border crossings

Episode 4 - border crossings podcast with "Manna" narrated by Qurat Dar


Qurat Dar with her story vessel created in 2018.

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Qurat narrates her poem “Manna” for the border crossings podcast. This is a poem about exploring relationship to faith and religion.

 More from Qurat

 Qurat has poetry forthcoming in The Evansville Review, Augur Magazine, The Temz Review, Anathema Magazine, and KROS Magazine, among others. She is currently part of the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s EMERGENCE artists’ collective. She was also recently a finalist in the 2018 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) and the 2019 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS), placing 4th and 6th in the country, respectively.

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Episode 3 - border crossings podcast with Qurat Dar


Sharada Eswar laughs with Qurat Dar

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An engineering student by day, spoken word artist by night and an accomplished environmentalist, Qurat talks about what it feels like to accept oneself and how does one set personal borders

 What comes to her mind when we say “border crossings”

 “Two either places or worlds and the space between them and the margins between them. What it means either to cross from one of those into the next or to exist within that border or that margin area and what it means to kind of navigate between the two of those things...”

Episode Highlights

 1)    Qurat shares her immigration story and the culture shock she experienced at a very early age. She talks about borders around religion and faith. Borders of queerness, gender and learning to accept herself.

2)    She describes how moving out of her parents house, moving from childhood to adulthood and moving from furthered her in her journey of learning to say “No” and in preserving her boundaries.

3)    She talks about crossing borders between the worlds of environmental engineering and spoken word / poetry. Being considered less legitimate as an artist when art is not your full time academic pursuit.

4)    Qurat presents the ceramic story bowl she made as part of a workshop with the border crossings project. She introduces an Arabic verse she’s illustrated on the bowl which is part of a visual representation of what she felt while taking a break from her faith. Navigating the loss of faith was a difficult phase was for her to navigate but she eventually realized it’s more about belief and finding ways to believe without subscribing to a construct.

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Episode 2 - border crossings podcast with Rhéanne Chartrand


Sharada Eswar in conversation with Rhéanne Chartrand

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In this episode, Métis curator and creative producer, Rhéanne Chartrand, talks about the emergence and development of Indigenous curatorship, key themes, issues, and about bridging the gap between the artist and the community and curation as facilitating a dialogue between artists and their works.

What comes to her mind when we say “border crossings”

“Transgression...rebel nature...people working in, between and across those spaces. All comes back to my own world view, my  own experiences and who I am as an individual and as a Métis person. I have always sat in this liminal space and rather than see that as a barrier or a problem, I leverage that. I leverage the fact that I sit in this in between space. Both from a cultural point of view and a conceptual point of view”

Episode Highlights

1)    Border crossing within a workplace context  - establishing authorship over voice when it comes to curatorial work. And how voice is articulated in promotion. Considering curatorial work as an opportunity to impact the minds and hearts of people

2)    Rhéanne recognizes that she is accountable to numerous people from the Indigenous community. And that her voice represents a huge Indigenous community. She describes using borders as an educational tool for those that you work with. 

3)    What distinguishes Indigenous art practices from various other art practices and how she works with that as a curator. She talks about navigating by moving forward with an open mind and with the audience as the primary focus.

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Episode 1 - border crossings podcast Introduction

In this episode, Sharada Eswar, community activator at the Art Gallery of Mississauga introduces her gift to the community - the border crossings project. 

She introduces the podcast which is an audio library of conversations about border crossings. She explains why she picked the idea of manifesting the project through stories through a riveting personal story.  

 border crossings is an interactive community engagement lab that uses the transformative power of art to challenge preconceived ideas around both literal and metaphorical boundaries. Through the podcast we explore curiosity and conversations around border crossing experiences. The show takes a procedural presentation approach unfolding themes that are rooted in The AGM's mission - First, New and Next.

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