Cinema and Media Arts Prof earns major SSHRC Partnership Grant

June 18, 2018

Cinema and Media Arts Prof earns major SSHRC Partnership Grant

“Winning these two grants signal York University’s strong research leadership in this area,” he added.

Janine MarchessaultMarchessault was the co-founder of the Future Cinema Lab and the inaugural director of Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology Research at York.

Marchessault’s winning project, “Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage,” was awarded $2.499 million over six years. It involved 43 co-applicants and collaborators from across Canada and globally, nine from York across a wide variety of Faculties. It also involved 24 partner organizations from across Canada.

This partnership will focus on the new theoretical questions, and the methodological challenges, that attend the changing nature and political realities of visual media archives. It seeks to redress the unevenness of Canadian preservation efforts thus far by emphasizing Canada’s most vulnerable moving image heritage – women’s media; Indigenous media arts; films and media from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, two-spirited and queer (LGBT2Q) community; and archives from Canada’s immigrant communities.

Working collaboratively, four universities (York, Ryerson, Queen’s, Concordia), numerous archival organizations and policy advocates will advance counter-archival approaches to achieve four objectives:

  1. Create new, practice-based knowledge and methodologies through seven case studies of community and/or independent archives in Canada;
  2. Train and mentor the next generation of curators, archivists, cultural activists, scholars, digital humanists, artists, highly qualified personnel, cultural policy and intellectual property (IP) specialists to advance Canadian moving image heritage preservation, accessibility, and presentation;
  3. Build a sustainable multilingual digital archive, an open access, 3D digital platform, where visitors can encounter, interact with and travel through different archival case studies; and
  4. Foster an audiovisual archive network in Canada, linking community archives to citizens, researchers and policy-makers.

Importantly, this partnership project will be buoyed by its affiliation with Sensorium: the Centre for Digital Arts & Technology. It will also draw from the expertise of IP Osgoode, which is the law school’s IP and technology clinic, as well as the library, which has extensive experience in the areas of digital platform development, digital asset management and related IP policy issues.

The partnership advances York’s historical strengths in Analyzing Cultures and Mobilizing Creativity and contributes to the expansion of Digital Cultures research (Strategic Research Plan, 2013-2018).

In tandem with the SSHRC grant, Marchessault teamed up with Christian Kroitor (grandson of IMAX inventor Roman Kroitor) of True Frame Productions to produce XL-Outer Worlds, a 3 day festival in 2019 (dates to be announced) at Toronto’s Cinesphere in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the invention of IMAX. Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program, this festival will showcase five newly commissioned large-format digital film shorts, alongside curated programs of early IMAX films and contemporary expanded cinema. Leading Canadian media artists Oliver Husain, Lisa Jackson, Kelly Richardson, Michael Snow, and Leila Sujir will create the new films in a cinematic genre typical of IMAX films: the larger-than-life landscape that forms an outer world. XL-Outer Worlds will later tour the first IMAX cinemas across Canada in Victoria, Sudbury, Edmonton and Montreal.

Tamara DalyDaly is an associate professor in the School of Health Policy and Management and director of the York University Centre for Aging Research and Education (YU-CARE), which promotes innovative research, education and advocacy on aging issues, and contributes to improving health outcomes for seniors in Canada and around the world. She is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Research Chair in Gender, Care Work and Health.

Daly’s winning project, “Imagining Age-Friendly ‘Communities within Communities:’ International Promising Practices,” was awarded $2.5 million dollars over seven years. It will unfold over this time in urban communities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Taiwan.

This project is built around a central question: How can age-friendliness support conditions in which all senior citizens not only maintain healthy active lives, but can participate and create meaning in later life? It will transform fears about an aging population into conversations and practices that address both the complexities and possibilities inherent in a world that welcomes the meaning that old age brings to life. The team will pay special attention to gender as it looks at how inequalities and differences between and among women, men and non-binary people play out in seniors’ lives and policy assumptions.

The partnership is committed to advancing the World Health Organization’s call for new research and understanding about age-friendly cities. This focus aligns with two of York’s compelling areas for strategic research development: Healthy Individuals, Healthy Communities and Global Health and Scholarship of Socially Engaged Research (Strategic Research Plan, 2013-2018).

To learn more, visit the SSHRC Partnership Grant website.