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Infrastructures of Dissent

May 12, 2023 - July 29, 2023

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  • Hannia Cheng Futures of Space
  • Rasan

Join us for Infrastructures of Dissent, an exhibition curated by Mitra Fakhrashrafi and Tara Bursey

Featuring the work of artists Tings Chak, Hannia Cheng, Lynn Hutchinson Lee and Ingrid Mayrhofer, Rana Nazzal Hamadeh and Anthony Youssef with Alan Sears.

Presented as part of the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts.

Opening Reception with Curator's Remarks:  Friday, May 12, 2023, 6:30 - 8:30 pm 

In 1945, Ford auto workers in Windsor went on a 99-day strike and won. Leading up to this historic win, workers and their families gathered in the nearby restaurants and cultural centres of Drouillard Road to learn, to dance, and to act. In his writing on the infrastructure of dissent, sociologist Alan Sears suggests it is these forged networks of solidarity and celebration that nurtured the militancy of the strikers. 

Infrastructures of Dissent pays tribute to the parks, restaurants, kitchen tables, shisha lounges and cafés, clubs, sanctuaries and union halls that have seeded both the formal organizing efforts and the informal knowledge exchanges that lead to collective action. Across geographies and against all odds, we ask: what ways can we rebuild infrastructures of dissent and foster community power?

View Infrastructures of Dissent‘s accompanying booklet, Histories Erosions and Futures, and audio recording with an interview of Alan Sears by Anthony Youssef (coming soon).

View the interpretive Guide for All Ages created to accompany Infrastructures of Dissent.

TINGS CHAK 翟庭君 is an internationalist activist and artist, trained in architecture. After emerging from migrant justice movements in Toronto, Canada, she has been working with diverse working class movements across the Global South. She is currently based between São Paulo and Shanghai, contributing to popular political education projects and crafting designs towards a socialist future. She leads the Art Department of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Her current research focuses on the art of national liberation struggles, and the horizons that give for the movements of today.

HANNIA CHENG is a multidisciplinary artist, space maker, and host/MC born and raised in Tkaronto/Toronto. At the intersection of relationships and reciprocity, their practice focuses on art as the common ground in which we build capacity to make stuff up and make shit happen. Hannia is curious about ways of resilience and the speculative-futures that exist in the greater unknown of our daily lives. They’ve collaborated with Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Pride, Toronto Biennial, Nuit Blanche Scarborough, Toronto Fringe Festival, Manifesto Festival, Bricks & Glitter Festival and more. Hannia is the Co-Founder of Tea Base, a curious community arts space and collective based out of Chinatown Centre. They currently organize with Friends of Chinatown Toronto (FOCT), a grassroots group working to build community power and resist displacement in Chinatown.

INGRID MAYRHOFER is a visual artist, curator, art educator and community arts practitioner. Born and raised in Austria, she has exhibited in Canada, Austria, Korea, Japan, Serbia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba and Chile. In addition to her double major media of printmaking and photography (BFA, MA, York University), Mayrhofer works with installation, site-specific intervention and video. She is currently experimenting with printmaking transfers on clay. Recent presentations of her work include group exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Windsor, A Space (Toronto, ON), Steam Centre (Saint Thomas, ON), a public space intervention at the corner of James and Wilson in Hamilton, and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery (Waterloo, ON), and solo exhibitions at the Carnegie Gallery (Dundas, ON), the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

LYNN HUTCHINSON LEE is a multidisciplinary artist/writer living in Toronto. She is currently co-editing the anthology Through the Portal: Stories From a Hopeful Dystopia for Exile Editions. Selected exhibitions include Musaj te Dzav; metanoia; Shelter, Provisional (Awaiting Permanent Structure) with Red Tree; and Five Songs for Daddy, a sound installation at Art Gallery of York University’s Audio Out. Five Songs for Daddy was a component of chirikli’s sound installation Canada Without Shadows at Call the Witness, Second Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale.

RANA NAZZAL HAMADEH is a Palestinian-Canadian artist. Her photography, film, and installation works look at issues related to time, space, land, and movement, offering interventions rooted in a decolonial framework. Her practice is deeply informed by the knowledge emerging from grassroots movements for justice, both in occupied Palestine and across Turtle Island. Rana holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Toronto Metropolitan University and is based between occupied Ramallah and Ottawa on unceded Anishinaabe territory. She is currently conducting research on Palestinian food practices during the Intifadas and working remotely with a prisoner justice group in Palestine.

ANTHONY YOUSSEF is a Lebanese Canadian art-based researcher whose practice focuses on the intersection of politics and material culture with a focus on architecture. His most recent work addressed the Holiday Inn Beirut's socio-political narrative and culminated in an exhibition on display at ArtSpeak Gallery in Windsor, ON. Anthony was previously awarded the curator-in-residence position with the Arts Council Windsor and Region. During his residency, he developed an exhibition and a critical essay exploring the automotive industry, labour and industrial employment. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Toronto Metropolitan University (previously Ryerson University) and a Master of Architecture from Carleton University. 

Infrastructures of Dissent takes inspiration, and its name from the writing of ALAN SEARS, a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Toronto Metropolitan University. Sears is a long-time activist, and this is reflected in his research in the areas of sexuality, social movements and education. His books include The Next New Left: A History of the Future (Fernwood); The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First Century (co-authored with James Cairns - University of Toronto Press); and Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State (Garamond).

Join us for a series of ancillary programs presented in support of Infrastructures of Dissent.

Friday, May 12, 2023 - Saturday, August 5th  |  People, Power & the Park Exhibition presented in partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University, Office of Social Innovation. On view in WAHC’s Community Gallery.

Saturday May 13, 2023, 1 - 4 pm  |  Second Saturday Family Workshop, Tiny Gore Park, with Annie Webber  

Saturday, July 8, 2023, 1 - 4 pm  |  Tatreez Circle: Gathering around Palestinian embroidery, dissent, and labour with Razan Samara

WAHC wishes to acknowledge the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario, CUPE National, the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts and OSSTF for their support of our exhibitions and ancillary programs.

For more information, please contact Sylvia Nickerson, Programming and Exhibitions Specialist, at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or sylvia@wahc-museum.ca

51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 1B5       905.522.3003       Public Hours: Click here