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Art & Architecture Ottawa show presents exhilarating short works by female DIY animators

Ng’endo Mukii’s film Yellow Fever.

"It can be easy to make a film," says Madame Winger, the narrator of Helen Hill's animated short Madame Winger Makes a Film. "You don't need a lot of money or a film lab, not even a camera."

Bearing out Mme. Winger's prophecy are the 13 pieces that follow it in this exhilarating presentation of short works by female DIY animators. Emily Pelstring, its Montreal-based co-curator, says that the program grew out of a conversation about "how material limitations are opportunities for innovation."

The result is a fascinating kaleidoscope of approaches, unified, Pelstring notes, by an ethos in which "unusual, cheap, outmoded, or misused materials become a means to tell personal stories that address issues around power and oppression."

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At the presentation's core, both chronologically and emotionally, is Yellow Fever by Ng'endo Mukii, a haunting reflection on the clash between African identities and Western concepts of beauty. It's also a reminder of one of the program's conceptual foundations. As Pelstring says, "feminism is not the only curatorial theme tying the work together, but it is an important one." 8 p.m. Friday, March 6, Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street, Ottawa.

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