We Exist in the Future
June 2, 12pm
What does change look like, and what are we dreaming for our transformed futures? Bringing together Black, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous artists and activists in conversations on systems of change and creative process.
Moderator: Syrus Marcus Ware (he/him)
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses drawing, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and Black activist culture, and he’s shown widely in galleries and festivals across Canada. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective and a core team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. He has won several recognitions including the TD Diversity Award 2017, “Best Queer Activist” from NOW Magazine 2005, and the Steinert and Ferreiro Award 2012. He is the co-editor or the best-selling Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020).
Panelist: Raven Davis
Raven Davis is an Anishinaabe, 2-Spirit, trans, disabled multidisciplinary artist and educator whose maternal lineage is from Treaty Four in Manitoba, Canada. Davis was born and raised in Michi Saagig /T’karonto Territory (Toronto, Ontario). Davis resides and works as a professional artist and curator between Toronto and K’jipuktuk. A parent of three sons, Davis works within the mediums of painting, performance, movement and media. Challenging systemic oppression, Davis fuses narratives of colonization, race, gender, disability, transformative justice, 2-Spirit identity and the Anishinaabemowin language and culture in their work.
Panelist: Ravyn Wngz (she/her)
Ravyn Wngz, “The Black Widow of Burlesque,” is a Tanzanian, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2-Spirit, empowerment movement storyteller of Trans experience. An abolitionist and Black Renaissance Artivist, her work is rooted in Black liberation and Indigenous resurgence. She has a vision to create work/art/conversations that open minds, expand truths and deepen intellectual commitments into lived practices. Her commitment is to elevate our collective global humanity. Ravyn is a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, a steering committee member of Black Lives Matter Toronto, a Canadian best-selling author and a co-curator of the Wildseed Black Arts Fellowship. She is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and has trained with American Ballet Theatre, United Dance Productions (Bermuda), University of the ARTS Philadelphia and Duke Ellington Performing Arts High School (Washington D.C.). She has performed and collaborated with Keith Hennesy (Guggenheim Fellowship recipient), InDance, Xing Dance Theatre, Earth in Motion, Ballet Creole, Ontario Ballet Theatre, Brandy Leary, Ame Henderson, Jefferson Pinder (Chicago), Victoria Mata and d’bi. young anitafrica (Watah Theatre). She recently took part in the Luminato Festival inaugural Black Arts Residency. She is the recipient of the Stratford Festival Emerging Artist Award and was named among the Top 25 Women of influence in Canada. She recently premiered as lead actor in Obsidian Theatre and CBC Gem’s 21 Black Futures.
Panelist: Ifetayo Alabi (they/them)
Ifetayo Alabi is a multimedia artist who has worked in drawing, painting, collage and more. They are currently based in Toronto to pursue their undergraduate degree in photography at OCAD University. Their work focuses on the exploration of identity and its intersections, often drawn from personal experience. Currently, their practice is collage focused, using only images that they’ve created. Ifetayo has done work for BLM Toronto and BLM Global, and currently is the graphic designer for BlackChat the podcast, produced in Vancouver. Ifetayo will be beginning their thesis in the fall of 2021.