Our Summer 2020 Online Creative Storytelling Workshop has helped amplify stories of Brown womxn across Canada and globally. Explore the gallery below to see some of the amazing work which was done by our storytellers in July & August 2020.
Bagh | Sami
I Am | Joanne Roberts
My Colour is Indo-Caribbean | Tiara Jade Chutkhan
Sherni | Deepa
The Perfectly Programmed Woman | Erika
The Suitcase Saga | Aria Sharma
Truly Brown | Sara
Untitled | Aashna Thakkar
Untitled | Devy
Untitled | Gina
Untitled | Misha Bakshi
Untitled | Naabela
Untitled | Priya
Untitled | Rachel
Untitled | Serena
Untitled | Sukriti Sharma
Untitled | Suzanne
Untitled | Talisha Ramsaroop
Untitled | Celia
Untitled | Sonal B
A Self-Protrait | Rhea Warring
The skin tone is lighter than my actual skin because I’ve always felt too pale to be classified as a brown girl, but in the portrait, I still tried to translate an olivey skin tone similar to mine which never let me be completely white-passing either. I used blue (Vissuda) in my hair to represent self-expression – speech and communication. The hair seemed like an appropriate placement because hair can metaphorically represent flow, roots, ideas, growth and etc. Lastly, the background of the painting represented the violet (Sahasrara), which symbolizes spiritual connection and transformation. I made the intentionally made it my background because awareness of soul in my human body is kind of the base (foundation) on which I bulid/paint on as a person. The crown chakra is the meeting point between the soul and the universe and the physical body. Through intersection the journey to enlightenment is so beautiful it sometimes leaves me in tears. Other times the disconnect from my soul can be overwhelming, but I want to embrace and highlight this pain/happiness through the teardrop that was painted on the portrait.
Chakra Art | Anusa
I feel like I didn’t give enough room for my creative side when I was young, because I am also logical and rational it felt like I had to “pick” a side and the logical one that people seemed to prefer. This has made me feel like I don’t know how to do art “properly” because I don’t have technical skills and training, but within this workshop I feel like I have the space to try what I want and experiment with my creative side.
Chakra Healing | Celia
Colour Poem | Anusa
I feel that a lot of my healing and reclamation work will come through self-reflection.When I read the exercise for this week, I saw an opportunity to not only think of the shades of brown I identify with, but my gut reactions and associations to these shades, so I could start to sit with these associations to understand where they come from and what I may need to un-learn or teach myself.
I Am a Lovable and Desirable Being | Aashna Thakkar
While creating this piece I found myself gravitating to the Sacral chakra affirmations, reflecting on sexual and creative energy. Truthfully my sacral chakra has never felt fully balanced (is it even possible? What does this entail?), and it’s been an ongoing journey to discover that I am a “desirable and loveable being”. From my Root to my Crown, to all the chakras in between, I’m learning to embrace all of my energies and imbalances, and using what I know best (art!) to reflect along the way.
I Just Need to Love Myself | Joanne Roberts
Self Portrait | Aria Sharma
All the chakras are on their but their proximity to me speaks to my continued work in spirituality and clarity of speech. I definitely always had an affinity to the colour yellow and when discovering that yellow chakra deals with creativity and expression it made so much sense to me. So yellow and red/grounding is what I find I have a better relationship with than the other chakras. My third eye and crown chakra are the ones I have been working towards and have less clarity on and that’s why they are not done in paint but rather a stick on gem and glitter.
I also feel in touch with my heart chakra which is why the green peaks out from behind the flower petals since it is so a part of me that it feeds my prominent energies aka red and yellow. I made myself in an interesting sunflower in that I feel like these are the parts of me that I exhibit up front and people tend to feel.
My orange chakra is bleeds subtly out of the red because this is new exploration. Sexuality is such a taboo subject for women and especially within Indo-Trinidadian communities. I have passed the stage of denying the exsistence of my sexuality and I am slowly exploring that actively which is why though it is new I think about it a lot right now.
Finally I made my eyes gold because I was thinking about the shame that some of us have for liking gold and glittery things. I think that I very much take in my world a lot, observe so to speak, and my viewpoint is precious and multifaceted in that way. So gold!
Untitled | Deepa
A photo I quickly took in passing the first night of particularly focal protests in my city. These City Post guides were installed in the last couple of years, and they help visitors locate dining and things to do in our downtown area.
On the first big night of protests for Breonna Taylor, “Black Lives Matter” was a statement visible all over the city. Not too long ago, I read this quote that has since aided me in far too many conversations about privilege.
Untitled | Priya
I chose a few colours that spoke to my heart and played with it. Made with acrylics in my art journal.
Untitled | Sonal B.
With Words | Faria
This is a self portrait of myself at my best friends holud in Bangladesh. I’ve never felt beautiful in a sharee because my sister and cousins were always skinny minny’s and everyone told me I was too fat growing up and still do to this day. I harbour a lot of hatred towards my body as a result. On that day, I also had the worst sickness come over (I feel like it was COVID lol) and I pushed myself to power through because I wasn’t going to fly halfway across the world to miss my best friends Holud. I didn’t want to dress up, let alone wear a sharee or put on any makeup. My cousin forced me to put on “a little blushin” she said. I sat in a microbus for 2.5 hours in traffic (it was 10km away) in a fever and cold sweat absolutely miserable and feeling like garbage. I got there and didn’t feel any better, my mom needed to go to the bathroom (it was an outdoor event) I took her into the house and waited outside the bathroom. There was a grimy, dingy mirror that I took that selfie in even though I hate photographing myself due to my body issues. I figured, I flew here, I’m in a crazy fever, its my best friends holud, I should have proof before I forget.
I look at that image and I see a lot of things. I see a mix of the things I’ve told myself my whole life or heard from others, listed on the right hand side in bangla – Bad (kharap), Crazy (Pagol), Fat (mota), Dark/black (Kalo, for all the times I went out in the sun). And yet if I look at that picture deeply I finally see some other things, what Faria means “Beautiful” (shundoor), the nickname my family + husband calls me – Gold (shona) and above all what my tattoo says – Strength (shakti). Even in the worst pain, I could be all of those things – shundoor, shona, and shakti. It’s a reminder to myself that when I’m in the dark and I can’t reach that toolbox that its still there, I just have to reach further.
On top of that, I’m adorned in the clothing that has brought me pain my whole life, a sharee. Sharees have given me so much anguish that I even wrote a piece on it. And yet I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world that day; I truly was feeling myself. I purposely highlighted only my eyebrows, my lips, and my beauty mark because those are the only things that people have complimented me on in my life and haven’t given me a complex. I somehow think it’s the only good part of me because other people said so. This picture is to highlight the duality of that inner turmoil I feel. The words/feelings people have imposed on me and the things that I struggle to bring light too because the negative voices are that much louder. In this picture, those voices aren’t as loud.
Anonymous Brown Girl | Heart Chakra
KRIM HRIM HUM PHAT SVAH
Anahata Chakra, Heart Chakra
Lightening like illumination and transformation located in the spiritual heart.
Red- life, blood
Grey- energy, light in to black
Gold- colour of the alchemist, transformation into higher consciousness
Hibiscus flower, rice and coconut- ements of Kali puja