This text is presented as part of the ÉMERGENCE series, organized and presented by la lumière collective, in collaboration with the online journal Hors champ and Offscreen
After hearing Thirza’s personal confession in Just Dandy, I thought it was time to re-evaluate my relationship with her Majesty, the Evil Queen. Although our relationship is mainly symbolic, it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t played a role in my life, you know, the whole constitutional structure and all. While I’m not trying to tell anyone else what to do, I feel it is time that I attempted to terminate my relationship with her and I think other people should consider breaking ties with her as well. One might say its an issue of sovereignty and even if our relationship is now only symbolic, what it symbolizes is pretty ugly.
While the events described by Thirza may have been the result of a torrid love affair turned toxic, this isn’t the first time the Evil Queen has acted this way, and her behaviour seems to be habitual. Moreover, her behaviour seems predatory, one in which feeds on power imbalance, like employers who habitually sleep with their employees or professors that habitually sleep with their students. The lasting impact of the Evil Queen’s behaviour not only effects Thirza but has an impact on entire communities and is too harmful to be ignored. As Thirza demonstrates, she isn’t the only one who has to live with dandelions, it is the community at large. Given that dandelions can reproduce without fertilization and each mature flowerhead produces approximately 180 wind-dispersed achenes, it is unlikely they will go away anytime soon.
Like the dandelion, some people are invasive species. Invasive species are living organisms that are not native to an ecosystem and cause harm to that ecosystem. The difference between humans and dandelions is agency, the ability reflect and the ability to act in ways that are good, evil or beyond. We have the ability to contemplate our relationship within the contemporary ecology and decide the ways in which we will engage with it and how we engage with others.
The Evil Queen has often abused her power and as such, I’ve decided not to engage with her and have attempted to remove her from my networks. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy task given that she, like the dandelion, has blown her achenes seemingly everywhere. I guess it might be nice if she acknowledged and apologized for her toxic behaviour, but again, like the dandelion, it is impossible to undo the damage that has been done. One might ask, does this behaviour call for the cancelation of her Majesty, the Evil Queen? While, she is after all evil, but I think you should form your own opinions about her based on her past behaviour. While cancelling the Evil Queen might be cathartic given she is a symbol of colonialism, it unfortunately does nothing to fix the problems that come as a result of her past behaviour.
Time sensitive screening link at la lumière collective
By night, la lumière collective is a microcinema that projects films, videos and expanded cinema produced by local and international artists. By day, la lumière collective is an artists’ studio and residency space with multiple resources for working and experimenting with various moving image media. The collective is led by local artists and curators who believe in creating cinematic works and spaces on a human scale. We facilitate events to bring people together. We create links to help promote and revitalize cinema.
La lumière collective is rooted in the local, the physical, the here and now.
In this time of virtual connections and physical distancing, we have transformed our projection space into a virtual space, while maintaining local connections.
EMERGENCE is the adapted online version of the practical activities planned by la lumière collective. Online love in the time of COVID.
Instead of simply downloading the films and videos available online, la lumière collective has selected one work by each artist and asked that a local writer be involved with each work.
EMERGENCE is a new combination, a local connectedness, a commitment to counter separation.
We look forward to seeing you on the other side.
EMERGENCE is presented with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.