How can a scrapbook be translated to the screen in a compelling way? Scrapbooks hold a wealth of potential in their ability to tell strong stories, yet they can be under-appreciated as an art form. Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to the theme of Inheritance on the second floor of the GTA21 exhibition. Here the artists explore what information—material or immaterial—do we leave behind or bring forward? Similarly, Ponnambalam asks participants to draw from their own scrapbooks, diaries, and archives to build a video-based artwork.
Scrapbooks of all forms contain various archives – photographs, collages, scribbles, poetry, letters, texts, emails, drawings, magazine cut-outs, home videos, cellphone footage, super 8mm films, toys and other objects. There is a lot to uncover through our personal and family scrapbooks and archives, especially clues that reveal pieces of our intergenerational histories, traumas and legacies.
Recommended for ages 14+
*Note: this workshop will not be providing technical instructions for specific digital programs or software.
Please gather the following materials ahead of time:
- A pen and paper to take notes
- Scrapbooks, notebooks, diaries, photographs, poetry, letters, drawings, magazine cut-outs, toys and other objects that hold personal meaning.
About the Artist
Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker with Latinx and South Asian roots well-versed in critical geography, participatory media and documentary. Her independent arts practice involves working with a variety of media within the spectrum of documentary—animation, photographs, home video and interviews. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Geography from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University. In 2015, she was a recipient of the K.M Hunter Award in Media Arts. Her 3-channel video installation HOW WE CARED is in the 2021 Rendezvous With Madness Festival from October 28 to November 7. Her body of work has focused on themes of mental health, migration, community-building, creativity and intergenerational trauma.
Saroja Ponnambalam is a participant artist in this year’s Rendezvous With Madness Festival, presented by Workman Arts. It is the first and largest arts and mental health festival in the world. Using art as the entry point to illuminate and investigate the realities and mythologies surrounding mental illness and addiction, Rendezvous With Madness’ 2021 programming spotlights the human capacity for endurance in the face of great challenges. As community members are feeling the emotional effects of months of isolation, income precarity, and anxiety over what the future holds, the Rendezvous With Madness Festival offers a unique opportunity to come together in reflection and discussion. The Festival runs from October 28 to November 7, 2021 and showcases a range of feature and short films from around the globe, as well as the In(site) exhibition featuring visual, media and performance art.