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At The Gallery / Duppy Conquerors by Ruby Smith Díaz + Guilford Park Secondary

September 27, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - November 10, 2022 @ 5:00 pm PDT

September 27 – November 10, Massy Arts will host, Duppy Conquerors: Black Histories + Futures in Canada, a new window exhibition organized by lead artist and educator Ruby Smith Díaz.

Duppy Conquerors presents light boxes made by grade eight co-op placement students at Guilford Park Secondary through artistic mentorship by Díaz at the project Still Here, an eight session arts-based workshop series exploring the histories, erasure, and resistance of Black Communities living in Canada.

The Massy Arts Gallery is located at 23 East Pender Street in Chinatown, Vancouver.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 5pm.
Entrance is free, and masks are mandatory.

To contact the gallery, send an email to: info@massyarts.com.

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The Show

Before you is the glow of multiple universes. Within each universe, are two worlds. One world shows you, the viewer, the possibilities for a future aligned with self-determination, dignity, and joy for all living beings. The other, is what youth of this present moment feel that you need to know most urgently about Black Histories in Canada. What do you see when you peer inside each light box? Do you see a part of yourself? Do you notice discomfort? Do you feel affirmed? Alarmed? Notice the emotions, but don’t sit in them forever. Let them move you to action, as Duppy Conquerors, towards a new world.

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Still Here is an eight session arts-based workshop series exploring the histories, erasure, and resistance of Black Communities living in Canada. Throughout the series, youth explore themes of identity, displacement, and colonization, while gaining a deeper understanding of the provincial and federal policies that continue have an impact on Black communities today.

Each session is enriched with arts-based activities to enrich for every kind of learner in the classroom. The series culminates in the creation of a Two Worlds Light Box that invites students to share what they think Canadians need to know most urgently about Black histories in Canada, with Ruby Smith Díaz’s guidance and support as both an artist and teacher.

In Jamaican Patois, the word ‘duppy’ refers to a frightening ghost or spirit. The term ‘duppy conqueror’ refers to someone fiercely courageous who has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The histories of Black communities living in so-called Canada, are just that- stories of overcoming systemic obstacles with courage, sacrifice, determination, and ingenuity- even when all the cards are stacked against them.

All the pieces in this installation were created by the grade eight co-op placement students at Guilford Park Secondary as a part of the Still Here: Black Histories + Futures in Canada workshop series.

For more information on the series, please visit the project’s official page.

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The Artist

Ruby Smith Díaz (she/her/hers) was born to Chilean and Jamaican parents in Edmonton – amiskwaciy and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education with distinction. Since graduating, she has found her passion working as a facilitator and multi- disciplinary artist.

Ruby’s experiences of marginalization as a youth have inspired her to dedicated her work to exploring issues of identity, decolonization and joy. She is invested in helping individuals develop the sense of self-worth and integrity that will make them agents and animators of change in the world, according to their most passionate, fiery and generationally-poignant imaginings.

Ruby’s writing appears in Harsha Walia’s book, Undoing Border Imperialism, and in Turn this World Inside Out by Nora Samaran. She is the director and producer of the film After Africville, which was recently featured at the MSVU Gallery in Halifax and the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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September 27, 2022 @ 12:00 pm PDT
November 10, 2022 @ 5:00 pm PDT