Stories Are Our Compass

MAMC responded to The Power Plant’s winter exhibition by inviting two Toronto District School Board schools to participate in a joint project, Stories are our Compass, that mirrors the social and cultural challenges faced by youth.

In the artwork of Alicia Henry (Witnessing), Omar Bâ (Same Dream) and, Shuvenai Ashoona (Mapping Worlds) three common themes emerge:

  1. the tension between the physical, psychological and social self
  2. the notion of duality
  3. the order and safe predictability of life undermined by the intrusion of new and unfamiliar forces

Alicia Henry’s depiction of faces as mirrors of identity, Omar Bâ’s distinctive fusing notions of duality and Shuvenai Ashoona’s sense of disruption of order, are all themes that these students experience daily as they navigate their homes, identities and memories. The joint exhibition in the foyer of the gallery is the response by students from Wexford Collegiate Institute and Ursula Franklin Academy to the work of the three artists.


Power Plant Exhibition
Students at Art Opening
Students at Art Opening
Creative Process of Student Art Making
Creative Process of Students
Josh Heuman and Lynda Hattin
Student Artwork
Student Artwork
Elena Soni and Vanessa Barnett with Lynda and Josh from Power Plant
Artwork Detail
Art Installation
Student at Art Exhibit

Unsettled: An Exploration of Identity In Transition Towards Post-Colonialism is a series of individual cinemagraphs created by the Grade 12 Film and Video students of Ursula Franklin Academy, in response to The Power Plant’s 2019 exhibitions of artists Omar Ba: Same Dream, Alicia Henry: Witnessing and Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds.

The cinemagraphs consider notions of witnessing, mapping worlds, dreams, duality, disruption of order and imagery located in a place and time relevant to the artists. Elements such as scale, texture, the land and use of the human figure specifically influenced the students, and are mirrored in their work.

The participants also explored the intersectionality of their own identities through the lens of Settler/ First Nation and Treaty Partner identities. These are identities for all who live on this land at this time. They found the process unsettling at times, yet also hopeful. A way forward.
The responses to this endeavour are highly personal. Concepts such as disconnection, shame, anonymity, and hope arose, and were foundations for creating these cinemagraphs.

Viewers are invited into the poetic space these works generate and to locate themselves within the unsettling and hopeful narratives.



The Power Plant
TDSB Creates


Ursula Franklin Academy
Wexford Collegiate Institute

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Making Art Making Change is a non-profit charity committed to giving voice to individuals in a group setting within communities through the use of visual arts.

Our experienced artist educators are committed to creating a safe space and engaging projects where participants can explore artistic expression while developing self-awareness, collaboration skills and original creative thinking. Our focus is to facilitate dialogue and collaboration, thereby strengthening community bonds and reducing isolation.

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