Installed at the Aga Khan Museum in July 2022 as part of their Rhythms of Canada festival, Under the Tent is a multimedia storytelling project exploring (non)belonging under the policy of Canadian multiculturalism. Led by the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Anna Triandafyllidou, and award-winning filmmaker Cyrus Sundar Singh, I had the pleasure of presenting multidisciplinary works from photography and film to experimental and performing arts.
Immigration is insane, you feel like you’re flying in the sky. – Parnia Shahab
Canadian policy initiatives of multiculturalism have brought enthusiasm as well as disappointment. On the one hand, we have some of the most diverse metropolises in the world – in Toronto, for instance, almost half of the population is comprised of immigrants according to 2021 figures. On the other hand, we continue to witness dichotomies of equality and inequality, community and exclusion, especially where Indigenous reconciliation and decolonization remain unresolved.
Through a competitive process, a select group of graduate students from universities across Canada received mentorship and training support to explore their personal experiences with race and diversity in the production of a creative work using a medium of their choice. They were asked to express criticisms and also new thinking on the future possibilities of multiculturalism.
In addition to presenting at the Aga Khan Museum, I was grateful for the opportunity to work with this talented group of worldly artists (not all of whom are pictured above) as a mentor/producer for Under the Tent. Art is unpredictable but/and I’m happy to have played a part! Check out the complete list of works via the installation website or see some of my favourite pieces below:
🇺🇾 Honey Grass – Fiorella Rabuffetti
🇭🇹 Weaving Generations – Anne-Audrey Remarais
🇯🇲 Memoirs to Little Jamaica – Chelsea Nyomi
🇪🇬 One Night at the Market – Noha Abdelmoaty
🇵🇸 Don’t worry, you are in Canada – Hiba El Miari
🇦🇲/🇮🇷 When Silence Fell – Katrin Faridani
🏳️ What’s in a name – Liz Poliakova
🇨🇳 Finding Belonging – Patty Chan
Photo: Vinsia Maharajah