Artexte, 2022

Blackity Symposium

Presented by the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Concordia University

May 27, 2022 — 10 AM to 3:30 PM @ online

This virtual gathering will be an opportunity to explore the questions raised by Dr. Joana Joachim in Blackity, through dialogue with key actors present in this exhibition and research. This event will offer a rich reflection on the past, present and future of contemporary Black Canadian art and its many forms. A keynote presentation, an art+feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon, a round table, and a poetry reading are all on the agenda.


Schedule of the day:

10:00 am – Introduction:

Guest: Joana Joachim

Welcoming address and introduction to Blackity, the research project and exhibition

10:40 am – Conservation:

Guests: Andrea Fatona and Joana Joachim

12:00 pm – Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon lunch:

Contribute to the creation of a Wikipedia page for the “Black Wimmin when and where we enter” (1989) exhibition

Take a look at our Wikipedia resources and training tools

1:30 pmBlackity panel conversation:

Guests : Deanna Bowen, Betty Julian and Joana Joachim

Moderator : Mojeanne Behzadi, Curator of Research and Programming at Artexte

3:00 pm – Poetry reading and conclusion of the symposium:

Guest : Maguy Métellus


Please visit our YouTube channel to listen to the audiovisual recordings of these discussions.


Guests biographies:

Dr. Joana Joachim is Assistant Professor in Black Studies in Art Education, Art History and Social Justice at Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Her research and teaching interests include Black feminist art histories, Black diasporic art histories, critical museologies, Black Canadian studies, and Canadian slavery studies. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral work, There/Then, Here/Now: Black Women’s Hair and Dress in the French Empire, examined the visual culture of Black women’s hair and dress in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, investigating practices of self-preservation and self-care through the lens of creolization as well as historical and contemporary art practices. She earned her PhD in the department of Art History and Communication Studies and at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University working under the supervision of Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson. In 2020 she was appointed as a McGill Provostial Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Institutional Histories, Slavery and Colonialism.


Dr. Andrea Fatona is an independent curator, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University, and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Canadian Black Diasporic Cultural Production. She is concerned with issues of equity within the sphere of the arts and the pedagogical possibilities of art works produced by Black Canadians in articulating broader perspectives of Canadian identities. Her broader interest is in the ways in which art, ‘culture’ and ‘education’ can be employed to illuminate complex issues that pertain to social justice, citizenship, belonging, and nationhood.  She is the recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and was the 2017/18 OCAD U-Massey Fellow. Fatona has published scholarly articles, catalogue essays, and book chapters in a range of publications. 


Deanna Bowen is a descendant of two Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneer families from Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. She makes use of a repertoire of artistic gestures in order to define the Black body and trace its presence and movement in place and time. She is a recipient of numerous grants and awards including the 2021 Scotiabank Photography Award, a 2020 Governors General Award, 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her writing, interviews and art works have been published in Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, The Black Prairie Archives, and Transition Magazine. Bowen is editor of the 2019 publication Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada. Deanna lives and works in Montreal, QC where she is an Assistant Professor of Intersectional Feminist and Decolonial 2D-4D Image Making & Co-Director of the Post Image Cluster at Concordia University.


Betty Julian [resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada] is of the Black Diaspora and an off-reserve citizen of Sipekne’katnik First Nation in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq Nation.

Betty is an independent curator of contemporary art with a specialization in photography film and video as art forms. Betty was an Assistant Professor, and Sessional Faculty in the Photography Program at OCAD University (2001 to May 2015). Her curatorial and art educator practices are informed by the critical and intersectional discourses on aesthetics, colonialism, culture, gender, race and psychoanalytic thought.

As a curator of contemporary art, she has had a longstanding engagement with Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art as a founding member of the national advisory board of Prefix Photo magazine, as a member of the curatorial council 2004 to 2018, where she curated and commissioned exhibitions. Betty curated 31 by Lorna Simpson (2005), group exhibition Trade Marks (2013), Facing (2016); the first solo exhibition in Canada by Renée Green, the group exhibition Movers and Shakers (2018), Listen, speak and sing (2019); a solo exhibition of new artworks by Nadia Myre, Mirage (2020); a solo exhibition by Lyla Rye and the group exhibition Movers and Makers (2021) that will tour to McMaster Museum of Art for the Fall 2022.

In 2019, 2020, and 2021 Betty was the Adjunct Curator at Prefix ICA.


Maguy Métellus, a Quebecer of Haitian origin, is an Afrofeminist activist, speaker and public reader, in great demand. She is an artist of words, passionate about poetry and spoken word and known for her eloquence, her charisma, as well as her ability to express herself in French, Creole and English with equal joy. She is a member of the Haitian collective “Les Dimanches Littéraires de Montréal”, with whom she has participated in numerous shows since 1995. 

From 2022 to 2007, she organized and hosted Les Dimanches Afrocentrik, evenings of poetry, music, singing and dance at Salon Daomé. She welcomes well known or emerging artists from the Montreal scene and elsewhere.From September 2006 to July 2016, she hosted her own show, D’une île à l’autre (DIALA), on CPAM – 1410 AM’s airwaves. From October 2013 to June 2014, she organized and hosted the Ciné-mardis du Vétiver. In May 2016, she joined forces with writers H. Nigel Thomas and Horace I. Goddard (RIP) to create the Lectures Logos Readings evenings.