"JE SUIS D’ICI / I AM FROM HERE"

AGATHE LEROY - AÏDA VOSOUGHI - ANDREA WILKIN - AYSHA WHITE - BAHAR TAHERI - DANA EL MASRI - DIYAR MAYIL - IVAN ARLAUD - JEAN-PIERRE MOT - JESSICA WEE - JOLIZ DELA PEÑA - MALIKA VERMA - NOÉMIE WEINSTEIN - TYRA MARIA TRONO - VANIA DJELANI

CURATED BY RAD HOURANI

MAY 8TH TO 28TH 2020

 

OUR CONCEPT OF HOME, THE BASIS OF COMFORT FOR ALL, CAN BE SO EASILY STRIPPED AWAY, THAT IT’S FRIGHTENING. JUST ONE EXCHANGE WITH AN AUTHORITY FIGURE, CAN CAUSE THE HEAVIEST IMPACT ON A PERSON’S SENSE OF BELONGINGNESS. JUST ONE EXCHANGE; ONE WORD.

I WAS RECENTLY DRIVING IN MY HOMETOWN OF MONTRÉAL, WHEN I WAS PULLED OVER BY A POLICEMAN FOR SPEEDING. HAVING BEEN FOLLOWED FOR FIVE MINUTES, I IMMEDIATELY HANDED OVER MY QUEBEC ISSUED DRIVER’S LICENSE TO THE OFFICER, ONCE PULLED OVER.

AS I INFORMED THE OFFICER THAT I WAS NOT AWARE, NOR DID I SEE THE CHANGED SPEED LIMIT SIGN OF THE AREA, HE REPLIED WITHOUT ANY HESITATION THAT “IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THIS HERE”. AS OPPOSED TO HIS PRESUMPTION OF WHERE I HAD COME FROM, HE COULD NOT POSSIBLY FATHOM THAT “HERE”, WAS VERY MUCH HOME.

I HAD BEEN JUDGED, LIKE ONE TOO MANY TIMES BEFORE, AND LIKE ONE TOO MANY PEOPLE, BY THE SKIN I OWN. WHILE GIVING HIM EVERY POSSIBLE REASON TO ASSUME THAT I WAS FROM “HERE”, (I.E. BY SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE, DRIVING WITH A QUEBEC LICENSE PLATE AND OFFERING MY QUEBEC ISSUED DOCUMENT), HE STILL MADE THE CHOICE TO MAKE ME FEEL WEIGHED DOWN AND ALIENATED BY MY RACE. I WAS AND STILL AM A VICTIM OF RACISM.

I PURSUED HIS ABUSE OF POWER IN COURT. WITH A LACK OF SYMPATHY SHOWN, I WAS DENIED AN APOLOGY FOR THERE WAS NO OWNERSHIP OF WHAT HE HAD SPOKEN INTO REALITY. FOR HIS JOB, A ROLE INTENDED FOR THE PROTECTION OF OUR RIGHTS AND FUNDED BY OUR TAXES, WAS DIMINISHED TO A ROLE OF MERE ABUSE. THIS IS A STATEMENT.

WE ARE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD, IN WHICH WE ALL BELONG TO ONE PLANET EARTH. A PLANET EARTH WHERE ETHNICITY, GENDER, RACE OR CULTURE, CAN VERY MUCH DIVIDE US FROM ONE ANOTHER IF WE GIVE IT THE POWER TO DO SO. IT IS THEREFORE OUR RESPONSIBILITY, AS A SOCIETY, TO STOP ASSIGNING SUCH LABELS AIDING IN THE CULTURE OF DIVISION. THROUGH AWARENESS AND CONVERSATION, WE CAN MAKE POSSIBLE A WORLD IN WHICH WE ALL LIVE A MORE EQUAL, JUST AND HUMANE LIFE.

RAD HOURANI

 

WE ASKED PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO SHARE WITH US THEIR STORY OF A TIME IN WHICH THEY FELT THAT THEIR BELONGINGNESS, HOME, CITIZENSHIP AND IDENTITY WERE QUESTIONED, AND WHERE THEY FELT ALIENATED AND OTHERED.

THIS EXHIBITION IS A PERSPECTIVE ON THEIR STORIES AND EXPERIENCES.