CAFKA.21: June Public Programs


Image: Laura Watson (2021)

CAFKA is pleased to announce June Public Programs supporting the CAFKA.21 Biennial: Everything Not Saved Will be Lost

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, CAFKA is pleased to announce the biennial, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. Installations and themes explored throughout the biennial are activated by a robust series of events and public programs including commissioned performances, screenings and artist talks as well as through the CAFKA Summer Reading Series – White Elephant Edition beginning June 8th. CAFKA’s program committee has designed a series of book clubs, discussion groups, and public lectures that seek to interrogate racism and white supremacy, drive community dialogue on issues of social justice, and facilitate working strategies to actively dismantle ongoing systems of oppression. CAFKA invites active participation in these free programs of learning and unlearning.

Please join us for our upcoming June public programs:


Image courtesy of Aaron T. Francis. Photo by Roy Francis (1969).

CAFKA Summer Reading Series, White Elephant Edition Discussion Group: Angela Pelster-Wiebe, White Artists Need to Start Addressing White Supremacy in Their Work.
Tuesday, June 8 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm EDT
Facilitated by Mélika Hashemi, an artist-researcher based in Kitchener, Ontario.

This short text will be read collectively, and out-loud for those who volunteer. Participants do not have to read the text in advance. PDF articles and chapters will be circulated in advance of the session via email post-registration.

Aaron Francis Artist Talk in Conversation with Ivan Jurakic
Thursday, June 10 – 7:00 pm EDT
Presented in partnership with University of Waterloo Art Gallery

Join Aaron Francis, founder and curator of Vintage Black Canada and University of Waterloo Art Gallery Director, Ivan Jurakic for an artist talk and conversation surrounding Francis’ recent photographic installation Tamarack Drive and the subject of Black portraiture as well as the role art can play in (in)forming transnational identity.

Artist talk with Catherine Mellinger and Adam Harendorf: Post-Part and Perinatal Mental Health
Thursday, June 17 – 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT
Presented in partnership with Longernin Collective

CAFKA and the City of Kitchener, Arts and Creative Industries, invite you to join us in conversation with lead artist Catherine Mellinger and collaborator Adam Harendorf as they discuss Post-Part, an inter-arts exhibition in multiple spaces across downtown Kitchener.

Sponsored by Waterloo Region Museums and City of Kitchener.

Khadija Baker, Performing Community Garden hybrid participatory performance
Saturday, June 19 – 11:00 – 12:00 am EDT
Please visit the artist page for more information.

Note: Preference given to Kitchener-Waterloo Residents for this in person hybrid performative experience with limited timed entry in order to facilitate public health regulations. Limited additional spots available for out-of-town virtual participation. Email to register.

CAFKA Summer Reading Series, White Elephant Edition Book Club: Aruna D’Souza, Whitewalling: Art Race and Protest in 3 Acts
Tuesday, June 22 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm EDT
Facilitated by writer and editor Jayne Wilkinson, former editor-in-chief at Canadian Art.

New York-based author Aruna D’Souza takes up three controversial case studies of artworks and exhibitions in New York, articulating how white supremacy is ingrained into the structure of museums and the wider art world. Please visit the website for additional information.


Jennifer Packer, Say Her Name (2017). Oil on canvas. 121.9 x 101.6 cm 48 x 40 inches. Private Collection. Courtesy the Artist, Corvi-Mora, London and Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York Photo: Matt Grubb

BIG IDEAS in Art and Culture Lecture Series
Aruna D’Souza: An Art of Opacity
Thursday, June 24 – 7:00 – 8:30 pm EDT
Presented in partnership with Musagetes

Informed by Édouard Glissant’s notion of “the right of opacity” for the colonial subject—a right stripped by the colonizer, who surveils every aspect of that subject’s experience, and denies the existence of what he cannot see—a number of artists, including Jennifer Packer, Simone Leigh, Dawoud Bey, and Rose-Janan Uddoh have explored the power of withdrawing from view as a central aspect in their work.

Aruna D’Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her work appears regularly in, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and is a contributor to The New York Times. Her writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal,, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her most recent book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts (Badlands Unlimited), was named one of the best art books of 2018 by the New York Times. She is editing a forthcoming volume for Thames and Hudson, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader. She is also editor of Lorraine O’Grady’s Writing in Space 1973-2018 (Duke University Press, 2020), and is co-curator of the retrospective of O’Grady’s work, Both/And, which opened in March 2021 at the Brooklyn Museum

About CAFKA.21 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area (CAFKA) is pleased to announce the CAFKA.21 biennial, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. In line with ever evolving public health directives, the biennial will take place as a series of activations throughout the course of the summer, bringing contemporary art to primarily outdoor public spaces across Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. CAFKA.21’s theme, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, invites us to reflect on our everyday practices, our values, and our hopes. It also asks us to think about the things that could and perhaps should be left behind. Please consult individual artist and program pages on the CAFKA.21 website for additional information and accurate dates as programming necessarily shifts in line with public health regulations.

For biweekly updates on programming throughout the course of the biennial, consider subscribing to our newsletter.

CAFKA is a non-profit, artist-run organization that has been bringing contemporary art from around the world to the public spaces of Waterloo Region since 2001.

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