Black August: Portraits of black activists and revolutionaries, soundscapes and archival audio —


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Black August grew out of the California prison system to honor fallen Freedom Fighters, Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson, William Christmas, James McClain and Khatari Gaulden.
Black August is a time to study history, and to set intentions towards activism for freedom and social change. Mumia Abu Jamal, political prisoner and tireless author, journalist and activist, said, “August is a month of meaning, of repression and radical resistance, of injustice and divine justice; of repression and righteous rebellion; of individual and collective efforts to free the slaves and break the chains that bind us.”

On the 45 anniversary of Black August, join Syrus Marcus Ware in remembering black revolutionaries who have challenged the prison industrial complex and anti-black racism in North America and beyond. Through large-scale portraiture and audio soundscapes, Syrus will remember local activists, ancestral memories and family legacies of mobilizing for social change.

ON EXHIBIT: August 23-31, 2015
OPENING RECEPTION: Wednesday, August, 26, 2015, 5-7pm
at the Chester Avenue TTC Subway Station artist-run newsstand in Toronto

made possible with the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council

For more info about opening event:

Extra! Extra! Artist Newsstand!


Jess Dobkins has thought up an amazing new project and…..extra! extra!…The amazing Artists Newsstand is now open for business! (and art!)

Thrilled to have some Social Justice Colouring Books and zines in the stand for sale- pop over to Chester Subway to check ’em out!

Ill be doing some exiting installations and performances at the Newsstand in August for Black August 2015. More details coming soon! For now, check out this great write up about Jess’ project in Xtra!

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Sunday Scene at The Power Plant- pictures from March 22nd talk!


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Images from my Sunday Scene talk at The Power Plant Art Gallery on Sunday, March 22, 2015!  We had a lively discussion about family memories of civil-rights era Memphis, the Poor People’s Campaign and MLK’s activism in Memphis, CoIntelpro, Bill C-51 and revolutionary dreams…..towards freedom!

(plus! I made a zine about cointellpro, Stuart Hall, our resistance movements, the Memphis Sanitation Strike, and freedom…and it included a brief (always incomplete) list of some black artists in Canada…a gift that will allow us to always be able to have a fast response to the repeated query, “But I just dont know of any black Canadian artists…”…..

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Speaking tonight on a panel at the AGO’s First Thursday event…about Basquiat, revolutionary art practice and our current moment!


Thrilled to be part of this conversation tonight! Check it out here! 7-10 pm. Panel discussion at 7:30 sharp!

You can follow the #AGO1st hashtag tonight to be part of the virtual conversation.

About the panel:

Jean-Michel Basquiat boldly and directly confronted issues of race, class, police brutality and social justice in his work. These issues are at the forefront of today’s cultural discourse and will be the focus of a panel discussion of Toronto-based young Black artists, artists, thinkers and cultural figures. The panelists will share their insights on the realities of anti-black racism, state-sanctioned violence and other issues, using Basquiat’s work and legacy as a jumping-off point. Presented in partnership with the Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition, “It Could Have Been Me”: Perspectives on the Fight for Racial Justice and the Legacy of Jean-Michel Basquiat will be moderated by Kim Katrin Milan and will feature artist and educator Randell Adjei, social justice educator janaya (j) khan, Mustafa Ahmed (aka Mustafa the Poet) and artist/activist Syrus Marcus Ware. The panel will also feature introductory remarks by Alexandria Williams of the Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition and Stephanie Smith, the AGO’s Chief Curator, and will run from 7:30 to 9 pm in the AGO’s Baillie Court.




Excited to be presenting some new drawings  as part of Border Cultures: Part Three (security, surveillance), January 31 – May 10, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Windsor! Ill be doing a performance of Activist Love Letters as well: Performance: Love Letters to Activists, Saturday, March 7, 2 pm – 4 pm, Art Gallery of Windsor

Also, Ill be speaking on a panel, “It Could Have Been Me”: Perspectives on the Fight for Racial Justice and the Legacy of Jean-Michel Basquiat as part of the upcoming AGO First Thursday event on February 5, 2015.

And… check out Sunday Scene, Sunday, March 22, 2015, 2:00PM – 4:00PM at The Power Plant

Stay tuned for further updates!