Interdisciplinary artist Nova Weipert (BFA 2019) has been named the Vancouver Public Library’s 2020 Indigenous Storyteller in Residence.
The latest addition to Nova’s filmmaking practice — which includes filming, editing and designing sound — is the film project “Leaving Earth,” which was nominated for the President’s Media Choice Award for its “sweeping and immersive soundscapes and imagery.”
Currently, Nova is working on a documentary film series about their recent coming-out as Two-Spirit, and the transition from female to Two-Spirit. According to the VPL, the series will “follow Weipert’s process of decolonization by using moving images, sound and storytelling as a means of understanding their Indigenous identity.” The project is likewise steeped in research about Indigenous history, culture and gender identities.
Speaking with the CBC, Nova recounted how learning about the term “Two-Spirit” had itself been a process of decolonization.
“Realizing that Two-Spirited people were, like, revered as medicine men or women or as very spiritual people or leaders or educators, and then seeing that ... it [resonated] with me,” they told the CBC.
In a statement, Nova further expressed their excitement at being able to generate greater public awareness of Indigenous ways of knowing, particularly in regards to their individual experience of becoming Two-Spirit.
“Through this role as the storyteller in residence, I’m able to share Indigenous history and culture through the lens of my own personal experiences as an Ojibwe artist,” Nova said.
“I'm also able to share this personal journey of becoming Two-Spirit; my beliefs, dreams and experiences which have informed the ways in which my spirits dance and intertwine within my being. I truly treasure this opportunity to build lasting relationships by sharing knowledge between cultures and communities.”
Spring will see a series of free, public events planned by Nova around “current issues facing Indigenous communities, the Two-Spirit journey and gender expression and identity, and ways we can come together to share culture, dialogue and more.”
They’ll also be in attendance at a series of opening events at VPL branches across Vancouver throughout the month of March. You can find the full schedule on the VPL’s website.