At Indian Summer Arts Society, we are committed to amplifying the voices of artists, because we believe in the transformative power of the arts. On March 8th, International Womens’ Day, we present a list of eight artists who fiercely and lovingly challenge the world around them through their work. Here are eight Canadian women who we’ve been honored to present at our festival. Many of them live right here in the Lower Mainland, and we encourage you to get to know their work.
Here’s our 8 to watch!
1. Jag Nagra
Featured Artist for ISF 2021 designing the artwork for this year’s festival and Shapeshifting theme. Jag is passionate about community development and ending the stigma against LGBTQ+ people within the South Asian community. Follow Jag on Instagram @jagnagra
2. Deepa Mehta
A filmmaker who caused a considerable stir showing lesbian love on screen in India in her Oscar-nominated film ‘Fire’ 25 years ago and mobs threatened to burn down cinemas that showed it. She is currently in the running for the Oscars 2021with her latest film ‘Funny Boy.’ Deepa Mehta is an ISF alumnus and sits on our advisory board. Follow Deepa Mehta on Instagram @DeepMehtaOfficial
3. Jillian Christmas
Writer, author of ’The Gospel of Breaking,’ which is a collection of proud songs of a queer, black, unapologetic womxn on the rise with the breeze of the Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean at her back. She was also part of a chorus of other poets featured in ISF2020’s It Could be Verse: Poetry for a Pandemic series. Follow Jillian Christmas on Instagram @msxmx
4. Carmen Rodriguez
Chilean-Canadian writer, activist, a former revolutionary in the fight against the Pinochet regime. Carmen will be appointed Honorary Elder of the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre on March 8th and is a long-time supporter and much-loved member of the ISF family.
Learn more about Carmen here
The Celebrated author of the recently launched ‘How to Fail as a Pop Star’ and ‘I’m Afraid of Men’, which speaks to the toxic masculinity that impacted her as a child through to her adulthood as a trans woman. Follow Vivek on Instagram @vivekshraya
Award-winning filmmaker of the NFB-produced feature documentary ‘Because We Are Girls,’ exploring the impact of sexual abuse on a family and speaking uncomfortable truths. Follow her on Instagram @BaljitSangra
Revered Musqueam knowledge keeper and weaver who co-founded a group of women weavers in the 1980s who rejuvenated the forgotten Salish Weaving tradition. She is now ‘blanketing the city’ with her stunning murals and public artwork. Follow Debra Sparrow on Instagram @qwasebn
Artist, ISF artist in residence 2018, currently has an exhibit ‘Beast of Burden’ at Burrard Arts Foundation that explores the bright and dark sides of motherhood. Follow her on Instagram @SandeepJohalArt
In the process of putting this together, we ended up at the doors of Sandeep Johal’s exhibit titled ‘Beast of Burden’, which tells the story of motherhood from the perspective of an artist who is both a daughter and a mother. Sandeep Johal is a much-loved member of the ISF Artist Alumni, who was also our artist in residence in 2018. We would definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t – it’s on until March 20th!
Photo (c) Dennis Ha
Learn more here
Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, comments, and any artists you feel we should know about!
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