For the closing of the group show Disputed Bodies at Trinity Square Video, comedian Moe Ismail and I decided to collaborate on hosting an Egyptian azuma (feast). We prepared a traditional Egyptian meal that included molokahia, koshari and basbousa and discussed some of the nuances and histories that have come to shape our experience and understanding of contemporary Egypt through food.
the stories we tell each other
Workshop led by Hiba Abdallah Tuesday, October 30
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
1 - 3 pm
I lead a seminar through the University of Toronto’s English Department that explores some of Scarborough’s narratives, myths and secrets. Students were asked to bring a piece of writing to contribute to a public reading of Scarborough-inspired texts, that explored the identity of place, the motifs of memory, storytelling and fiction. The workshop concluded with a writing exercise where students contributed an open letter to the project, Dear Scarborough.
October 13 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art
Niki Landau, both a theatre artist and alternative dispute resolution practitioner, spent the day facilitating conversations around disagreement through a series of exercises that helped build useful skills such as self-awareness, listening, compassion, and mutual understanding as a part of Justin and I’s exhibition Rehearing Disagreement.
During the workshop, we learned the different types of disagreement, how to disagree in more useful ways, and what style of arguing each one of our personalities coincided with.
Hiba Abdallah and Justin Langlois’s Rehearsing Disagreement is the first project in MOCA’s Art in Use series on MOCA’s Floor 4. The project is comprised of four participatory works that explore disagreement and conflict through the lens of art and within the structure of the museum. Inviting visitors to share their lived experiences, the artists present the argument that co-existing in difference is a generative part of our civic responsibility.
As an extension to their project, a weekend program features participatory activities, talks, and workshops that frame the question: how does disagreement play a useful role in our everyday? By identifying the positive effects of differences, participants can develop the skill of agreeing to disagree.
Niki Landau is a mediator, actor, playwright, and theatre producer. She teaches theatre arts at York University and Seneca College, and is a Mediation and Communication Skills trainer who has worked with many individuals, families and organizations to help improve skills, relationships and group dynamics. She cofounded Theatre PANIK in 2005 and has taken part in the grassroots peacemaking initiative The Compassionate Listening Project.
Saturday, Oct. 13 11am-1pm
Sunday, Oct. 14 11am-1pm
Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto
Justin and I spent our weekend reading the newspaper with the public. Visitors of the museum sat with us and scrolled through current newspaper articles and highlighting headlines, quotes, and arguments they disagree with. The exercise emphasized how points of disagreement with representations of the world around us can be a catalyst for meaningful conversations.
Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.
I spent my weekend in Scarborough with Alyssa Bistonath, Sofia Habib, Timothy Hunter, Noor Khan, Pamila Matharu, Joy Smith, Etta Snipe, Helen Su, Zahra Tootonsa, Trevor Twells, Islin Waite, Deshaun Whyte, Alyssa Fearon, Jenn Goodwin exploring. We visited a bunch of sites — some common, some less common and some completely hidden. Here are some photos from our explorations:
CLOSING CEREMONY: PUBLIC STUDIO
September 30, 2017
The Grange Park, Toronto, ON
In unison we declare that nature be afforded the same rights as people. We demand the end to extraction and colonial destruction, to war and displacement driven by economic greed. We demand this day that the earth be recentered together with people, we demand that the Canadian government include the Rights of Nature into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We say this, we chant this, and we demand our future together. The revolution is coming.
I got to join artist Ange Loft to lead a Public Studio performance of choral voices declaring the Rights of Nature. Creative Time Summit attendees participated.
The closing ceremony included with traditional Haida song and prayer led by Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, a vocalist and well-known lawyer representing the Haida Nation in the area of aboriginal-environmental law.