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New Voices is ACWR’s new 6 x 6 foot billboard located on the external wall of ArtSpeak gallery, right on the alleyway. The billboard, which features interchangeable letters, will be a place for language-based exhibitions and for concrete and experimental poetry installations. The initial focus of this program is to provide an outlet for underrepresented and marginalized voices in our community, including new generation artists, new immigrant artists, artists of colour, indigenous artists, artists with disabilities, francophone artists, and 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Visit the New Voices Webpage HERE
Meet the Artist: Anna Daliza
Anna Daliza, writer, educator and multidisciplinary artist, was born in Southwestern Ontario to an Anglo-Canadian father and Lebanese mother. In Anna’s latest work, Where Grape Leaves Grow, she combines historical non-fiction and her maternal family’s origin story, tracing her religious minority, Maronite Catholics, from their ancestry in Mount Lebanon to their eventual exodus from the Middle-East, finally connecting to her own life and upbringing in Canada. Anna is a transgender woman who also works as a model and editorial creative director. Though embracing her identity has at times meant defying her cultural upbringing, her work celebrates the beauty and joy of their unconventional marriage
Please accept Artist Bio as a self-criticism as much as it is a criticism of the identity politics of contemporary arts culture.
When I apply for arts funding or write a proposal for an exhibition, in the small space I’m given to bare my soul—usually a text box with a character limit—I am faced with a choice: How much space do I apportion to my art and how much do I devote to my identity?
Now with funding bodies and exhibition spaces creating unique opportunities for underrepresented and marginalized voices, artists like myself are given priority. But it’s also artists like myself who give in return social cachet to those same financiers. The institutions know, as well as we, that their support of marginalized artists protects them from the scrutiny to which they are typically susceptible. That scrutiny being, they are usually white, capitalist institutions funding the work of white, rich artists.
The more an artist’s work can distract from the institutions’ support history, the more they are spotlighted. As a result, marginalized artists have begun, though perhaps somewhat unconsciously or as means of survival, to focus the subject of their work on their identity. For example, as a writer who is also Lebanese and Transgender, in the last two years I have not once considered the possibility of writing a story completely separate from either of those
I admit that I have exploited my own identities for the financial support of capitalist institutions.
While identity is certainly relevant to some artists’ work, and is often central to my own writing, it does not tell the full story. In most cases, to lead with my identity is the most hollow introduction I could give myself. So, furthermore I would like to reintroduce myself as a writer who is trying to find the words to describe myself and my work
November 15, 2021 - December 15, 2021
1942 Wyandotte Street East
Windsor, ON N8Y 1E4 Canada