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Visiting Artist Lecture Series 2022-2023

VALS 2022-2023: Working towards Indigenous Sovereignty

Indigenous sovereignty is a long-established statement of Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination. By working towards autonomy and recognition as sovereign authority of the land, Indigenous sovereignty works to undo colonial narratives and assumptions of land ownership here in what is now called Canada. Each of us play a role in this goal, with much of the work beginning in an education on what Indigenous sovereignty looks like and how we can work towards it. For VALS 2022-2023, we will learn from Indigenous artists on how this work is manifested through their respective practices. 

Fall 2022 Program:

Jason Lujan: Tuesday, September 27th, 1-2pm
Susan Blight: Tuesday, October 18, 1-2pm
Ange Loft: Tuesday, November 15, 1-2pm & Workshop, 4–6 pm (workshop open to students only)

📍All talks take place in-person in AA304, Arts & Administration Building, U of T Scarborough. All are welcome!
🔗 U of T community: Visit calendar on to register
🔗 Public registration through Eventbrite.

Jason Lujan is originally from Marfa, Texas. As an artist, he creates tools for understanding and interpreting the processes by which different cultures approach each other as a result of travel and communication and are later homogenized. Largely integrating visual components rooted in North American and Asia, the work focuses on the possibilities and limitations of the exchanging of ideas, meanings, and values, questioning the concepts of authorship and authenticity.

“I am interested in interdisciplinary and trans-cultural crossovers between revitalization of historical methods, materials, and approaches combined with daily living in the present. Just as previous generations of Indigenous artists responded to the introduction of modern art making materials and methods to record, recode, and reframe traditional ideas and new ideas, my own works emphasize transitive zones involving the processes of the unfamiliar becoming familiar, or the unfamiliar being made familiar.”

Recorded lecture:


Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. Susan is co-founder of Ogimaa Mikana, an artist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads and landmarks of Anishinaabeg territory with Anishinaabemowin and is a member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide free new media training for Indigenous youth.  Susan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba, and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in Integrated Media. She is currently a PhD candidate in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) and her dissertation looks at the visual and spatial formations of Anishinaabeg geographies of resistance.  Susan is Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Recorded lecture:

Ange Loft is an interdisciplinary performing artist and initiator from Kahnawà:ke Kanien'kehá:ka Territory, working in Tsi Tkarón:to. She is an ardent collaborator, consultant, and facilitator working in arts based research, wearable sculpture, theatrical co-creation and Haudenosaunee history. She teaches Story Creation at Centre For Indigenous Theatre (2021) and was the Artist in Residence  at OISEE/ JHI (2021). She’s creating new performance work as Centaur Theatre’s Artist in Residence (2021-22) and as director of the Talking Treaties initiative with Jumblies Theatre + Arts, with projects including; experimental film and workshop series Dish Dances (2021) in collaboration with Centre for Indigenous Theatre, video and installation By These Presents: “Purchasing” Toronto (2019), and outdoor promenade theatre Talking Treaties Spectacle (2017, 2018). Upcoming collaborations include Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Changing the Narrative initiative (2022) and placemaking with the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2022). Ange’s been the Associate Artistic Director of Jumblies Theatre + Arts since 2015 and a touring vocalist and designer with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan since 2012.

Past works include; Audio and Sculpture A Foreign Source of Extraordinary Power (2018) for MOCA Toronto, Audio Art and Activation Electric Prop and Hum Freestyle Variations with Maria Hupfield (2019) at the National Gallery of Canada, On Tuesday: A Musical Neighbourhood Tour with composer Kyle Brenders (2017), and staged audio play HOOFS (2019). Incorporated design and large scale image construction lead her direction for collaborative works with ReCollection Kahnawake (2016, 2018),  all you can hold with electronic act LAL (2015, 2019), and After the Fire: Based on Interviews about Idle No More (2014, 2016). 

She’s holds advisory roles with Native Women In the Arts as a Board member (2021), OCAD University’s Indigenous Education Council (2021), City of Toronto Indigenous Arts and Cultural Advisory for the Indigenous Arts and Culture Partnerships Fund (2018), and Toronto Biennial of Art Advisory Council (2018-21).