The driving force of Earthseeds: Space of the Living
Water is a natural healer, it flows through each of us and purifies. It is a force of resistance that can slow things down. Water can also act as a connector, linking communities together through vast, boundless paths that ebb and flow.
A part of what BSAM Canada wishes to do with the Toronto Waterfront Artist Residency is to understand and interrogate who has access to the Toronto waterfront and conceive it as a space where everyone feels connected to the surrounding area and the water. The waterfront is both a literal and figurative bridge that extends threads through locales and neighbourhoods of people, tying them together.
Using the Toronto waterfront as a catalyst, the Earthseeds project wishes to ruminate on what ties us together by prompting discussions on access, and by crafting art fuelled by a desire to envision alternative possibilities to relate to our environment, our communities, our future, and ourselves.
This year broadly illuminated trauma woven into our cultural, social and historical institutions. Trauma that is buried deep within the soil of our neighbourhoods, creating fractures in communities across the Greater Toronto Area, and Canada at large. These fractures manifested in the form of protests over racism targeting Black and Indigenous peoples, economic instability and employment precarity caused by the pandemic (felt significantly by those who are BIPOC, lower income, and/or elderly), and further discussions on the access to health and wellness initiatives.
An important motive of the Earthseeds project is to activate spaces along the Toronto Waterfront to create holistic approaches to combat things that cause anxiety and stress, but also work towards addressing the barriers that prevent us from fully healing. We believe in spreading buds in the soil, creating roots that will stretch to revitalize sites of trauma
We understands creation, and creative processes, as a way to encourage meditative spaces for those who are reliving trauma amid the pandemic.
From a community standpoint, the Earthseeds Project aims to disrupt the overflow of media stimuli that a person encounters throughout their daily life. The COVID-19 pandemic placed significant stress on the need to be ‘online’ or digitally connected in order to participate in society. It is important that within the online sphere, we also carve out spaces for us to revitalize our mental wellbeing. A dedication to mental wellness informs all of the work that drives Earthseeds project, along with an intent to encourage speculative imagining in all those who encounter the art pieces.
Launch of Earthseeds: Space of the Living
The launch event of Earthseeds: Space of the Living occurred on December 10, 2020. This event featured performances by Toronto Trans activist and artist Levyi-Alexander Love, and hip-hop artist Zakisha Brown.
The panel discussion will included visionaries such as award-winning artist, curator and writer Anique Jordan, Black Indigenous community educator and activist Andréa Williams, and Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson, scholar and founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network.