As We Rise Panel Discussion Series at the Art Museum

The Art Museum at the University of Toronto presents a series of panel discussions in conjunction with the exhibition As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic, on view through November 19, 2022. Organized by Aperture, the exhibition is dedicated entirely to the Wedge Collection, Canada’s most significant and largest privately owned collection committed to representing African diasporic culture and contemporary Black life. The exhibition features over 100 photographs that embody community, identity, and power.

All panel discussions are free and will take place online on Zoom. Advance registration is required. To register, visit the Art Museum’s website.

Courtney D. Garvin, Bre & Josh, 2015, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy the artist.

We Are Home: The Family Album as Activist Record, Instrument, and Model

Wednesday, October 5, 6pm‚Äď8pm ET
Moderator: Liz Ikiriko
Speakers: Deepali Dewan, Aaron T. Francis, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Leslie Hewitt

Beyond its private use as personal archive, the family album often serves a broader public role, contributing alternate narratives, redressing exclusions, and articulating collective histories through the lens of individual and communal experiences. This photographic record offers material proof of the past as well as models of engagement and communion for the future-forging present. Considering the familial spirit of images assembled in the Wedge Collection and the exhibition As We Rise, this conversation will expand on ideas of community-building, activist kinship, and forms of day-to-day resistance embedded in the very act of living recorded by photographs.

James Barnor, Drum Cover Girl Erlin Ibreck, Kilburn, London, 1966, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). Courtesy Autograph ABP.

Dress Codes: Fashion and Community in African and Diasporic Culture

Saturday, October 22, 2pm‚Äď4pm ET
Moderator: Elliott Ramsey
Speakers: Teleica Kirkland, Caron Phinney

Through its visual presence and coded aesthetics, clothing tells the story of how people define themselves, control their own visibility, and claim space within public or private realms. Style is a central form of cultural expression for people of African descent and diaspora yet the academic world has long ignored this rich contribution to the history of global fashion, obscuring cultural influences and undermining a comprehensive historical documentation. Through their research, curatorial, and teaching strategies, the panellists engaged in this conversation actively contribute to developing and expanding knowledge and resources around the legacy and significance of African and diasporic clothing and style. In this conversation, they share insights on the methodologies and ideas that fuel their work.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Huxtables, Mom and Me, 2008, from As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic (Aperture, 2021). © LaToya Ruby Frazier, courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

Tender Gestures, Radical Acts: Archiving, Collecting, and Curating Black Art and Culture

Wednesday, November 16, 6pm‚Äď8pm ET
Moderator: Emilie Croning

Archiving, collecting, and curating are vital forms of storytelling‚ÄĒrecording history, generating meaning, and shaping discourse. These practices have the power to foreground sidelined or neglected narratives as well as the capacity to articulate urgent questions and interpret the world around us, connecting local specificities‚ÄĒcultural, social, political‚ÄĒto global concerns. Resistance, redress, and representation are central notions to curatorial approaches engaging with African and diasporic archives and collections. Taking its cue from the Wedge Collection mandate, this conversation will consider the implications, challenges, and responsibilities in archiving, collecting, and curating the work and cultural production of Black artists and communities.

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Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H3

University of Toronto Art Centre
15 King’s College Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H7

Tuesday to Saturday, 12-5pm
Wednesday, 12 noon-8pm
Sunday and Monday closed

Admission is FREE to all exhibitions.
No advance registration is necessary.
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The Art Museum at the University of Toronto gratefully acknowledges operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.