Into The Ward
www.IntoTheWard.com | Canada | 2021
In 2015 an archeological dig led by Infrastructure Ontario unearthed tens of thousands of objects that attest to the histories of Toronto's first multicultural neighbourhood. Before St. John's Ward was demolished in the mid-20th century, it was home to communities of Irish, Jewish, formerly enslaved, and Chinese immigrants, to name a few. It was home to the city's first Chinatown and the end-point of the Underground Railway. In 2020 a York University team led by PhD student Lia Tarachansky and faculty supervisor Dr. Mary Bunch began looking at how the 3D virtual emplacement of historical objects can impact how we see the places where we live today. Funded by MITACS and the University, the media studies team assembled hundreds of images, created several short films and emplaced Augmented Reality scans at the site of the dig, embedding the past in the present.
You Are Currently Running An Experimental Version of Earth
7 min | Canada | 2021
This short film by Lia Tarachansky was created during COVID lockdown in response to a love poem published in 2021 by Canadian author Aaron Tucker as Catalogue d'oiseaux.
Catalogue d'oiseaux began as notes sent to poet Aaron Tucker's long-distance partner. Not initially intended for publication, the writings moved, over time, into a long, lyrical, confessional love poem. Following the couple on travels across the globe—from Berlin to the Yukon, Porto to Toronto—this poem is expansive, moving sensually through small, intimate spaces and the larger world alike. Traced through art, architecture and the cultural life of varied cities, Catalogue d’oiseaux lives between geographies and chronologies as a kaleidoscopic gathering of the many fractals that make up a couple's life. This is a stunning work; a celebration of the depth of adult love, and the elemental parts of life that make it so. For more about the filmmaker visit liatarachansky.com and for more about the author, visit aarontucker.ca.
The film premiered at Toronto's Vector Festival on July 19, 2021.
3.5 min | Israel/Palestine/Canada | 2017
In 2014 the Israeli army began another round of bombardment of Gaza. Militant groups in the Strip launched rockets on Israeli cities, while the Israeli army nightly invaded the West Bank. Lia Tarachansky is a Russian-Israeli video journalist who reported on these events, and on the rise of a pro-war populist movement in Israel during a summer that to many felt like a significant turn towards a politics of hopelessness.
After moving to Canada, she found herself digging through her filmed archive of vigilante attacks on Palestinian by Israeli mobs, chanting "Death to Arabs!" on the streets of Jerusalem. With hard-drives full of her reports on the steadily rising casualty rate, on army night raids and Gazan rockets shut down by Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System, she began a new life in Toronto. There, she found herself with the sounds of that summer still fresh in her mind, the sights of a new life in Canada, and the music of her former partner, French composer Yann Delmas, ringing in her ears.
Ocean is an experimental short, filmed on an iPhone 5. It premiered at the 2017 Toronto Short Film Festival where it won the Best Short Short Award and was also awarded Best Women in Film at the Toronto Smartphone Film Festival.
7.5 min | Israel/Palestine | 2017
In the heart of downtown Jerusalem, surrounded by coffeeshops, restaurants, and the city's main branches of government stands Mosqobiyya, one of Israel's most notorious jails. This short film tells the story of what is unseen and unheard in the streets and bars hugging the prison's walls.
In 1999 the Israeli Supreme Court banned torture, after a damning human rights report revealed widespread maltreatment of prisoners at the Mosqobiyya jail in Jerusalem. Today, numerous Palestinian prisoners testify that torture techniques continue to be used in interrogations. One quarter of the Palestinian population and 40% of men spend time in Israeli jails. Mass imprisonment, assassination, and exile are tools frequently used by the Israeli government in order to suppress Palestinian political resistance. In April 2017, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners announced a mass hunger strike, protesting these practices.
4.5 min | Canada | 2018
This short was created for Family Services Toronto to celebrate the peer-to-peer program, helping women with developmental disabilities overcome experiences of sexual violence.