About the Project

The We Are Connected archive was created as part of a master’s research project at OCAD University. The goal of the project is to challenge the marginalization and misrepresentation of the queer community in traditional histories and research endeavours by empowering queer arts-based activists to archive their own stories. 

 

Together, the participants and the researcher chose five themes related to their practice as artists and activists, and recorded audio conversations engaging with each one. Visit the five themed pages in this archive to explore audio, poetry, dance, zines, writings, and artwork shared by the participants. 

Toronto

Why an Archive?

The We Are Connected archive was created as part of a master’s research project at OCAD University. The goal of the project is to challenge the marginalization and misrepresentation of the queer community in traditional histories and research endeavours by empowering queer arts-based activists to archive their own stories. 

 

Together, the participants and the researcher chose five themes related to their practice as artists and activists, and recorded audio conversations engaging with each one. Visit the five themed pages in this archive to explore audio, poetry, dance, zines, writings, and artwork shared by the participants. 

The Process

To create the We are Connected archive, the participants and researcher met for two 3-hour online workshops where we got to know one another and began to create content for the archive. After the archive was live, we used QR code stickers to involve the public in our project, and celebrated the completion of the archive.

First Workshop

After getting to know one another, the participants and the researcher listened to a presentation about the importance of archiving in the queer community and brainstormed possible themes and experiences to share in the archive.

Second Workshop

At the second workshop, we narrowed down our ideas to choose five themes, and recorded a conversation centred around each theme. We also brought in many other works such as quotes, videos, and written work to accompany the audio conversations. 

QR Code Stickers

This project is designed as a accessible and public-facing archive, so it was important that the public had easy access to the resources we had posted. We printed out sets stickers and stuck them around our neighbourhoods. Anyone could scan the QR code on the sticker, which would take them to the website.

Final Celebration

The final celebration will be an event thanking the participants for their incredible work with this project. We will invite various community members and OCADU staff and students to join as we celebrate the completion of the We are Connected archive. After six months, the archive will be given to the ArQuives, a 2SLGBTQ+ archive in Toronto as part of their permanent collection.

The Collaborators

The collaborators are all arts-based activists who have experience in Toronto's queer community. They have a wide range of interests and practices, which are shared below.

Alessia

She/They

Alessia is a graduate student in the department of gender, sexuality and women’s studies. They aim to publish their research in creative ways to bridge gaps between academia and accessibility through the use of art.

Instagram

LinkedIn

Liz

They/Them

Liz is a non binary artist whose work revolves around human-non human relationships and collection methodologies. They are graduating from OCADU's Life Studies program in Spring 2022 with a BFA.

Instagram

Portfolio

Arwyn

They/Them

Arwyn Carpenter (they/them) is a queer non binary dancer, writer and educator devoted to decolonized art making. Arwyn holds an MFA in Dance and choreography from the Tisch School at NYU and a BEd from U of T's OISE. Arwyn taught dance in the classroom for ten years with the Toronto District School Board, and was honoured with Arts Teacher of the Year in 2017 by the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. Their choreographic work explores social justice in themes of residential schools, climate collapse and, in their most recent work for five dancers on paddleboards, the themes of shapeshifting and gender fluidity in "The Selkies". Arwyn is one of the co-founders and leaders of Flight: Prince Edward County's Festival of Contemporary Dance.

Instagram

Facebook

Madeline

They/Them

Madeline is an asexual, queer, non-binary illustrator and storyteller. They are passionate about creating a diverse, safe space through their artwork and spreading acceptance through it. They are inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and incorporate elements of fantasy into their work. Madeline is currently working towards completing their undergrad at OCAD University in the illustration program.

Instagram

Ko-fi

Reymond

He/They

Hey, y'all! I'm a 20-year-old visual artist and illustrator who loves animals, clothing modifications, street art, and biology.

Instagram

Mairead Stewart

They/Them

Mairead is a researcher and artist, currently completing their MDes at OCAD University. Their art practice focuses on community building and queer archiving.

www.maireadstewart.com