New Voices Community Arts Residency: Hiba Abdallah
CBC News: New book reflects on Windsor’s Walkerville neighbourhood
“Text-based artist Hiba Abdallah has released an experimental book called Dear Walkverille, It’s Not Always About You. It’s a publication that explores the changes that the historical area has gone through over time, while analyzing the impact the neighbourhood has had on the city as a whole.”
Thank you to everyone who came to Biblioasis bookshop last Saturday Nov. 26 to meet Hiba and hear about the book.
If you didn’t have the opportunity to get a free copy of the book you can download the pdf by clicking on the link below:
Book Release of Dear Walkerville, It's Not Always About You
Book Release of “Dear Walkerville, It’s Not Always About You” at Biblioasis
Join us on Saturday, November 26 from 11am to 12pm as New Voices Community Artist in Residence, Hiba Abdallah, releases “Dear Walkerville, It’s Not Always About You” at Biblioasis Bookshop (1520 Wyandotte St E). The book is a collection of stories and reflections gathered by Hiba during her residency at ACWR.
“This publication is an exploration into what has changed over time, as well as my observations and reflections on what has continued to remained important throughout that change. With the use of speculative fiction, this book puts forward a series of open letters to a personified neighbourhood, with the interference of a voice from the future trying to make contact.” — Hiba Abdallah
There will be free copies available while supplies last!
Connecting Neighbourhoods Panel
Connecting Neighbourhoods Panel Talk
October 1, 2022, 2:00-3:30PM
The city of Windsor, Ontario is culturally and aesthetically defined by its history of resilience and its people. In the drive to cultivate urban progress and commercial growth however, the city has sacrificed venues, organizations, buildings, and entire neighbourhoods, often resulting in the displacement of lower-income and creative-class communities.
Moderated by New Voices Community Artist in Residence Hiba Abdallah, this panel brings together artists and community leaders to share their experiences and ideas around models of resource sharing and support in a city that oftentimes feels siloed from its respective neighbourhoods. We will brainstorm and discuss different models of care-pods and cross-city collaboration to better understand some of the challenges in sustaining creatives in a city like Windsor, ON.
Introducing Hiba Abdallah
ACWR is pleased to announce Hiba Abdallah as our first artist in residence for the NEW VOICES Community Arts Residency.
June 15, 2022 – September 15, 2022
Hiba Abdallah is a text-based artist who frequently works with others. Her practice explores the structural legacies and futures of cities by researching the intersections of hospitality, agitation, and disagreement as productive frameworks for re-imagining public agency. She has created work across media—from public interventions to community projects, gallery exhibitions, and publications.
Her recent exhibitions and public projects include 100 years then and hereafter at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Everything I Wanted to Tell You for Nuit Blanche Scarborough, Rehearsing Disagreement for MOCA Toronto and A List of Antagonisms for the CAFKA Biennial in Kitchener, ON. She currently lives and works in Tkaronto/Toronto as an uninvited guest on the traditional land of the Anishinaabe, the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga’s of the Credit River.
Hiba is currently working in the development of an experimental book that celebrates Walkerville and showcases some of the community’s archives and memories that have been collected throughout her residency.
The complete project description can be read below.
Dear Walkerville, It’s Not (Always) About You (working title)
The city of Windsor, Ontario is culturally and aesthetically defined by its history of resilience and its people. In the drive to cultivate urban progress and commercial growth however, the city has sacrificed venues, organizations, buildings, and entire neighbourhoods, often resulting in the displacement of lower-income and lower-class communities. In the Walkerville neighbourhood, the overall sheen tells a different story. Highly gentrified, increasingly unaffordable and filled with growing businesses, it is a starkly different place to experience when comparing to its Wyandotte East and Ford City neighbours. Driving on Wyandotte through Ford City, then Walkerville and then Wyandotte East, you get the sense that your eyes are deceiving you. How can these neighbourhoods be so close, yet look and feel this different?
Windsor is where I grew up, but I haven’t lived here for over 8 years. Being invited as an artist in residence brought a sense of catharsis that I thought I needed but I was immediately reunited with the challenges I faced when I lived here: the city is still fractured and struggling. When I began my research on Walkerville, I found that so much of my initial searches were riddled with stories of the person for whom the neighbourhood is named after: Hiram Walker (do we really need more statues of white men in our cities?) Overshadowed by this history, it becomes challenging to get at the heart of what this neighbourhood is really about. I changed my tactics and turned to the community. I reached out through my networks to the people I am still connected with in Windsor and found a different story. While some were happy to share positive memories and experiences they have of Walkerville, others were quick to point out the disproportionate focus that is constantly placed on Walkerville while other neighbourhoods struggle to survive.
This revelation piqued my interest. While we often seek to unearth the positive and successful characteristics of a place, we tend to overlook the challenges and complexities that exist when one neighbourhood’s success becomes the depleting disadvantage of another. Should Walkerville be accountable for supporting its neighbours? I am beginning to explore this question more deeply as a central point of inquiry while I work through this residency.
Dear Walkerville, It’s Not (Always) About You is a book project I am putting forth that will look at Walkerville within the scope of the larger Windsor ethos. I want to explore the question of what civic responsibility communities owe each other, if any, at the micro level. It will be an experimental book that celebrates Walkerville and showcases some of the community’s archives and memories that I have collected throughout the residency. The book will aim to pose questions rooted in the in the principal idea of community care and civic responsibility with Walkerville as the point of departure instead of destination.
Support for the creation of the New Voices Community Arts Residency is provided by a grant received from the My Main Street Community Activator program offered by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and delivered by the Canadian Urban Institute.