During 2011/12, Simon Coleman and I worked together to create the conference “Re-placing the City: Sacralizing Migrant Materialities” (http://www.humanities.utoronto.ca/event) and on an art exhibition (http://www.youtube.com/jupiterfab). The final product of this work was an installation made of paintings and sounds.
In 2012, we started a new project. We wanted to continue combining art and ethnography. Moreover, we decided to extend our work by organizing art workshops in collaboration with 3 to 4 social organizations that work with children and young adults in the GTA. We focused on the importance of roots and community identity in the gorwth of Canadians’ citizens.
We involved children and families in the production of the project and we opened it up to kids from any cultural background. In fact, we did not want to include only children of recent migrants, but all members of a given class.
Each workshop lasted approximately 12 to 20 hours and were divided in four parts:
- a phase of discussions about migration, ethnic and religious identity as well as the preparation of questions to be used during the interviews;
- the interviews in itself, took by students to their relatives and the recollection of images of the family now and in the past;
- the listening in class of the material collected and discussion relating to it;
- the creation by kids and me of an artwork (sound installation and mural) about what they learnt from the workshop.
The experiences gained in the project was presented in 2014 during a conference held at the University of Toronto.
I finally created a mural as the closing of the project portraying one of the students who worked in the project.