The Code Switching collective had been meeting every two weeks since October and coordinator Becky Thiessen was determined not to let that time together go to waste.
“What a bummer, right? To just end in such an abrupt way when we had these really great ideas and we were planning our final exhibition,” Thiessen said. “And so I just was thinking, ‘How can we remain connected in a good way that we can still share and contribute and make art in a whole new context?’”
On March 20 she provided each of the 10 members with a sketch book and has since been giving them drawing prompts to keep their creativity flowing while they self-isolate in their homes. Thiessen’s been posting those art works on the gallery’s ArtLab Facebook and Instagram pages.
Thiessen’s assignments ask the group to reflect on life during COVID-19. Some prompts include “draw your view outside your window,” “who would you want to be quarantined with?” and “what’s your favourite quarantine food?”
“Right before this happened I made an effort to stock up on hot Cheetos,” said 14-year-old participant Nina Bintner. “It’s like my favourite food and they’re really good and I made a drawing about that.”
Thiessen said it was important for the group to create art around the coronavirus because it’s a major world event worthy of documentation. She said it’s also a good way for the youths to recognize and share the thoughts, feelings and emotions they’re going through.
“Hopefully we can come together and have an exhibition at some point and I think [it’s] a great way for society to see how this experience has affected teenagers, because they’re at such a pivotal development point,” she said.
Thiessen said she feels like the digital space allows the teenagers to be more open and vulnerable than they would be face-to-face. The group is coping with the pandemic with some humour, temporarily renaming themselves the QuaranTeens and even putting together a playlist of QuaranTunes.
“We have a group chat to talk about all this … and it’s really nice to be able to be distracted for like 15 minutes or an hour and just disconnect,” Bintner said.
Code Switching member Ross Gray, 17, said with everything else cancelled “it feels good to be a part of something” and stay connected while isolating. He said in the future he’ll look back on the work he’s doing now and the feelings and memories will all come back.
“It’s very much historical,” he said of the pieces he’s created. “They’re going to have my drawings in exams in like 50 years and be like, ‘Analyze this drawing.’ You never know.”
Ottawa business faces backlash after posts on Blackout Tuesday – CTV News Ottawa
Expressing outrage over racism can be a complicated and sometimes divisive action. One Ottawa business that tried to share its opinion on social media this week found out exactly how hard that can be.
Blackout Tuesday is a collective action to protest racism and police brutality. The action, originally organized within the music industry in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Earlier this week, Art-Is-In Bakery, a popular eatery in Ottawa, posted a ‘black-tile’ for #BlackoutTuesday on its Instagram page. Stephanie Mathieson owns the business, along with her husband,
“We’re a family run business, and IG is run by a few members of this family, I posted the black square.”
Then, according to Mathieson, another family member created a promotional post – celebrating the stores re-opening; something that you are not supposed to do once you post a “black-tile” on social media; creating a backlash.
“Unfortunate that we hurt people along the way, and we are terribly, very sorry about this… We made a mistake, but our heart was at the right place; we deeply care what happened, that’s why we posted the black square in the first place.”
Comments then flooded the Art-Is-In Bakery Instagram account. Makda Kidane used to shop at Art-Is-In and she left comments, which were deleted. According to her, she was then blocked by Art-Is-In.
“We put money in your pocket, we support your business; we share this business with other people when I have my friends coming in from out of town, it’s an establishment that I frequent with them, and it was disappointing that they don’t see the value in our dollar or our voice.”
Kidane does not think the use of the “black-tile” is appropriate, if used along side a marketing campaign,
“The plight of black people is not a trend; it is our life, it is our reality; and, we need allies and we don’t need people to just follow a trend.”
Yodit Haile also saw the post, comments, and then the deletion.
“What they did was wrong; it’s clear that they used the Black Lives Matter movement for their own benefit, for their own advertising, and that’s not what this movement is about.”
Art-Is-In deleted the post, now making their Instagram page private.
SO HOW SHOULD BUSINESSES USE THE BLACK TILE?
“There’s no appropriate way to use that,” says Boulou Ebanda de B’béri, Professor of Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Communication, whose areas of expertise include history, culture, and racism in Canada.
“When some businesses, particularly white businesses – white owned businesses are trying to all of a sudden become black, that is problematic; there is not an appropriate way to recycle pain.”
He says that businesses should participate more with their actions – who they hire, and who they employ in management positions.
As for Art-Is-In?
Mathieson says, “All our intention by posting this black square were good; it came from a concerned and caring place.”
New works selected for Yukon Permanent Art Collection – Whitehorse Star
Art and Entertainment should not have the Limitation of the Boundary – Net Newsledger
Today, when the entire world is running after a mundane lifestyle, the artists are the only souls who fill up their life. They project complex notions and performances as they breathe life into the world.
Bahadır Ünlü is a Turkish actor who plays a crucial role in spreading positivity and entertaining millions with his witty thoughts and stellar performances. He firmly believes that entertainment and Art should not have any boundaries, both metaphorically and physically. He explained, “Art and entertainment are kindred spirits. People should be able to experience them without any restrictions or inhibitions. Boundaries should be blurred, and people should come together.” Bahadir is a leading actor in Turkey, and he is keen to explore international projects and reach a broader audience.
Now his ambition is to reach out to the global audience so that he can connect with them through his Art as an actor. He is also a social influencer and enjoys interacting with his audience, fans, and followers. He enjoys social media as it is a medium that also transcends boundaries.
The actor, director life, was not a bed of roses. Bahadir has also gone through some challenging times, but experience taught him the critical aspects of life, and he knows how to connect the dots to achieve new heights. He believes that the best way to approach life is by being optimistic in the face of adversity. According to Bahadir, artists and entertainers are not bound by borders, and it is entirely correct. Bahadir believes that art and entertainment as mediums have the power to reach millions of people, surpassing boundaries like language, distance, and culture.
Bahadir has more than 600 thousand followers who regularly follow him on Instagram. Bahadır Ünlü has been very active recently on his social media. Bahadir has numerous upcoming international projects and is excited to reach out to a brand new audience, with whom he can connect and interact. Bahadir’s devotion to his Art is commendable as he continues to grow and evolve as an actor and director.
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