Arthur Spring Elections 2024
Miracle Territory April 20th
Severn Court (October-August)
Theatre Trent 2023/24
Arthur News School of Fish
Still from Let the Little Light Shine

Editorial: And Action! ReFrame Brings Global Activism to Nogojiwanong

Written by
Bethan Bates
and
and
February 22, 2023
Editorial: And Action! ReFrame Brings Global Activism to Nogojiwanong
Still from Let the Little Light Shine

When I moved to Peterborough to come to Trent I was met with questions of why would I travel so far to come to such a small town, to somewhere with nothing going on. I have since learnt that Peterborough is a truly underappreciated city. One of the best things about Peterborough is the number of unique groups, events, and people you can find here. And ReFrame Film Festival is perhaps one of the coolest events to come out of this city. 

Over the past month Arthur has published numerous reviews of documentaries from ReFrames 2023 catalogue including Let the Little Light Shine, Love in the Time of Fentanyl, Devil Put Coal in the Ground, and my own reviews of Rebellion and High Tide Don’t Hide.

Featuring documentaries surrounding issues of social and environmental justice, ReFrame brings global issues home and reminds us that we are all connected. Movies are often seen as light entertainment, fictional stories about fictional people and their fictional problems. But documentaries such as those shown at ReFrame demonstrate how film can be a form of activism and action. A number of the documentaries from this year followed activists on the ground from grassroots organising to global action. But with a number of the documentaries the activism is baked in, these pieces are activism in their own right. For example, in her review of Framing Agnes Evan Robins says that “Framing Agnes marks a step toward the reclamation of trans narratives by those to whom they belong,” and in a society that values the cisgender perspective as superior the choice to actively disregard it is powerful. A theme that was discussed in a number of the films regarding climate change was racism among climate activists and action groups; as an issue that is somewhat of an open secret the choice to draw deliberate attention to it and force viewers to address it within themselves is an important action. Through choices like these, film becomes activism. 

As ReFrame states in their values, they aim to foster dialogue around issues of social justice, human rights, and environmental responsibility, which they achieve through events such as the in-person opening night or live Q&As. This year the opening event featured an exclusive screening of All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, a documentary of artist Nan Goldin’s fight against the Sackler family and their involvement in the opioid epidemic. The night opened with a land acknowledgement by Alice Williams followed by a performance by vocalist Cormac Culkeen (Joyful Joyful) and cellist Andrew Randall. They performed a version of Lou Reed’s “Heroin” arranged by David Lang.

In the following days ReFrame hosted a selection of other in-person events, an exciting return, one of which was a panel discussion entitled "What Role Can Art Play in the Overdose Crisis," featuring Alex Bierk (Peterborough Town Ward Councillor and artist), Zoë Dodd (harm reduction activist), Mkwa Ghiizis/Crystal Hebert (founder of Tweak Easy), Jeff Bierk (artist and photographer), and Brenda Longfellow (artist). Although I don’t have the space here to write on the whole panel, there were a number of important conversations being had, specifically about how art can be an access point for people. Jeff Bierk noted that many people (including himself) have often considered documentary photography to be a move towards change, but has long now questioned this in his own work. He says during the panel “I don’t think the photograph affects change. Look at all the ways we have photographed war. We still have war.” Brenda Longfellow spoke about bringing art to different communities and involving drug user activists in the making of Intravene an immersive audio experience about the overdose crisis in Vancouver. She noted the importance of paying those involved as artists and naming them in the credits. This is important as art is bigger than spaces such as the AGO. A number of the panellists spoke about the importance of community and sharing art with people who have shared experiences. However, there can often be barriers in the mainstream art world to accessing exhibitions. Events such as these are part of what makes ReFrame so important as it provides space and opportunities to hear from local experts on issues that are impacting our community. 

Overall, ReFrame 2023 has been wildly successful and I am thoroughly looking forward to ReFrame 2024!

Arthur Spring Elections 2024
Miracle Territory April 20th
Severn Court (October-August)
Theatre Trent 2023/24
Arthur News School of Fish
Written By
Sponsored
Arthur Spring Elections 2024
Miracle Territory April 20th
Severn Court (October-August)
Theatre Trent 2023/24
Arthur News School of Fish

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Caption text

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
  • adfasdfa
  • asdfasdfasd
  • asfdasdf
  • asdfasdf

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Caption text

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
  • adfasdfa
  • asdfasdfasd
  • asfdasdf
  • asdfasdf