Artist Talk | Friday, March 20, 7 pm
Free and open to the public
Come meet our Spring 2020 Workspace Residents and learn about their past and ongoing projects. Caleb Abrams will speak about his current film, The Burning of My Coldspring Home, an adaptation of a short story by Seneca Elder Stephen Gordon regarding the forced dislocation of the Seneca people following the building of the Kinzua dam by the Allegheny River. Saif Alsaegh will speak of his film Departure, titled after a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, which examines the idea of foreignness as it relates to the filmmaker’s past as a Baghdad born filmmaker living in California. Preceding the event will be a brief presentation by Squeaky Wheel curator, Ekrem Serdar on how you can be part of the Workspace Residency program in the future.
Caleb G. Abrams is an Onöndowa’ga:’ (Seneca) filmmaker and multimedia artist based out of what is currently considered Buffalo, New York. Raised on the Seneca’s Allegany Territory, much of his work emerges from the social, historical, and cultural background of the Seneca. Abrams has written and produced multiple independent short films and videos for the Seneca Nation, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum/Onöhsagwë:dé Cultural Center, and Odawi Law PLLC. He has also produced work in collaboration with PBS-WNED-TV, Vision Maker Media, Skipping Stone Pictures, and Toward Castle Films. Lake of Betrayal (2017), the award-winning national public television documentary on which Abrams served as the associate producer, examines the impact of the Kinzua Dam on the Seneca Nation – a topic much of his work has explored. Abrams’ films have been presented at universities, historical societies, libraries, museums, high schools, and community and cultural resource organizations throughout Haudenosaunee Territory and the Northeast.
Saif Alsaegh is a United States-based filmmaker from Baghdad. Much of Saif’s work deals with the contrast between the landscape of his youth in Baghdad growing up as part of the Chaldean minority in the nineties and early 2000s, and the U.S. landscape where he currently lives. His films have screened in many festivals including Cinema du Reel, Kruzfilm Festival Hamburg, Kasseler Dokfest, Onion City Film Festival and in galleries and museums including the Wisconsin Triennial at MMoCA. He earned his MFA in filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The residency is made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and presented in collaboration with Just Buffalo Literary Art Center and the sponsorship of Hostel Buffalo-Niagara.