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Taking to the Streets curated by Barbara FischerWon't Back Down, 2017

BLMTO meets with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in front of Queen’s Park after a two week encampment at Toronto Police headquarters., 2016
Photo: Jalani Morgan

Deanna Bowen - Toronto, Canada
Syrus Marcus Ware - Toronto, Canada
Kaia'tanoron Dumoulin Bush - Toronto, Canada
Tannis Nielsen - Toronto, Canada

An exuberant gathering atop a flatbed truck evokes a moment in Toronto’s history. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement came together in a march from Toronto Police Headquarters and Native Child and Family Services to Queen’s Park to play music to a roused community of activists and artists.

The all-night festive performance loosely based on the events of March 26, 2016, sees artist and activist DJ Syrus Ware gathering an indomitable crew of DJs to rotate their sets of infectious sounds. Invited by Deanna Bowen, he is joining forces with other artists and activists whose work revolves around colonial histories including the impact on indigenous peoples’ lives. Their presence is underscored by Kaia’tanoron Dumouli who leads the OCADU Indigenous Visual Culture group t-shirt campaign.

Rooted in Deanna Bowen’s own family’s history - going all the way back to Nicodemus, Kansas, 1877 - the event reconnects lost, buried or forgotten histories around race, blackness and anti-blackness, ongoing legacies of slavery, and generational trauma. It acknowledges solidarity between Black and Indigenous elders and activists, recalling generations of resistance, cohabitation, shared/learned languages, shared bloodlines, and shared battles across time.

Deanna Bowen is a descendant of the Black Prairie pioneers of Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been pivotal to her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works. Her broader artistic practice examines history and the ways in which artistic and technological advancements impact individual and collective authorship. She has received several awards for her work including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize.



Century of Revolutions Taking to the Streets Life on Neebahgeezis Calculating the Unforeseen Independent Projects Major Institutions Event Centre

College Street & Queens Park (Located within Queens Park road closure)

Suitable for all ages


The project will include live DJ Sets, speakers and special gestures and actions on the hour, throughout the 12 hours of the night.

This project is outdoors.