Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Aug 5–11: The Archive as Commemoration, an online screening program curated by Mahlet Cuff for the8fest


The Archive as Commemoration
Curated by Mahlet Cuff (@mahlet.c)

Online & On-demand
Aug 5-11th at the8fest.com

Presenting films by Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, Sonya Mwambu (@sonya.mwambu), Nesanet Teshager Abegaze (@nesanetabegaze) and Akosua Adoma Owusu (@akosuadoma).

Curatorial Statement
“Radical thinkers who tirelessly imagined other ways to live and never failed to consider how the world might be otherwise” - Sadiya Hartman

The act of making an archive varies from the intentional to the unintentional. As each person has their reasons for wanting to hold on to certain memories, thoughts, experiences, etc. To be able to think back within our own histories and reimagine what is possible for not only the past and future but to consider the now. The forms that can hold on to remembrance give opportunity to think beyond what archives can look like and who is able to tell stories about specific timelines. In this series of small gauge 8mm films they explore the ways that moving image is a tool for archiving diasporic histories, holding memory, passing down familial stories and how an archive is not constructed to one form. Each filmmaker has their own method of how they are able to translate their message through 8mm film, one that is vulnerable, tedious, laborious and a performance of commemoration.


Mahlet Cuff is an emerging curator, writer and artist. She is based in Treaty 1 Territory in so-called Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their curatorial practices focuses on satirical humour as a tool of resistance, the reimagining of Black queer diasporic futures, and archival practices. She has curated work for Window Winnipeg, Take Home BIPOC arts house, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, Winnipeg Film Group, and VTape.

Sponsored by @counterarchive

Sonya Mwambu, “Circa” (2020, Canada, Super 8/digital transfer, 8:00 min, sound) **the still used for the program graphic

Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye Gebrehiwot, “Diaspora Ethiopia” (2012, Canada, Super 8/digital transfer, 10:00 min, sound)

Nesanet Teshager Abegaze, “Phyllis Wheatley” (2021, Ethiopia & USA, Super 8 & video, 2:00 mins, sound)