Online | Screenings

A Little More Connected

Chantal Rousseau, Darcy Tara McDiarmid, Jamal Ademola, Miranda Javid, Nadine Chantal Leclerc
Curated by: Jaclyn Quaresma
Black background with a white hand drawn image featuring shapes that resemble human legs and feet.
Minimal black and white line drawing. On the left are a grouping of lines that represent a section of a door. To the right is a stool drawn with thicker lines.
Black and white hand-drawn figure with white spots on the front of their body, their eyes illuminated. They have one arm raised in front of a textured background.
Hand-drawn images of a wolf-like creature atop a haze of green waves with three orange fish. Background is black with yellow star-like spots throughout.
Hand-drawn image illustrating a corner of a room with a person resting on top of a bed. There are various shapes and lines superimposed on the left of the image.

What Humans Do

Miranda Javid
USA | 2023 | Digital | 7 MIN | English

A macro view of human-actions, as told from within a singular body. The film is a catalog of homo sapien instincts: its sequences interlace extractive qualities of our species with embodied sensory experience, producing a mindful awareness of what humans do to their habitats and planet Earth.

Animated frame by frame with biodegradable ink and paper.

Closed Caption

There is an app on my phone called Pixel Thoughts. When you open it, a piano tune begins to play while a bright translucent circle appears on the screen with a prompt above it: Put a stressful thought in the star. Beneath the star, a blue cursor blinks and the box asks: What’s bothering you? Once you type your worry into the box, the text appears in the orb. Then the worry begins to get physically smaller, eventually blending with the star speckled background. As it shrinks, the prompts above changes:

Relax and watch your thought

Take a deep breath in

… and breathe out 

Everything is okay

Your life is okay

Life is a much grander thing than this thought

The universe is over 93 million lightyears in distance

Our galaxy is small 

Our sun is tiny

Our earth is miniscule 

Cities are insignificant

You are microscopic

This thought… does not matter 

And can easily disappear 

And life will go on…

Once the thought has diminished to become one of the many stars in a quickly moving sky, a pop up appears that reads: Hope you are feeling a little less stressed and a little more connected. 

I am critical of dismissive language and acknowledge that this app is by no means a solution. It does not address the overarching web of human systems created to enforce and uphold structures of dominance that are so often the cause of anxiety. What it does, however, is remind me that beyond my anxious thought is a city, a planet, a sun, a galaxy, and an entire universe. Rehearsing this play in perspective and extreme zooming out grounds me where I stand. As that big star shrinks and joins all the others, I remember that I am not alone in what I feel, that there is strength and purpose in our connection on this miniscule planet. 

Similarly, the animated films by Miranda Javid, Jamal Ademola, Darcy Tara McDiarmid and Chantal Rousseau, and Nadine Le Clerc, in this program remind us that this inhabited world exists despite those who inhabit it, not in spite of us. Together, this selection of short films take us on a journey through a plentitude of experiences, individual and collective, human and more-that-human, as the artists and filmmakers share joyous, complex stories marked by their own ways of being in and with the world. 

Tune into Images Festival’s official selection of animated films entitled A Little More Connected, on Saturday morning from 7am until noon at This program is available to early risers and deep sleepers alike. It is child friendly and, as always, parental discretion is advised.

Chantal Rousseau

Chantal Rousseau is a queer settler artist from French Canadian and Ukrainian ancestry. Her work uses embodied experience and research to learn about specific ecosystems. She is curious about points of connection between humans and non-humans, species diversity, conservation initiatives, and exploring a personal relationship to the natural world. She is a painter, animator, and sound and installation artist.

Darcy Tara McDiarmid

Darcy Tara McDiarmid is a Han and Northern Tutchone artist from the Crow Clan. Darcy draws inspiration from nature, trying to capture the pristine beauty of our natural world. She believes in honouring her ancestors by devoting her art to heritage and culture as well as the reclamation of traditional practices. She is a painter, carver, and willow basket maker.

Jamal Ademola

Jamal Ademola is a Nigerian-American artist and filmmaker who creates across film, video, animation, painting, installation, and performance. His work delicately examines Black and African identity, memory, romanticism, poetics, and the concept of being. Jamal is currently in production with his first feature film They Came From the Clouds.. Recent exhibitions and screenings include showings at (BCA) Black Cultural Archives in London (2023), Alchemy Film & Arts Festival (2023)(2022), Kala Art Gallery (2022), The New School (2022), and Untitled (AWCA) White Space Creative Agency in Lagos, Nigeria (2021). He is represented by Where the Buffalo Roam for commercials, film, and television.

Miranda Javid

Miranda Javid (she/her) is an animator, curator, and art-educator. Her animations describe human bias and the relationship between individuals and their communities. These films have shown nationally and internationally at festivals like the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Eyeworks Film Festival, Slamdance, The Maryland Film Festival, and Animation Block Party.

Nadine Chantal Leclerc

Nadine is an artist and instructor living in Mississauga, Ontario. Nadine works as a ceramics studio technician and teaches digital art. Nadine has over a decade of professional design experience in the GTA. Nadine studied Visual Arts at York University with a focus on sculpture and drawing.

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