Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

A/CA Summer Institute 2021 | Public Talks | AIDS Activist Media Research within Canada

Representative Image

Archive/Counter-Archive Summer Institute 2021

Public Talks | AIDS Activist Media Research within Canada convened by Dr. Ryan Conrad

FREE and OPEN to the public!

ACCESSIBILITY: Talks will be closed captioned and ASL interpretation will be provided. 

NOTE: An individual registration link is provided for each event. You must register for each event separately. 


THURSDAY JUNE 10, 2021  | 2-3PM EST  | ZOOM
HIV ON TV: A Panel on Early HIV/AIDS Activist Television in Canada


Speakers: Richard Fung, Karen Knights, Ian Iqbal Rashid

In the ‘80s and ‘90s HIV/AIDS activists in Canada used video cameras to organize, educate, agitate, and document their own rebellions. Before widespread use of the web-based video distribution platforms that we have today, artists and activists utilized community cable television channels to reach audiences near and far as tapes were also exchanged through the mail. This panel features video makers who either contributed to these community cable projects or are stewards of this archive. Notably, this panel will touch upon two community cable projects, Vancouver’s Gayblevision and Toronto’s Toronto Living With AIDS. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Ryan Conrad. 


Richard Fung is a video artist and writer, and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Richard’s work approaches the intersection of sexuality and race, colonialism and geopolitics within a social justice framework. Videos focusing on HIV/AIDS include Fighting Chance (1990), Steam Clean (1990) and Sea in the Blood (2000). Richard was a cofounder of Gay Asian AIDS project in Toronto and has served on the steering committee of AIDS Action Now! He is a recipient of the Bell Canada Award (Canada Council for the Arts) for outstanding achievement in video art, the Kessler Award (City University of New York) for significant influence on the field of LGBTQ studies, and the Bonham Centre Award (University of Toronto) for distinguished contribution to the public understanding of sexual diversity in Canada.

Karen Knights lives and works on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She is Manager and Special Projects Lead at the VIVO Media Arts Centre’s Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive. Karen has 22-years of accumulated experience at the Satellite Video Exchange Society in all its incarnations (Video Inn, Video In Studios, VIVO) as Librarian, Archivist, Distributor, Development Coordinator, and Programmer from 1984. She has undertaken several historical surveys of artist-run media archives and spent several years as a spokesperson for the Coalition for the Right To View, an artist-driven, broad coalition against censorship policies impacting feminist, queer, and media arts communities on the west coast in the late 1980s.

Karen’s current focus is on activating the CDMLA Special Collections through a series of Archivist internships, digitization projects, and exhibition series. She spearheaded the Gayblevision digitization project; Celebration’ 90, a Digital Museum Canada online exhibit told from the perspective of Gay Games III volunteers and staff; Women & West Coast Labour, audio and video recordings documenting 80 years of action for equity in domestic and workplace labour, drawing on the Sara Diamond and Women In Focus fonds; the Sticky Impulse Archive Nights series; and was VIVO’s Lead for Recollective, an archival research and remediation series originated by grunt gallery, VIVO, and Western Front. In 2020, Karen was invited to curate two screenings for the Queer Arts Festival media showcase. Karen is Lead for VIVO’s Archive/Counter-Archive case study, Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations.

Ian Iqbal Rashid is a Canadian poet, screenwriter and filmmaker who currently lives in London. Films include the award-winning Touch of Pink and How She Move. Poetry books include Black Markets, White Boyfriends (and Other Acts of Elision) and The Heat Yesterday. Television credits include This Life (BBC), London Bridge (ITV), and the forthcoming Sort Of (CBC/HBO Max). He created and is currently writing The Queens of Coxwell, a comedy-drama series for Amazon Prime Video.

He has curated film programmes and exhibitions for the British Film Institute, Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), and the Inside/Out Festival (Toronto) amongst other venues and festivals. He founded and ran the inaugural edition of Desh Pardesh, Canada’s South Asian Cultural Festival. Of Muslim-South Asian ancestry, Ian was born in Dar es Salaam and grew up in Toronto. His many awards and festival prizes include The Writers’ Guild of England Award for Television Drama and The Aga Khan Award for Excellence in the Arts.

THURSDAY JUNE 17, 2021 | 2-3PM EST  | ZOOM
A Dialogue on Women’s HIV/AIDS Video Activism Then & Now 
Click here to register

Speakers: Darien Taylor and Alison Duke

Join an intimate conversation between esteemed HIV/AIDS activist Darien Taylor and award-winning independent film and video maker Alison Duke. Taylor’s groundbreaking documentary Voices of Positive Women (1993), which she made in collaboration with video artist Michael Balser, is one of the earliest examinations of the impact of HIV and AIDS upon women. Duke has been making documentaries about HIV/AIDS since 2007, most notably the pair of documentaries Positive Women: Exposing Injustice (2012) and Consent: HIV Non-disclosure and Sexual Assault Law (2015). The dialogue will be moderated by Dr. Ryan Conrad.


Darien Taylor has been living with HIV since 1987, and has worked in the HIV sector since that time. In the early 1990s, a time when very few women with HIV were public, she became involved in the Toronto treatment activist organization AIDS ACTION NOW! and co-chaired this organization for two years. At this time, she founded Voices of Positive Women, a provincial organization run by and for women living with HIV, which existed until 2010. Darien also co-authored the international anthology Positive Women: Voices of Women Living with HIV, which featured works by women living with HIV throughout the world.  
Darien has worked continuously in the community-based response to HIV, in organizations including The AIDS Committee of Toronto, Toronto PWA Foundation and CATIE, where she was Director of Programs and Services for eight years. Over the years, she has also served on innumerable boards and committees, and worked on HIV-related projects with both the provincial and federal governments. She is a regular contributor to CATIE's Positive Side magazine for people living with HIV.  As the current co-chair of the Toronto to Zero initiative she is fighting to end the HIV epidemic in this city.

Co-founder of Oya Media Group, Alison Duke aka “Golde” is a storyteller, in every sense of the word. Duke is known for telling dynamic stories that illuminate history, document the present, and push the culture forward. In 2019, Duke produced and co-wrote Mr. Jane and Finch, a CBC POV Documentary. Mr. Jane and Finch won two 2020 Canadian Screen Awards: Best Writing in a documentary, and the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary. She also directed Cool Black North, a two-hour TV documentary for City TV. Current activities see her producing Laurie Townshend's feature documentary, Mothering in the Movement, facilitating the third year of OYA’s Emerging Filmmaker Program, a 3-year initiative to support Black youth access within the film industry and developing her feature documentary Bam Bam: The Story of Sister Nancy. She recently completed Promise Me, a dramatic short inspired by her The Woman I Have Become (2008) which won the Standout Writing Award at Reelworld Film Festival and was nominated for a 2021 Golden Sheaf Award. Alison also won the 2019 WIFT Crystal Award for Mentorship for her mentorship of young filmmakers and for work with Pathways and the 2019 ByBlacks People's Choice Award for best director. 

These public talks are part of Archive/Counter-Archive's Summer Institute, "Locating Media Archives" (May 18-June 17, 2021). The Institute is comprised of two intensives, taught by Dr. Stacy Allison-Cassin and Dr. Ryan Conrad, that will introduce graduate students to critical issues in activist media and archival methodologies.

Questions or technical difficulties? Email Axelle Demus at kmo@counterarchive.ca