Yaniya Lee

Yaniya Lee

Writer-in-residence

What is the relationship between art and social change? The geographer and prison abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore defines racism as “the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” To work towards representational justice we must learn to comprehend how our collective cultural practices maintain this insidious vulnerability. In this series of essays I propose to discuss how this slow violence is directly related to our ways of looking (what we think is good and why), and to rethink how some visual arts practices might be doing the work of showing us new ways of looking and seeing. 

 

Yaniya Lee is a Toronto-based writer and scholar. Her interdisciplinary research draws on Black studies to question critical-reading practices and reconsider Canadian art histories. She has an interest in community organizing and collective practice.

Lee’s writing has appeared in C Magazine, Magenta, Adult, Fader and Motherboard. Her chapbooks include In Different Situations Different Behaviour Will Produce Different Results (2013) and Troubled (2014). From 2012-2015 she hosted the Art Talks MTL podcast, a series of long-form interviews with art workers in Montreal. Last fall, with members of the 4:3 Collective, she organized the MICE Symposium on Transformative Justice in the Arts. This summer she will join the Banff Research in Culture: Year 2067 residency. Lee is currently an MA candidate at Queen’s University. Her research draws on the work of Black Studies scholars to reconsider black art histories in Canada. She is an Editorial Advisory member of C Magazine and a founding collective member of MICE Magazine