysteria, Christina Battle (2006, Canada, 05:00)

Pappy’s Gardens, Mikaela Roberts (2021, Canada, 08:13)

GROUP TWO (July 15-24):

Dandelions, Dawn Wilkinson (1995, Canada, 05:30)

Wash Day, Kourtney Jackson (2020, Canada, 09:52)

GROUP THREE (July 25 – August 3):

No Choice, Christene Browne (1990, Canada, 05:00)

Woven Account, Indira Allegra (2014, USA, 03:41)

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