Cree / Canada
Ariel Smith is an urban nēhiyaw iskwew (plains Cree woman), a self-taught filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker currently based on unceded Algonquin territory, Ottawa, Ontario. She has shown at festivals and galleries internationally including: Images Festival (Toronto), Mix Experimental Film Festival (NYC), Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), MAI (Montréal), Gallery Sans Nom (Moncton), Santa Fe Indian Market (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Solid Screens (Cairns, Australia) and Cold Creation Gallery (Barcelona, Spain).
She has written essays and articles on the subjects of Indigenous media arts as self determination and on gendered colonial violence for Concordia University, The Ottawa Art Gallery, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, Bitch Flicks, and the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Journal. Ariel is a programmer and arts educator for the imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival and is the director of National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).
Ariel’s lived experiences with difference and marginalization form the basis for much of her work. Interested in the political and social forces that affect the lives of girls and women, she investigates these themes, resulting in anti-essentialist, tongue-in-cheek commentaries which embody the grotesque feminine, while at the same time challenge the negative patriarchal perception of the feminine-as monstrous.