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Position As Desired/Exploring African Canadian Identity closing soon


Prior to its March 27th closing at the ROM, the exhibition is highlighted in an all-day Symposium featuring an international slate of panelists

Position As Desired /Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, a collaboration between the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Torontoís Wedge Curatorial Projects, closes at the ROM on Sunday, March 27, 2011. On display in the Wilson Canadian Heritage Exhibition Room of the ROMís Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada, the exhibitionís photographs document the experiences of African Canadians.

Guest curator Dr. Kenneth Montague of Wedge Curatorial Projects collaborated with the ROMís Dr. Silvia Forni, Associate Curator of Ethnology in the Museumís World Cultures department, on this exhibition. Wedge Curatorial Projects is a Toronto-based arts organization with a mandate of increasing public awareness and understanding of visual arts with an emphasis on African and Diasporic artists.

Comprising three sections, Position As Desired showcases works from Torontoís Wedge Collection. An Historical Perspective, the exhibitionís first section, spans 1896 to 2008 and displays a range of historical photographs and contemporary works including rare documents of some of the first African immigrants to Canada. The exhibitionís second segment, Exploring Identity Art in the 1990s, continues to poignantly explore notions of identity, memory, history and community, with the showcased artists particularly focusing on the precarious position of black subjects in Canada. The exhibitionís final section, Featured Contemporary Artists showcases four contemporary artists: Christina Leslie, Megan Morgan, Dawit L. Petros and Stacey Tyrell.

Inspired programming has complemented Position As Desired throughout its ROM engagement. A Symposium, taking place from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday, March 5th in the ROMís Signy & Clťophťe Eaton Theatre, will present four panels of artists, academics and cultural workers addressing the issues of African Canadian identity. Entitled Position As Desired: A Symposium on Artistic Practice and African Diasporic Communities in Canada, the all day event addresses the importance of creating a space for African Canadian artists and includes four moderated panel discussions on African Canadian identity: where we have come from (our position), and where we are going (our desire). One panel includes a discussion with the exhibitionís four featured emerging photographers - Christina Leslie, Megan Morgan, Dawit L. Petros and Stacey Tyrell. Other panelists include local and international artists, curators, academics and cultural workers, including Ngaire Blankenberg, Deanna Bowen, Sandra Brewster, Warren Crichlow, Julie Crooks, Andrea Fatona, Dominique Fontaine, Elizabeth Harney, Peter James Hudson, Charmaine Nelson, GaŽtane Verna, Karina Vernon, Rinaldo Walcott, Deborah Willis, David Zapparoli. Entrance to the Symposium is FREE (does not include Museum admission) and participants should enter via the Presidentís Choice School entrance at the Museumís south end.

A catalogue, entitled Position As Desired /Exploring African Canadian Identity: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, documents this significant collaboration between artists, writers and curators. The catalogue, published by Wedge Curatorial Projects, is available in the ROM Museum Store, retailing for $25 plus taxes.

Position As Desired is included with paid general ROM admission. Reduced admission prices apply on Friday nights, presented by Sun Life Financial. For information on this and other exciting projects, visit


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