Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/faculty.html

Elizabeth (Liz) Miller, MFA

Professor, Communication Studies

Full Professor


Office: L-CJ 4423 
Communication Studies and Journalism Building,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2540
Email: elizabeth.miller@concordia.ca
Website(s): Red Lizard Media
The Shore Line Project
Going Public
SwampScapes
Availability: Best way to reach me is email

Liz is a documentary maker and professor interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns.  Years of experience in community media and a background in political economics, electronic media art, and Latin American studies fuel her ongoing explorations of new media as art, advocacy, and as a powerful educational tool. Liz teaches courses in moving images, food and film, research-creation and more. Having lived in Central and South America for over six years, she continues to collaborate with groups in the region. She has organized and led media institutes and workshops with a range of groups (youth, senior citizens, human rights advocates, refugee organizations, teachers, water experts) in video advocacy, digital storytelling and media production. She is the co-author of Going Public: The Art of ParticipatoryPractice. Her films/educational campaigns on timely issues such as water privatization, immigration, refugee rights and the environment have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers.

Education

MFA, Electronic Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

BA, Social Thought & Political Economy, University of Massachusetts

Research interests

Virtual Reality, interactive documentary, video advocacy, community media, climate resilience, gender and communication, electronic art, documentary, video art, youth media, food politics, sustainability, water privatization, migration, refugees rights, Latin American film, 

Courses

Coms 384 Moving Images
Coms 684/876 Media Technology as Practice
Coms 569 Moving Images, Diploma


Research activities

Research projects

SwampScapes (2018)
A VR and mulit-platform exploration of Florida's most endangered ecosystem, the Everglades. Awards: First place VR at Tacoma International Festival, Finalist for "Excellence in Immersive Storytelling," Online Journalism Awards.

The Shore Line
 
(2017)
An interactive documentary exploring the tensions of rising sea levels and unchecked development in coastal towns and cities around the world (43 videos, interactive maps and more). Award: Finalist, Digital Media Category, Yorkton Film Festival.

Going Public: The Art of Participatory Practice(2017)
The book is available through UCB Press

Going Public responds to the urgent need to expand current thinking on what it means to co-create and to actively involve the public in research activities. Drawing on conversations with over thirty practitioners across multiple cultures and disciplines, this book examines the ways in which oral historians, media producers, and theatre artists use art, stories, and participatory practices to engage creatively with their publics. The book offers insights into concerns related to voice, appropriation, privilege, and the ethics of participation.

En la casa, la cama y la calle, (At home, in bed and in the streets) 2014 

This 35-minute documentary follows an inspiring Nicaraguan women’s rights group, Puntos de Encuentro, as it works to end sexual violence at home, in bed and in the streets through a powerful blend of mainstream media and grassroots organizing. The film has won awards and screened in over fifty venues and festivals. To learn more about Puntos visit: www.puntos.org.ni 

Hands-on: women, climate, change 2014
The film profiles five women from four continents tacking climate change through policy, protest, education and innovation. Project developed with directors from Kenya, India, Norway and Canada, all IAWRT (International Association of Women in Radio and Film) members.

Additional projects

All I Remember, 2013

This documentary follows Leontine, a young survivor of the Rwandan genocide, as she takes her story public for the first time.

Mapping Memories, 2009-2013

Mapping Memories is a participatory media project involving DIY cartography and refugee youth in coordination with the various partners including the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Cote de Neige Youth Center, the YWCA which uses personal stories and a range of media tools (DIY cartography, video, sound walks, mapping, photography) to better understand the experiences of youth with refugee experience in Montreal. Our objective has been to produce creative work that will have an impact on policy, education, art and on the lives of the youth involved. We have produced a book in English and French, both of which are available for download as well as over twenty films and documentaries.
To launch the book, we organized a tour of 30 participating schools and universities.

The Water Front, 2007

A documentary film project that brings the controversial issue of water privatization to the larger public. The film has been screened around the world, won seven awards and been broadcast in Spain and the United States. The project involves a viewing and curriculum guide, a screening guide, an interactive website (powered by Drupal), an on-line streaming media channel with 8 short videos, a 20-minute educational version, a feature length documentary for festivals and broadcast, and a DVD with educational materials. In coordination with a national environmental organization, Food and Water Watch, the film toured around the Great Lakes from September 2008 to March 2009, and visited 30 cities. To build participation amongst youth, we launched an on-line audio remix competition of the theme song of the film, which was written by legendary blues singer, Joe L. Carter.

Novela, Novela, 2002

A 30-minute documentary about a group of Nicaraguan feminists who have fused human rights with popular culture to create Nicaragua’s most popular tele-novela (soap opera). Novela,Novela examines how this ground-breaking series made it to broadcast, and how the creators, writers, actors and viewers grappled with controversial themes like domestic violence and homophobia. The project has won five awards including: Women’s Rights Award,

Media That Matters Festival, 2004
Honorary Mention, International Association of Women in Radio and TV, 2004
Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit in Film, 2004
Freedom Award, Outfest
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, 2003

Memories Under Construction, 2000

A nation wide project of the National Endowment for the Arts and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation — Artists and Communities: America Creates for the Millennium. I produced nine short video portraits, Parkville Portraits that were screened before feature films in the Real Art Ways Cinema. Portraits were also projected on buildings throughout the community and featured on a website. The project was featured on NPR. Moles, 1999 A personal web narrative using body moles as a navigational device. This early web documentary won three awards:
First Place, THAW 00, Fifth Annual Festival of Video, Film, and Digital Media of the Institute for Cinema and Culture, 2000
Co-winner of Art and Science, Collaboration, Inc. Digital 99 Competition.
2nd Place, McKinney Writing contest

Just Here, 1999

Four youth, ages 14-17 from the Taylor Housing Projects were hired to produce a personal story about living in a housing project. Their stories were cut into a 23-minute documentary. The project was broadcast on Free Speech TV and won the Golden Apple Award, (National Educational Media Network, 1999).

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