Adebe is a writer and doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in various North American sources, including Descant, CV2, Canadian Woman Studies and the Toronto Star. She won the Toronto Poetry Competition in 2005 to become Toronto’s first Junior Poet Laureate. In 2008, she attended the summer writing program at Naropa University, where she mentored with Anne Waldman and the late Amiri Baraka. Her debut poetry collection, Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010) was one of ten manuscripts chosen in honour of Frontenac House’s Dektet 2010 competition, using a blind selection process by a jury of leading Canadian writers: bill bissett, George Elliott Clarke, and Alice Major. Ex Nihilo was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under thirty. She is also the co-editor, alongside Andrea Thompson, of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010).
Andrea has performed her work at venues across North America and overseas for the past twenty years. A pioneer of Slam Poetry in Canada, Andrea was a feature in the ground-breaking documentary Slamnation, is the co-editor of the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, the author of the poetry collection Eating the Seed, and creator of the Urban Muisc Award nominated CD, One. Andrea is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s MFA Creative Writing program, currently teaches Spoken Word through the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Continuing Studies department, and has recently released her debut novel, Over Our Heads with Inanna Publications.
For more information: www.andreathompson.ca
Catia is a Brazilian-Portuguese-Canadian writer, poet, painter and social service worker. Catia’s work focuses on her cultural identity, living with a mental illness and in dealing with patriarchy, queer-phobia and her own struggles with acceptance, self-love and belonging. Currenly, Catia works in the mental health sector and peer facilitates art-based support groups for survivors of sexual violence. Catia also facilitates workshops and performs with an anti-oppressive creative writing collective called Pages on Fire. In her free time, Catia can be found painting, exploring her culture and/or taking part in community events reflecting her passions.
Twitter: @catiamaguiar, @pagesonfire
Facebook: Pages On Fire
Charlotte is a mother, teacher, writer, storyteller and researcher of Black Seminole and multiracial ancestry. She works to counter extinction myths through storywork and lyric scholarship, Indigenous methodologies,and re-membering. Charlotte writes about cultural memory and grandmothers’ gardens as an activist for (de)colonial, Indigenous, and Afro-futurities. She has a background in critical race theory, education administration, and teaching. She has been an administrator and consultant in First Nations, mainstream and international education contexts. Charlotte is currently a Ph.D. student at York University in Language, Culture and Teaching.
Ilene is a conceptual portrait painter who creates paintings that reference anti-oppression feminist themes. She holds an MFA in Painting from the University of Windsor and her work has been exhibited in extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Most notably, her work has been shown at the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art in Toronto and at Guadi’s Casa Batlo for the prestigious Barcelona Showcase. After that show, Sova was invited back to Barcelona by Mutuo Centro D’Arte for a solo exhibition of paintings of Spain’s foremost women activists. Sova’s work has also been featured in a variety of television, web and print media including Al Gore’s television program The Current, Canada AM, The Toronto Star, CBC Radio, and the Toronto Standard. Sova’s work was featured in the Journal of Psychology and Counseling, the Nigerian Arts Journal Tabula, the Italian feminist journal WOMANOCLOCK. Further, she was chosen to speak at Toronto’s first TEDx Women in December 2013. Most recently, Sova was invited by two members of the Parliament of Canada to bring her work to Ottawa for a national Women’s Forum on Feminism and the state of women’s rights. Sova is also the Toronto Regional Coordinator for the Feminist Art Project out of Rutgers University and the founder and coordinator of FAC – a large yearly international Feminist Art Conference that takes place in Toronto at OCAD University. In her professional community practice Ilene teaches in the department of Continuing Studies at OCADU and is the Artistic Director of Walnut Studios. Ilene is also a founding member of the 3MW Collective which creates art exhibitions and experiences to provoke discussions of racism and and mixed race identity politics.
Born in Paris, France 1987, Jimmy was enchanted at a young age with the idea of living like Picasso; in his studio surrounded by paintings and people who would engage in conversation over his work. He immersed into drawing at a very young age. Starting with simple Disney and comic book characters. He knew he fell in love with drawing and felt reassured that this was what he was meant to do. When Jimmy moved to Toronto in 2006 he experimented with different techniques, mediums and surfaces. Since then he has been commissioned to paint indoor and outdoor murals, skateboards, shoes and clothes. He has worked cooperatively with various artists and musicians over the past 8 years and has found his own sense of style. He is influenced by everyday life, strong feelings of love, anger, happiness and sadness. He feels compelled to paint daily and therefore starts one or two paintings every day. He is obsessed with abstract composition and texture. He says his paintings are windows of the mind and come from the subconscious soul. Many of his paintings have eyes, which he says are all connected somehow and a symbol of our society today. JIMMY CHIALE’S vivid canvases are a mash up of emotional construction of symbols and representations. His works are an immediate reaction to his environment and daily life, an imprint of his identity at that moment in time.
Jordan is a Toronto based artist. Working in oil paints, Jordan uses the female form to explore themes of self and identity, as well as notions of inner beauty. In addition to appearing in solo and group exhibitions in Ontario and abroad, Jordan’s art has been published in the anthology Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, edited by Adebe DeRango-Adem and Andrea Thompson. Jordan is a recipient of funding from the Ontario Arts Council. In 2008, Jordan studied at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, completing the Drawing curriculum. In 2007, she graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design, receiving a BFA. While attending OCAD, she participated in the off-campus studies program in Florence, Italy, 2005-2006.
I am a foot in each door in no man’s land. I am not alone. I am a biracial American. The materials I piece together are an expression of unique shared experiences of others like myself. My diverse background has granted me a head of perpetually tangled curls (a rats’ nest at times) which fuels the inspiration for the majority of my work. Fashioning hair, natural and found objects into nests; colors and textures challenge each other. The nest is an inevitably unruly exaggeration, heavily embellished, glamorous and bizarre. I make art to start conversations, inspire and deconstruct society’s categorizations of race.
Instagram & Twitter: @nomi_lc
Shelby is an emerging Ottawa-based artist, born and raised in Belleville, close to the Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation. In her artwork she explores her socially constructed identity by investigating gender roles and relationship dynamics. As well as her background as a Haudenosaunee and Canadian woman and what it means to straddle the line between these identities. In her current work she has begun to incorporate textiles and knitting to reference the idea of story telling and the passing down of knowledge from a matrilineal line. She is interested in exploring feminine characteristics and practices and their position as subordinate to male practices. As she has done in the past, she is using these ideas to emphasize the importance of non-institutionalized knowledge that is passed in ways such as personal stories, traditions, and craft.
Being bi-racial, it is difficult to decide which race you are, mainly because society expects you to be one or the other – not in-between. The film explores the inner conflicts between each race and the competition for which race to dominate over the other. In other words, the two races have never co-existed and the subject fears that they never will.
External realities also have a part to play in the subject’s anxieties. She was bullied as a child for her skin colour and the way she looked, so that her identity became all of those things. The subject then decided that she had to be brown and gave up the idea of being “bi-racial” as an actual race. The subject – me, the artist – has been conflicted by the decision of her race when she has never had to actually choose what she is when she already is “bi-racial”. Her goal is to make sure that bi-racial people are given the right to accept both races as a part of their identity and not have to choose one over the other.