12 x 8 inch archival inkjet print
Edition of 20 (9 unframed available)
This series explores the return of the Weatherspoon family to their childhood home in Victoria Village for the funeral of their eldest sister. The family was last reunited some 30 years after the death of their mother Lucille. The work documents the family's process of reclaiming identity while shedding light on the unique country of Guyana. Simultaneously insiders and outsiders, Guyana remains the only English-speaking nation in South America oscillating between cultural roots of Amerindian, Black (African), East Indian, Caribbean, and colonial ties with British, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish influence. Surrounded by predominantly Spanish speaking nations, Guyana finds itself ostracized from the Latin identity of South America and so too does its people who are often characterized as Caribbean. Once torn apart by its cultural difference, this series champions the nation's growth and slogan: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny.” This series is dedicated to my late aunt, Dawn Weatherspoon-Sandiford.
Farihah Aliyah Shah is a contemporary lens-based artist originally from Edmonton, Alberta (Treaty 6) now based in Bradford, Ontario (Treaty 18). She holds a BHRM from York University and a BFA in Photography with a minor in Integrated Media from OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario. Utilizing photography, installation, and the moving image, Shah’s practices explore issues of identity formation through the colonial gaze, land, collective memory, and archival material. She seeks to challenge the lack of representation of disenfranchised bodies in the photographic canon and representational art, encouraging others to take agency of their image. 2019 Recipient of the John Hartman Award for Emerging Artists, she currently serves as a Board Member at Gallery 44 Centre of Contemporary Photography, and is a member of Women Photograph, an organization that advocates for Female Identified and Non-Binary photojournalists. Shah has exhibited internationally in Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Scotland, and South Korea.