Together: Communities of Healing
February 24 - March 12, 2020
Last year, the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) held its first art show in March of 2019, entitled Healing Fires. The exhibition was a reflection of the ability of fire to cleanse and renew, to spark creation, and to fuel and shape journeys of healing. When considering the theme for this year, we hoped to form a continuity between these exhibitions, and to create a generative space for the future. Together: Communities of Healing marks a step toward communities that nurture, care, and empowerment.
In the past year, we’ve seen the UBC community rally together to decry the closed doors decision to cut SASC support services. We are witnessing Policy 131 under review for the first time since 2017. What does it mean to emerge from fire? Transformed, regenerated, where do we go from the moment of consciousness? When we imagine our future, what do we see
We recognize that the process of healing will not be linear or straightforward, whether it be an individual’s personal journey or our struggle for collective justice. Through this exhibition, the SASC wishes to capture the idea that transformative processes are often made possible by the care a community can provide. The works on display in this year’s exhibit reflect different modes and processes of healing, and different points of resonance with the communities who support us.
The act of creation is a way to channel and translate our trauma, and can play a crucial role in our healing paths. Regardless of the medium it takes on, art can visualize and articulate processes like reclamation, resurgence, and growth, expanding our imagination of what life together can be like. When our art is witnessed, we form threads of connection.
Turning to one another, we can have generative conversations, we can reclaim that which has been appropriated from us, and we can produce transformative action. We hope the exhibition will provide a space to bring artists, activists, survivors and allies Together—and we hope that, by entering this space and engaging with the work on display, we empower each other towards a collective vision of our future.
The closing reception on March 12 will feature a collaborative art project led by Shae Jido—an artist, activist, student of life, love, and leaning into leadership through service in their communities. 👩🏽🌾🐳💗🎶🌪✨⚡️🧚🏽♀️ As healing work is non-linear with unique resonances within each of us, we invite you to come share in a collective expression of healing as we each leave an imprint onto the communal art canvas Shae has organized.
We believe that it’s important to remember the interconnectivity of various forms of justice and believe in working to dismantle all forms of oppression. As such, the Hatch Art Gallery and the Sexual Assault Support Centre gratefully and respectfully acknowledge that this exhibition takes place on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). As the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) land we stand on is unceded—meaning that the land was not surrendered, but was forcibly taken—it is evident that colonial practices are intrinsically tied to consent and the lack thereof.
Additionally, as an organization which operates on the unceded, traditional, ancestral, and occupied lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Halkomelem) speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nation, we, the SASC, stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people and the Unist’ot’en and Gidmit’en camps.
For time immemorial, the We’suwet’en people have lived on and protected their land, waters and climate. We affirm that as the first peoples, they hold full and lawful governance over their unceded land, and that their clan governance system and hereditary chiefs are sovereign and have the unfettered right to self-determine.
For more information on how you can support the We’suwet’en people, visit http://unistoten.camp/supportertoolkit2020/
Wish Upon a Star Blanket Mural by Jeska Slater
Pictured: Eudaimonia by Laura Bucci (2018)
ogether: Communities of Healing features work by various artists in collaboration, brought together by Shane Sable. These cardboard headstones were activated on September 12, 2019 during a ceremony-centred die-in at Vancouver City Hall to highlight the effect of the opioid crisis on Indigenous communities. Attendees laid amongst the cardboard headstones and covered themselves with sheets to mark a moment of silence for those we have lost. This work was previously displayed in December 2019 at SUM Gallery as part of the exhibition “Daxgyet Hanak: Strong Woman,” presented by We Have a Voice: Indigenous Women Who Do Sex Work Speak Out—a project of Sex Workers United Against Violence.
Pictured: Dreaming of Liberation, Anonymous.
Pictured L-R: Raised Hands, various artists brought together by Shane Stable, 2018. Wish Upon a Star Blanket Mural, by Jeska Slater.