‘Six Strings’ selected for the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Fest

Promotional photo of six strings program. Image via Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na website.

Following its debut at the Lennox and Addington Museum earlier this year, six stringsa short film produced by Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (TTO) Language and Cultural Centre, and directed by Bawaadan Collective, has been selected to be part of the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival, screened on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at the Galerie d’ Ottawa art.

“It is an honor to have six strings among the incredible indigenous arts showcased at the Asinabka Film and Media Festival,” said Callie Hill, Executive Director of TTO. “We are grateful for this opportunity to share our short film as part of the TTO’s efforts to educate Indigenous peoples and settlers about many elements of our cultural heritage. »

The Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival is an artist-centered, Indigenous-led, non-profit organization showcasing contemporary and innovative Indigenous arts. Founded in 2012, the Festival supports the diverse and contemporary work of regional Indigenous directors, producers and screenwriters working in film, video, audio, music, performance and digital media.

According to a TTO press release, six strings is a compelling, revealing, and truthful account of how the Mohawk people conducted their own justice system, embracing reconciliation and forgiveness with the custom of condolence and commitment to moving toward peace.

The short debuted at the Regent Theater in Picton, Ontario in February and was accepted into the 2022 Wairoa Mōori Film Festival. It was also screened as part of a traveling exhibition of the same name in June 2022 at Lennox and Addington Museum and Archives.

The six strings the traveling exhibit consists of a series of banners based on themes from an actual transcript of a nine-day Council meeting held at Kenhtè:ke in September 1800. According to the release, the full transcript features witness testimony from the murders offering a unique insight into Mohawk life and their complex interactions with the changing world around them, at a time before Indigenous peoples were forced to conform to the British colonial justice system.

The exhibit will be available in four-week rotations for viewing at other museums in Ontario and New York State. Museums, cultural centres, schools and historical sites interested in hosting the exhibition should contact the TTO.

According to TTO, the full production of six strings into a 50-minute documentary film is planned, subject to future funding, and will draw on the talents of Indigenous artists, historians, musicians and actors to create a vivid and remarkable vision of Mohawk life .

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Donnie J. Milburn