In the mid-1950s, The Ward, home to the diasporic communities of African Canadians, Italians, Jews, African Americans, and Chinese, among others, was torn down to make way for the construction of government buildings, hotels, and corporate high-rises. But this space, one that welcomed so many refugees over its 100+ year existence, was the site for community building. The name All Vows is a translation of the Aramaic title of the Kol Nidrei prayer, one written for the Jewish Diaspora, where the preservation of heritage may supersede religious obligations. If The Ward was a space where diasporic communities from around the world could come to settle in their new adopted homeland, what is here now? Is there space for the sort of preservation allowed here 180 years ago? Inspired by the Jewish diasporic experience of hidden religious practice, All Vows asks visitors to come to The Ward and take a moment of pause to consider what it means to fight for the preservation of one’s culture and look for spaces of preservation in their own communities.
Culture Industry [dot] Club
The Culture Industry (dot) Club is Gabi Schaffzin and Zachary Kaiser.
Gabi Schaffzin is an artist, educator, and researcher based in Toronto. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at York University’s School of Arts, Media, Performance, and Design. Schaffzin’s work has been on display in galleries, public space, and at events in San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, East Lansing, and Utrecht, The Netherlands. Schaffzin has had the privilege of speaking at conferences such as the American Studies Association, Relating Systems Thinking & Design, SXSW, Theorizing the Web, and the Society of Literature, Science, and the Arts, among others.
York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design for contributing to the funding of this project through the Minor Research/Creation Grant program.
This event is a part of the York University Year of the Arts, presented by the York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD).