Expressions by Canadian artists of Arab origin
Born within plural societies, bearers of the heritage of ancient civilizations, the artists brought together here (or, in some cases, their parents) left their native country to make their home in Canada, often at the end of a long journey punctuated with other sojourns, in other places.
These artists from several Arab countries, like all Canadians of this origin, present an identity profile that is generally hybrid because it is traversed by a great diversity of languages, ethnicities, religions and cultures. This métissage, or intermixing-which often begins within their own "culture" of origin-becomes more complex in the course of their migrations and their settling in a new country, within a new society that is itself culturally plural.
The works, words and journeys presented in this exhibition evoke many different aspects of cultural intermixing.
When ethnic and religious belonging is being used-with devastating effect-for political ends, when questions of identity and métissage become the order of the day in social discourse, it is important to be aware that cultural identities in the contemporary world are at once multiple and complex, and that cultural hybridity is a reality of our time.
It is with this awareness that the exhibition The Lands within Me was created as a chant d'amour, a love song to the culturally interwoven worlds of the imagination.