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Dynesti Williams. RISE (2K, colour, sound, 20'). Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, 2018. Commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU), Toronto, 2018
Photo: Courtesy the artists and Fortes D'Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo

Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

Bárbara Wagner - Recife, Brazil
Benjamin de Burca - Recife, Brazil

In the underground spaces of the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) new subway extension, a group of poets, rappers, singers, and musicians negotiate their status as both first- and second-generation Torontonians as well as settlers living on borrowed Indigenous land. Featuring participants from R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) EDUTAINMENT—an event that takes place weekly in Toronto’s suburban community centres—RISE adopts the concept of Edutainment as a tool for the film’s structure and script.

Operatic in nature, this experimental documentary looks at rhythm and poetry as forms of creative labour that constitute contemporary collectivities of diasporic belonging and mixed-cultural dialogue: the call-and response, the recitative, and the cypher. The tunnels they dig are visionary.

RISE was shot in Toronto, Canada, in June 2018. The film was commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) with the support of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Executive Producer: Emelie Chhangur.

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca, the AGYU’s 2017–18 Artists in Residence, use documentary forms to observe relations of tradition and progress.

Film Installation


STYLL We All Have Stories The things they carried Major Institutions Independent Projects Experiential Activations Event Centre

Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough

300 Borough Drive

Suitable for all ages


"RISE" (20 min.) will screen every 45 minutes from 7:00 pm-1:30 am, with a midnight screening of "Within by R.I.S.E." (60 min.). This project will close at 2:00 am.

This project is indoors.