It would be an understatement to say that the past year has been a difficult one. From continued struggles to protect Indigenous land and sovereignty to a global pandemic, a housing crisis, and continued anti-Black violence: we are all carrying more grief, sorrow and anger than we might normally. As a festival, we felt that it was important to recognize and address the moment we are in, and the lack of queer, trans* and Two-Spirit voices present. It was with this in mind that we decided our theme this year would be Queer Emergencies.
Queer, Two-Spirit, and trans* identities are often framed as having one major complicating factor or crisis: whether or not to be “out” (and to whom). It is an old trope: a person feels conflicted and unhappy because of their gender or sexuality, this can only be remedied by confessing that they are different, and then all other conflicts in their life will magically resolve! But just because it is oft-repeated doesn’t make it true. As queer, Two-Spirit, and trans* people, we know our lives and communities are more nuanced and rich than this. We know the ways we have been impacted by this past year, by this past decade, by this past century, by our bodies, by our race, by our economic status, by acute personal emergencies, and by global tumult. This is what we mean by Queer Emergencies.
But we aim to do more than hold space for hardship. At the heart of our program, there are stories of resistance, joy, and love. Because we are still here, despite it all, and this is worth celebrating.
April 23, 5:00pm
In Conversation with Neema Githere
According to the Islamic mystical tradition of Sufism, Radical Love manifests inwardly as tenderness, and outwardly as justice. This keynote explores the ways in which this radical love emerges as technology — a purposeful, solution-oriented application of care — and invites participants to theorize what love-technologies could pave the way for a sustainable, mutually-assistive future.
April 23, 6:30pm
What are some of the commonalities shared by people living within various present-day diasporas? How do diaspora community members interpret the social, spiritual and political transformations stemming from their birth places and incorporate them into the realm of their new terrains?
April 24, 2:30pm
Queering in the Midst of Chaos
This panel centers the hybrid narratives of queer and transgender of scholar-activists of color. Weaving together personal narrative and the, at times, resilient destinations that theory and activism can lead us to, these readings explore the mental health practices of three QTPOC scholar-activists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 24, 4:00pm
COVID Era Documentary Production Workshop
Join filmmaker, writer, and educator Chanda Chevannes for an interactive session around best practices for documentary producers, directors, and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will begin with a deep dive into Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19, a new online guide researched and written by Chanda for the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), in response to calls from documentary filmmakers for more genre-specific pandemic guidance.
April 24, 6:00pm
Queering the web
Although we have long been seduced by the reveries of the Internet, virtual space has acquired a whole new meaning amidst the pandemic. At the time of crisis, digital spaces have become havens for community organizing, mutual care, and pleasure seeking. While the Internet has affected each one of us differently during the past year, the queer community has been able to collectively adapt and then prolifically maneuver the capitalist mechanisms behind the pandemic era cyberspace.
April 25, 3:30pm
According to Mbembe (2014), there is a concept genealogy in the territorialisation ofidentity, on the one hand, and in the racialization of geography, on the other hand, in which the myth of a racial city (polis) cannot forget that at the center of the problem, both body and territory are affected intersectionally by capitalism, colonialism andheteropatriarchy.
April 25, 5:00pm
In Conversation with Dean Spade
Wealth concentration, racist criminalization, profit-based health care and housing, climate change and many other crises are threatening human survival around the globe, and it does not look like we can count on governments for solutions. In this keynote, Dean Spade will talk about the role of mutual aid in meeting immediate needs and building resistance movements that can tackle the root causes of the crises we are facing. The keynote will be followed by a Q&A with Dean Spade, moderated by Leila Pourtavaf.
* For Indigiqueer/Trans/2S
** Premieres March 27 on Pink Label TV. After Premiere it screens on tqff.ca/watch for 30 days.
*** Premieres March 27 on CFMDC. After Premiere it screens on tqff.ca/watch for 30 days.