Join the Green College Leading Scholars Growing Reparative Justice organizers for a discussion with curators Bopha Chhay and Krystal Paraboo on the implications of working in a reparative mode in the arts. Our invited guests will discuss questions of audience and community responsibility, language, funding and the importance of site for shaping the role of curatorial work in this place, colonially known as Vancouver.
Bopha Chhay is a curator, writer and editor. She lives and works on the unceded territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ First Nations, also known as Vancouver. Her curatorial practice is frequently guided by interdisciplinary research interests covering topics such as transnationalism, diaspora, social movements, art and labour, sound and filmic representation. Her projects have taken the form of collective practices, seeking alternative formats and structures, independent and expanded publishing and study groups and writing on art. She has held positions as Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery (Vancouver, CA), Enjoy Public Art Gallery (Wellington, NZ), Afterall (contemporary arts research and publishing) Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design (London, UK) and 221A Artist Run Centre (Vancouver, CA). She graduated with an MA in Art History from the University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Krystal Paraboo (she/her) is an award-winning independent curator, art historian, writer and public art planner operating on the unceded ancestral territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səlilwətaɬ peoples. Krystal’s work has spanned within public and private art institutions over the past decade, with a focus on cultural and community development through artistic expression. She has recently shifted to research in the public art realm transforming spaces through placemaking, land-based artforms and bridging activism with contemporary art practices. Krystal was the recipient of the 2022 Women of Distinction Awards: Arts, Culture & Design, and leads the Public Art Program with the Black & Indigenous Design Collective (BIDC).
The city of Vancouver is often celebrated for its environmentalism and high quality of life for residents, but sitting with the harm of settler colonial influences on this land reveals deep-seated problems of cultural exclusion, environmental extraction and animal exploitation, real estate speculation and housing unaffordability, and social resistance to engage with antiracist critique. The series spotlights local activists and cultural practitioners who are creating counter-institutional mechanisms that confront the violence of settler colonialism and the unfettered extraction of environmental resources that has accompanied it. We invoke the term reparative justice to connote a range of activist practices that approach reparations, restitution and healing through cultural work and planning. This series features conversations that explore how the crumbling of social and material infrastructures can make space to build new systems and relationships with more ethical structures that address harms instead of ignoring them.
Series Conveners: Kimberly Bain, English Language and Literatures; James Connolly, Community and Regional Planning; Igor Drljaca, Theatre and Film; Ayasha Guerin, English Language and Literatures; Chris Patterson, Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice; Bronwen Tate, Creative Writing; and Hannah Turner, Information.