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The Informants

Critical Distance
Organisator der Veranstaltung Critical Distance


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The Informants
Guest curated program by Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys

Saturday, April 14, 9:30PM
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.

Co-presented in partnership with imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and Critical Distance

Demands for indigeneity have long been entwined with efforts to erase and replace the Indigenous. Channelled through practices of salvage ethnography and “playing Indian,” subliminal attractions evince yearnings for a spectral indigeneity that is removed from actual Indigenous people. The relegation of Indigenous identities to the past denies the presence of bodies currently living on colonized land. Indigenous artists who participate in the art world of settler-colonial states are expected to provide knowledge in a relationship similar to that between informant and anthropologist. In our current period of existential and environmental catastrophe, desires for Indigenous epistemologies increase and enterprising settlers labour to extract this understanding as a natural resource. From an Indigenous perspective, this has palpable consequences, from romanticization and commodification to appropriation and cultural erasure.

Within the entangled emergence of multiculturalism, neoliberalism, decolonialism, and self-reflexive anthropology, cultural apprehensions which arise from fears of offense—imbricate and fuel stronger calls for Indigenous information and informants. Many non-Indigenous people find ways to frame themselves as Indigenous, just as Indigenous people perform indigeneity themselves. If these tendencies are so deeply entrenched in this nation’s self-image, can they be studied, manipulated, or employed by Indigenous people to catalyze an expansion of Indigenous agency, amplifying the power of the informant? Can desires that push Indigenous people to an ideal and irretrievable past instead be channelled to promote the imagining of Indigenous futures?

Through video and performance, The Informants will examine the desire for indigeneity in the myths, dreams, and political foundations of the so-called Americas.

$12 general admission
$6 students, seniors, underemployed

Zack Khalil, Adam Khalil and Suzanne Kite will be in attendance.



Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil (Ojibway) are filmmakers and artists from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and are currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Their work centres Indigenous narratives
in the present—and looks toward the future—while subverting traditional forms of ethnography through humour, transgression, and innovative nonfiction practice.

Jackson Polys is a visual artist who seeks to dissolve artificial boundaries between perceptions of traditional Native art forms, practices, and contemporary life, and whose practice reflects an inquiry into the limits and viability of desires for Indigenous growth.



Established in 1987, the Images Festival is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent film, video and other time-based media. Images Festival is excited to announce its 31st edition, taking place from April 12 - 20, 2018 across Toronto. Focusing on local, national, and international contemporary moving image culture, Images Festival continues to present vanguard projects across cinematic, exhibition, and live platforms.

Images Festival acknowledges the generous support from our public funders. The Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada, Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario, Toronto Arts Council, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and TD Bank.

Ort der Durchführung der Veranstaltung

Innis Town Hall