G101 is proud to present We Live As We Die, curated by Sakinna Gairey in partnership with the Ottawa Black Art Kollective.
Register for the September 23 vernissage on Eventbrite
Curator’s Statement & Land Acknowledgement
Historically, Black communities and their members have had an intimate and proximate relationship with the end of life and arrival of death. Through burial practices, rituals, tributes, and art we grieve and celebrate our dead with a holistic understanding of what life and death signify.
We Live As We Die seeks to open up the concept of grief as an entity considerate of race and culture. This exhibit looks to gently explore the complex truths of grief for and with Black people. How our expressions of grief reflect how we experience life and death. How we use that moment to reclaim their personhood. How we make space to memorialize and celebrate what has to be remembered as more than an existing and ending, and instead, as the completion of a full and complicated journey.
Gallery 101 honours and respects the original people of the territory we currently occupy: unceded and unsurrendered Anishnaabe-Aki who have been living and working on this land since time immemorial. This land is Indigenous land and will be respected as such. We invite everyone in this event to reflect on what this means to them and their intersecting identities in order to further their understandings of how colonialism continues to affect us all.
For Black people, this especially involves taking into account how our presence as folks who did not arrive* here in the same way as white people - and instead were most likely forced here (directly or indirectly) by factors of white supremacy - still perpetuates harm against Indigenous people that we are responsible for.
This also involves acknowledging the often overlooked presence of Black Indigenous people who have to deal with both anti-Black racism and colonialism in very different ways than others.
*The term for Black folks who arrived on Turtle Island, more specifically birthed from Black Scotians, is arrivant: "A person who is of African descent or Black individual who arrived on Turtle Island (the Americas) by force, coercion, or through settler colonialism of their own lands.
The term is used primarily to describe those affected and displaced on Indigenous land historically through the West African Slave trade. The term also includes contemporary Black migration caused from the settler colonialism that forces individuals to leave their own homes. While similar, this differs from refugee status, given the approach in which black folks were brought to this land."
Credit: Jade Byard Peek, Black Like Me 613, Native Land