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On Resistance

Notes for a Renewed Grammar

Zainub Verjee

Keynote and Reception

Tuesday, July 4, 7pm - 9pm


Our culture is a system of care, and the imperative of care to repair our world is becoming increasingly realized. A body of scholarship has laid the groundwork for the need for an ethics of care to be integrated into our political theory. This talk will explore what it would take for care to become an ethic and political practice– for it to be embodied in our everyday lives, in our governing and in our relationships. Is it possible to transform the contested hierarchies between care systems and economic production? How do the arts and artists engage with and/or perform care practices in the age of advanced neoliberalism to imagine new ethics and new politics? Pegged on such a query, in the age of social acceleration, we ultimately come to ask: how do we care for democracy?

This program will have live ASL interpretation available.

Zainub Verjee, a trailblazer for her generation, has built a formidable reputation as an artist, writer, critic, arts administrator and public intellectual in Canada and internationally over four decades.  She has brought into the public discourse issues of artists labour, the politics of public imagination, language, and EDI paradigms, and has held teach-ins on resistance and feminist praxis.   

Born in Kenya and educated in the United Kingdom, Zainub arrived in Canada and studied Business Administration and Economics at Simon Fraser University in the early 1970s. Her exhibition history includes MoMA (New York, NY), Venice Biennale, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, the Asia Triennial Manchester, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie (France), Art Gallery of Alberta, Embassy Culture House (London, ON), Centre A (Vancouver), and her artwork resides in private and public collections. 

She is a Senior Fellow of Massey College at University of Toronto and a McLaughlin College Fellow at York University, the laureate of 2020 Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution, and a recipient of honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University (Burnaby), University of Victoria, OCAD University, and NSCAD University. She has contributed to international instruments of culture such as Status of the Artist and Cultural Diversity and building institutions such as British Columbia Arts Council.

An avid advocate for the arts and artists rights, Zainub is a firm believer that Art is a public good. Currently, she is the executive director of Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries.

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