February 04, 2023

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SPEAKER SERIES INVITES NEWCOMER ARTISTS TO LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS HISTORY, CULTURE & MORE

SPEAKER SERIES INVITES NEWCOMER ARTISTS TO LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS HISTORY, CULTURE & MORE

Toronto, ON — On May 7, ArtworxTO Hub West at Cloverdale Common will host In My Element: TERO – EARTH, an event for newcomer artists and the community to learn more about Indigenous history and culture. In-person talks by Maria Montejo and Julián Carvajal, with additional speakers via Zoom. Participants may attend in-person or online.

In My Element is a series of gatherings for refugee / newcomer / immigrant artists and the local community to learn more about Indigenous history, culture and ancestral knowledge, and to celebrate Indigenous contributions to humanity. TERO EARTH is the second event in the series, which is inspired by the elements, curated and led by artist Julián Carvajal.

Saturday, May 7, 1 3pm
Cloverdale Common Cultural Hub at Cloverdale Mall 250 The East Mall, Toronto, ON M9B 3Y83 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/272356865717

About Julián Carvajal

In 2016, I had the opportunity to engage in a project involving Indigenous peoples. It was the first time I was leading a project that gave people from different walks of life the opportunity to learn the beautiful stories of creation, and other teachings, that many non-Indigenous people have not been able to hear because of the lack of connection with First Nations.

I was born and raised in Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia; Land of the Muiscas, Quimbayas, Taironas, Calimas, Tolimas and many other Indigenous Nations. Working with Indigenous peoples has given me the opportunity to decolonize and Indignize myself as a mestizo. María Montejo, one of the Indigenous mentors I have engaged with, reminded me that in order to understand others we have to understand who we are.

This has been the curatorial focus of the series, which is organized into three different engagements, inspired by the elements: Akvo, Tero and Vento & Fajro. In the Western model we prioritize goals and objectives and forget that not all people follow these conceptions. Indigenous peoples are eco-centric and perceive time, problems and solutions differently. The use of Esperanto in the event’s title is related to the need to be connected through a common language, something that unites everyone.

The series of events I have curated are the result of the understanding of the main artistic statement of the exhibition HOME(Land) curated by my colleague, Claudia Arana. In My Element: Tero gives participants an opportunity to learn about Turtle Island, and to understand who they are and what role they can play in supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. I hope you can join us to start building meaningful relationships between ourselves and Indigenous community members.

Julián Carvajal

About HOME(LAND)

HOME(LAND) is a multimedia exhibition examining how concepts of land intersect and dialogue with the fluid, and shifting characteristics of identity, belonging, and home across and between regions, nations, races and cultures. In a series of three exhibitions, HOME(LAND) investigates the complex issues surrounding contemporary cultural discourses on global migration, site, and identity. Artists from diverse backgrounds whose practice and work are layered with unique interracial complexities, examine questions on concepts such as kinship, ancestry, memory, and racialization. Curated by Claudia Arana.

Exhibition site: https://homelandexhibition.com/

About ArtworxTO

HOME(LAND) is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, 2021–2022 a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it. Working closely with artists and Toronto’s arts institutions, the City of Toronto is delivering major public art projects and commissions, citywide, from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Supporting local artists and new artworks that reflect Toronto’s diversity, ArtworxTO is creating more opportunities for Torontonians to engage with art in their everyday lives. This year, explore your city and discover creativity and community–everywhere. Visit artworxTO.ca for full details.

ArtworxTO Hubs are spaces for artistic and community activity led by the next generation of curators, collectives and artists. Through exhibitions, activations, workshops and experiences, the hubs will amplify local artistic identities, recognize their global vibrancy, and empower creative communities. Year-long hubs are located at Downsview Park, Scarborough Town Centre, Cloverdale Common and Union Station.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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