Hope Peterson: “Rolling Through: Recollecting WAIV, 1987-1990”

In this presentation, Peterson will take a look back at the Women Artists in Video (WAIV) collective, a DIY production group started by women for women in Winnipeg around 1987.

The founders, Christine Hawke, Rosalie Bellefontaine and Maureen Margaret Smith, created the project in response to the dearth of female producers at both Video Pool Media Arts Centre and the Winnipeg Film Group. It is hard to imagine now, but both centres had a kind of macho individualism at their core, and any women who were producing work there were isolated and considered exceptions.

WAIV was part of a trend of women’s production groups sprouting up separately across Canada, whose goal was to share skills and promote women-centred story-telling and image making in the still young field of video art.

Peterson was interviewed by Marusya Bociurkiw, for her article, “Big Affect: The Ephemeral Archive of Second-Wave Feminist Video Collectives in Canada,” recently published in Camera Obscura film journal. This essay led her to reconnect with other WAIV participants and to get back in touch with the organization’s founders. Writing down her experience, listening to the stories of others, reading about parallel collectives and contextualizing this movement within the art scene of the 1980s, revived her experiences in this creative ground-breaking movement.

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Saturday, November 18