Yara El Safi on stage in burlesque costume

Migration & Diaspora

Toronto Queer Film Festival

Origin and end-point become difficult to distinguish for queer and trans migrants. When the passage is from the Global South to the Global North, it becomes clear that the 5 decades since the riots of Stonewall Inn are a fraction of the larger story. A Transfeminist Critique of Gender in the Global South: Two Cinematic Instances from the Philippines is a commentary on the current discourse in gender studies in the region through a comparison of the work of digital filmmakers from the Philippines. Steps into Fire is a performance exploring the colonial gaze: looking/being looked at, veiling/unveiling and hyper (in)visibility. Homonationalism & Queer of Colour Cultural Representation in Post-Referendum Québec discusses two films from the turn of the century towards a critique of homonationalist politics in a Quebecois context. Image: courtesy of Yara El Safi.

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A Transfeminist Critique of Gender in the Global South: Two Cinematic Instances from the Philippines:
Jaya Jacobo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Filipino, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University where she teaches literature, popular culture, and gender studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York. At the University of the Philippines, she is currently the Postdoctoral Early Career Researcher of the Philippine Work Package of the GlobalGRACE Gender and Cultures of Equality Project funded by the United Kingdom Research Innovation and based at Goldsmiths, the University of London. She is former chair of the Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle of the Philippines, founding co-editor of Queer Southeast Asia: A Transgressive Journal of Literary Art and co-editor of BKL/Bikol Bakla: Anthology of Bikolnon Gay Trans Queer Writing.

Steps into Fire:
Yara El Safi is a Queer, Muslim, Neurodivergent Lebanese immigrant visual artist and burlesque performer. Born in Abu Dhabi and raised in Tripoli, Lebanon, El Safi immigrated with her family to Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 2002 in search of better stability from war and political corruption. El Safi completed her BFA Honours and minor in Women’s Studies at Western University. Currently based in Hamilton Ontario, El Safi’s BFA Specialization in Studio Art aided with establishing her ongoing exploration of storytelling through visual representation combined with dance. El Safi’s studio practice is combined with her background in Women’s Studies, which informed her foundation to understand herself within a Canadian context and the intersections of her identity in her ongoing practice.

Homonationalism & Queer of Colour Cultural Representation in Post-Referendum Québec:
Gregorio Pablo Rodríguez-Arbolay Jr. is a historian and cultural critic originating from the Bronx, New York. As a PhD student in the Humanities program at Concordia University, his interdisciplinary research in queer geography and visual culture aims to document shifting cultural discourses of race, sexuality, and nationalism in Quebec.