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Unbound: Stories from Behind the Dust
Samah Ali & Aleia Robinson-Ada, Elizabeth Farinango, Mashal Khan, Soko Negash, Aniqa Rahman, Shazlin Rahman

An exhibition by This is Worldtown
Presented by Museums of Mississauga

October 23–November 7, 2018
Opening reception: October 23, 5–7pm
Mississauga Civic Centre

In digital spaces and beyond, women of colour are taking charge of creating new representations and documenting personal histories that resonate across diasporic experiences. Unbound: Stories from Behind the Dust showcases the changing ways these narratives are revealed from the lenses of women of colour. This project provides a meaningful take on how racialized people are portrayed in our culture. What does it mean to visualize lived experiences? How are we learning from the past and creating for the future?

On an institutional level, the lack of representation from Black, Indigenous, and people of colour feeds into narratives about “communities in crisis.” The worst forms of oppression, criminalization, and hyper-surveillance of Black and Brown bodies manifest in the ways that media represents and interprets entire groups of people -- deeming them invisible and voiceless in the process.

In response to this manufactured erasure, we see an abundance of expression documenting a multiplicity of experiences across many communities. We also see women of colour taking the lead in creating groundbreaking art and storytelling that defies conventions. The Behind the Dust series follows in the footsteps of Black, Indigenous, women of colour arts and media collectives that have lifted up communities and upended stereotypical perspectives. Similarly, Behind the Dust is a portal into a world that is curated and created by women of colour, showing us the possibilities of imagining realities beyond labels and inflammatory and one-dimensional portrayals.

Over the last 11 months, seven media-makers produced in-depth visual stories that show the complexity of female labour, love, archiving, memory and representation about their community and beyond. These stories make us think about power, beauty, home, place-making and how movement translates across generations. They complicate ideas about love and motherhood, they interrogate the role of women’s labour in keeping culture alive, and they look at the role of memory and traditions of healing. These artworks offer a full recognition of what has came before; the messy, layered present; and a future that is still in the making.

- Sana A. Malik, Founder and Director, This is Worldtown

This is Worldtown is a digital hub featuring the first person expression of women of colour, globally, across storytelling mediums. We are a redemptive, living and breathing platform that brings new perspectives to issues of migration, politics, race and culture. We tell stories behind the crisis, directly from those who are building, making art, sharing their pain and their truth. This is Worldtown: Your voice. Your Terms.

Mississauga Civic Centre
300 City Centre Drive
Mississauga, ON L5B 3C1


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Image: Elizabeth Farinango, Healing Through Remembering, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

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