Beacon Project

Nanuk & Bibi

Nanuk & Bibi imagines an alternate universe created through hand-drawn projections and sonic backdrop where the artists' grandmothers are restored to explore a healing friendship through cultural and queered ritual.

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Nanuk & Bibi will feature a looped 3 minute film of Darcie Bernhardt’s hand-drawn renderings of her Nanuk (grandmother) and Carmel Farahbakhsh’s Bibi (grandmother) exploring an alternate universe where they explore a healing friendship. This alternate universe exists in realms of futurism where borders have been dissolved, they both exist in their homes of Iran and the Northwest Territories but can still access physical closeness, and are aware of their grandchildren's queerness and hold that truth collectively with warmth and pride. Together, they share cultural food, gossip over tea, belly laugh and experience joyful freedoms. They honour each other's stories with devotion, reverence, care -- they dream futures and soft landings for their generations, teach lessons they never had chances to share, imagine realities of homelands untouched by colonialism, and carry custom and tradition close - praying that their generations feel reflected in those rituals, practices, and knowledge systems.

All dialogue in the film will appear as Closed Captioning. The soundscape accompaniment will consist of looped violin tracks with sonic texture and melody that is reminiscent of each grandmother’s personality, musical taste, and conversation style. There will be samples embedded in the sonic landscapes of sounds that hold meaning to each grandmother such as tea being stirred, saffron being ground, boat on ocean, food sizzling on high heat, fishing line breaking water. The visual and sonic elements of the project interact as a way to demonstrate artefacts of shared experience – archiving significant memory as an act of healing the limitations of time, distance, borders.

This work is imagined to honour these grandmothers' full legacies, visually and sonically archive memory, grieve their passings, and rejoice in the knowledge that they remain powerful healers.

Illuminated Storytelling