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CUJAH conference: Kite, Esther Calixte-Bea, Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance and Shaya Ishaq
February 27 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC+0
The Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History (CUJAH) will host its 11th annual conference on February 26 & 27, 2022, from 12:00-14:00 EST online via Zoom. This event will be closed-captioned live for audiences.
Speakers: Kite aka Suzanne Kite, Esther Calixte-Bea, Annie Tong Zhou Lafrance, and Shaya Ishaq. Moderated by Megan Quigley
Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta visual artist, performance artist, and composer who was raised in Southern California. Kite focuses on Contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Kite is an engineer of new media technologies with her environmentally reciprocal and humane constructions of artificial intelligence (AI) artworks. Kite has recently created a body interface for movement performances, carbon fibre sculptures, and interactive video & sound installations. Kite is a Research Assistant for the Initiative of Indigenous Future and is pursuing her PhD in Concordia University’s Individualized Program. (kitekitekitekite.com)
Esther Calixte-Bea Esther Calixte-Bea is a multi-disciplinary artist and body-hair activist born in Longueuil of Haitian and Ivorian origin. She is also known as ‘Queen Esie’ and gained recognition for her self-photography series the ‘Lavender Project’. Calixte-Bea’s work expands through paintings, photography, fashion, and poetry into topics of identity, individuality, vulnerability, and beauty. Her work confronts Eurocentric beauty standards by glorifying female body hair through the bodies and sophisticated lives of the black female characters within her fictional tribe ‘Fyète Souhou-te’. She is an internationally renowned artist and Concordia Alumni, whose work has been featured in Glamour UK, TVA Nouvelles, and CANADIANART. She participated in “Af-Flux Monde Bossale” at Art Mûr, “This is what Compels me to Compel them” at Le Livart and had her first solo exhibition “Creation of an Ethereal World” at La Centrale Powerhouse gallery (https://www.esthercalixtebea.com/about-me)
Annie Tong Zhou (童宙) Lafrance is a multidisciplinary artist adopted from China who lives between Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang (Montreal) and Kebec (Quebec). In 2021, Tong Zhou graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction. Their visual research focuses on the different ways of reuniting both their past and their everyday life through the alteration of family archives and photo weaving. Currently, her artistic practice focuses on the reuse of materials and the transformation of their utility to bring out self-expression. The alteration of travel photo souvenirs and tourist objects brings forward themes related to the reaffirmation of their Chinese identity. Their ongoing series Is this Even Real? (2021-) combines postcards of China and photographs taken in Canada as a mean of blurring and deconstructing the touristic gaze on the Chinese Female body and exotic landscapes. It depicts a false representation of her childhood and their current location with a nostalgic feeling of longing for a place that cannot be reached. The artist is currently deepening her learning of Mandarin as a prerequisite for her graduate studies in fiber and textile art at the China Academy of Art (中国美术学院) in Hangzhou.
The annual CUJAH conference is an opportunity for undergraduates to present their research with artists and researchers at the forefront of their field. The 2021/2022 conference theme ‘Land B.I.P.O.C’ seeks BFA research on the histories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour who cultivate(d) Turtle Island and beyond. The conference hopes to gain knowledge from undergraduates interested in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples who initially founded the lands, as well as the establishment of major cities and historical communities by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC.)
Undergraduate Panel: Lee Ehler, Darius Yeung, Kevyn Hall, and TBA
The CUJAH would like to thank the Otsenhákta Student Centre (OSC), Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA), Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Concordia Department of Art History for their support.
Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.