Mar 3, 2021
Catching up is a series of interviews showcasing various filmmakers based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Treaty 1 territory.
While working as the Archive Assistant for the Winnipeg Film Group, I have been able to look through the films that have been highlighted in the past. Now I want to make room for new artists, to create different avenues of archiving in order to make these new filmmakers’ practices and stories more accessible to the public. This is especially important during these times of isolation when we are unable to physically attend events. I want to bring attention to local filmmakers – who they are, what their focus is and what they’ve been up to during this last year. – Mahlet Cuff
Hagere Selam “shimby” Zegeye-Gebrehiwot is an artist and administrator who currently works and resides in the Treaty 1 and Treaty 4 territories. Their practice engages with the theme of place and its abstraction from a diasporic, queer and feminist perspective.
Their art writing has appeared in The Capilano Review and they have created commissioned essays for various artist run centres in Winnipeg. Currently, they are the Executive Director at the Saskatchewan Filmpool, Co-Director of WNDX Festival of Moving Image and the Guest Editor of the forthcoming Art + Wonder publication.
shimby is a well-known experimental filmmaker in Winnipeg, as well as across the Prairies, and as such has made a huge impact on the film scene. I asked them what got them into filmmaking and they used two words to describe their inspiration: “Movie Village.”
Folks may remember the iconic establishment where you could buy and rent movies in Osborne Village, but unfortunately it no longer exists. It was a place where people met and discussed movies. It led shimby towards a career in filmmaking and inspired many local filmmakers.
shimby’s other inspirations include other filmmakers based here in Winnipeg as well as artists who work with textile pieces, such as Florence Yee, Lindsay McIntyre, Divya Mehra, Salem Mekuria, Andrea Dorfman, Scott Fitzpatrick, Nazlı Dinçel and Noam Gonick.
A person they would love to collaborate with? “Alli Logout 100%” shimby says. “Logout is a Black, gender non-conforming filmmaker and performance artist whose work explores the south, the abject, and the body.”
During quarantine like some of us, they have been trying to keep busy, watching shows such as Vida. “Vida is a must. My Mom and I watched it this summer and it’s about family, dyke bars, LA, Latinx feminisms, etc.”
They’ve also been watching Saturday Night Live clips on YouTube, and shorts like Jacob Farrell’s Grandmother (2017) and Mark Wihak’s The Ballad of Don Quinn (1992).
If you want to find out more about Hagere Selam “shimby” Zegeye-Gebrehiwot work you can check out www.VUCAVU.com to see some of their older works. They’re also programming and doing art administrative work with WNDX and Filmpool.
shimby’s short film Diaspora Ethiopia (2012) will be on display at the cause to become exhibition at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, April 1-May 15 and yaya/ayat (2010) is currently in the Born in Power – Group Exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Mahlet Cuff is the Archive Assistant at the Winnipeg Film Group, a role made possible though our Archive / Counter Archive Case Study, a project of York University.
Catching Up Logo Design by Shaneela Boodoo
Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot headshot (2021) by Delf Gravert
Still from yaya/ayat by Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot