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Weʼre raising £1,200 to help fund a film based in the Cree community of Attawapiskat in northern Ontario, Canada through the month of August.

Attawapiskat, ON, Canada
29 days to go

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Story

3rd August 2018 - 1st September 2018

In this film, a challenge is issued to the often historically decontextualised and impersonalised media approaches taken towards Indigenous communities across Canada. Moving between the voices of different characters, from the stories of elders to the thoughts of the young, the film captures the plurality and complexity of Attawapiskat’s overlapping worlds.

In March 2016, a tide of news teams from across Canada flooded into the community in response to a sharp rise in youth suicides and suicide attempts. National attention and shock was drawn to what was termed an “isolated” and “remote” community on the shores of James Bay, yet in the months that followed interest dissipated and Attawapiskat was returned to the social subconscious as a community in a constant state of crisis.

Through the day to day lives and voices of individuals, people in Attawapiskat contemplate notions of personal and communal identity and how the news is an inadequate description of their reality.

Context:

Attawapiskat First Nation, is a Cree community based in northern Ontario, on the shores of James Bay. The site of the town has been a place of importance and gathering for Indigenous peoples in the area for many hundreds if not thousands of years.

According to Cree ontology, the land takes the role of the central protagonist in the life of the individual as well as the community. The landscape, as culturally conceived and understood, is not only the source of the communities ontological beliefs but also where life lessons are learnt and stories made and told.

Through the winter months, members of the community spend time out on the land, tending to their winter camps, working, hunting and travelling. The spring and summer, see the breakup of the ice on the river and out on the bay. The pace of life in the community slows, as the days get longer and warmer.

Home to approximately 2000 people, Attawapiskat has been the subject of widely negative headlines in recent years. Over the past two centuries, federal policy targeted at Indigenous peoples has deeply damaged and ruptured life in the community. The lasting affects of the residential school system and numerous land grabs, laying at the heart of many psychic and cultural dislocations.

Over the past 20 years, a series of states of emergency have been declared. The most recent of which was declared in early 2016 in relation to a sharp rise in youth suicides and suicide attempts.

During this period and in the immediate aftermath, news teams flooded in and out of the community delivering shocking statistics around the world. Reports of an isolated community in a perpetual state of crisis became common place and the community came to be widely viewed in these terms.

Aim:

In seeking to challenge often impersonalised and statistically driven media approaches to the community, this film will look to share a series of portraits, of a complex landscape in which different facets of generational and community experience are intertwined.

Moving between the voices and day to day activities of different characters, this film will look to challenge how Attawapiskat is not only a community shaped by its past, but continuously evolving - a place where multiple stories and histories find their homes.

Approach:

Utilising a largely observational approach, time will be taken with people as they go about their daily lives through the month of August. In adopting an unhurried and conversational style, conscious efforts will be made to avoid the expectance of individuals to take the roles of community spokespeople. Rather, in spending time in the context of the day to day, the team will seek stories that people associate with their experience of life in Attawapiskat and their relationship with it.

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Carlo Lavarini

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    3 months ago

    Carlo Lavarini started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 7/11/2018 11:12 AM

    Supporters

    1

    • riccardo

      riccardo

      Jul 11, 2018

      good luck in your efforts to produce a documentary that moves away from the norms of conventional mass market documentary making .. showing a different approach to this age old issue..

      £100.00

    Carlo Lavarini

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    About the fundraiser
    Carlo Lavarini

    Carlo Lavarini

    Attawapiskat, ON, Canada

    Hello, Thanks for visiting my page. My name's Carlo - I'm an MA Documentary Film student at UAL: London College of Communication. I'm in the process of trying to get some funds together for a film I'm looking to shoot during the month of August. Any help would be great!

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