N102 Ross Building
Join us for a screening and discussion of YorkU Cinema & Media Arts Professor Ali Kazimi’s film Continuous Journey (2004), part of the 2019 Summer Institute at York University and Archive/Counter-Archive, Janine Marchessault’s SSHRC Partnership Grant project.
Kazimi is a filmmaker whose work deals with race, social justice migration, history, and memory. He is the recipient of the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts.
In 1914, Gurdit Singh, a Sikh entrepreneur based in Singapore, chartered a Japanese ship, the Komagata Maru, to carry Indian immigrants to Canada. On May 23, 1914, the ship arrived in Vancouver Harbour with 376 passengers aboard: 340 Sikhs; 24 Muslims and 12 Hindus. Many of the men on-board were veterans of the British Indian Army and believed that it was their right as British subjects to settle anywhere in the Empire they had fought to defend and expand. They were wrong… Continuous Journey is an inquiry into the largely ignored history of Canada’s exclusion of the South Asians by a little known immigration policy called the Continuous Journey Regulation of 1908. Unlike the Chinese and the Japanese, people from British India were excluded by a regulation that appeared fair, but in reality, was an effective way of keeping people from India out of Canada until 1948. As a direct result, only a half-mile from Canadian shores, the Komagata Maru was surrounded by immigration boats and the passengers were held in communicado virtual prisoners on the ship. Thus began a dramatic stand-off which would escalate over the course of two months, becoming one of the most infamous incidents in Canadian history. By examining the global context and repercussions of a Canadian event, Continuous Journey challenges us to reflect on contemporary events, and raises critical questions about how the past shapes the present.
Archive/Counter-Archive is a SSHRC project led by Janine Marchessault, dedicated to researching and remediating audiovisual archives created by women, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ2+ community, and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories.
2019 Summer Institute: Archive/Counter-Archives is convened by Philip Hoffman, Janine Marchessault, and Michael Zryd. Free and public screenings, panels, and master classes will be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and York University, and will feature special guests such as Matthias Müller, Ali Kazimi, Yvonne Ng, and Suzanne Morrisette. Visit here for details: https://counterarchive.ca/summer-institute-archivecounter-archives