Deblekha Guin is the founding executive director of the Access to Media Education Society, a grassroots non-profit that supports marginalized youth in making and sharing story-based creative work that centres their unique perspectives, increases awareness about social and environmental justice issues, and illuminates the essential role of the arts in cultivating visions for change.
Raised in Six Nations territory in southern Ontario, Guin moved to the unsurrendered territory of the Penelakut and other Hul’quim’in’um-speaking nations 28 years ago. After arriving on what is colonially known as “Galiano Island,” Guin joined forces with a motley crew of creative misfits determined to start a film school in the woods. She launched AMES in 1996 after helping to start the Gulf Islands Film and Television School.
Since AMES' emergence in 1996, Guin has envisioned and co-ordinated 45+ distinct participatory media arts production programs that have engaged over 2,000 youth and generated 500+ videos, animations and digital works. These transformative works have been paired with and parallel to the implementation of educational outreach initiatives across B.C., with workshops and screenings reaching over 100,000 students through online and peer-led programming. In May 2020 Guin’s extensive BIPOC-centred, intergenerational and intersectional creative community-building work was recognized at the B.C. Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards.
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