We are two settlers currently living on Six Nations, Haudenosaunee territory in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, canada.
4th Year Independent Studies Student
University of Waterloo
I’m a student from the University of Waterloo, knee-deep in student loans and trying to make sense out of the world. I’m a white settler and a queer woman who grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. When I’m not trying to get marks for watching the Walking Dead, I have a lot of things I like doing that I’m not very good at (sewing, singing, drawing, sleeping, filmmaking, zine making etc). The biggest part of my self, however, is activism.
As far back as when I was 8 years old and my mom called me a treehugger, I have always been an activist. The media would soon teach me this was an insult, but I could never care about anything else. I started connecting to filmmaking as a way that showed me stories were an important part of social change. With a camera, I could show, not tell the side of social and environmental justice the media seemed to ignore.
Since discovering this hobby, filmmaking and photography was always something I took with me. I was a Photography/Film instructor at Camp Trillium Cancer Support Center working with youth ages 7-16, making the camper-directed DIY films. This one time I co-directed a film for the Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival and it actually won best short film. That was a surprise!
Project Uprooted was an idea that came out of 3 years of wanting to ditch school, of spending all my time over-analyzing media, going to rallies and demos, and hanging out with youth. The media never told the right story, but they did tell a story, that left a lot of people feeling let down and ignored. They didn’t tell my story. They didn’t tell my friends’. As marginalized folks, our stories, our struggles mattered. I felt it was time create a counter media that would twist them around. It was time to tell our own stories.
Entrepreneur, Adventurer and Rabble-Rouser
I am a ethnically mixed transguy, who is currently settled in Canada. I am originally from South Africa. I moved to Canada, 2006, via Kazakhstan, 2002-2006. I have lived and learnt in many different places, and because of this I value community. The kind of community that can only be created by sharing a meal with folks, or working together towards a common goal. I believe that it is community like that that gives us strength and power in bring about change.
In the past year I started an alternative clothing brand, Asterisk Society. It focuses on creating a space for marginalized voices in the fashion industry. We are doing some really cool things with pricing and messages in our designs. I had gotten so tired of having to wear plain shirts because I didn’t agree with the messages and philosophies of companies, so I started designing t-shirts with messages and designs that folks could wear and know that they are born out of a process of trying to be as intersectional and anti-oppressive as possible. I also make YouTube videos about my life and documenting my transition; very rarely found without a camera near me. I find that there is so much beauty in everything around me and all the stories that folks share.
Before Rebeccah shared her idea for this documentary with I had been dreaming and thinking about things myself. I had been dreaming about connecting youth to each other. I remember being in high school and all you know are the kids in your area. What if youth could be connected across the country, and in this connection they could be even more empowered in their organizing and tell their own story. So, when Rebeccah talked about the project with me, I was so excited to join her and make Project Uprooted happen.