Speaking Fruit at the Canadian Student Leadership ConferenceExport this event to calendar

Thursday, September 28, 2017 — 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT

Conceived by Toronto-artist Farrah Miranda, Speaking Fruit is a new and first-of-its-kind mobile, roadside fruit-stand and design studio that feeds the movement for migrant farmworker rights.

Speaking fruit fruitstand

Beginning with a single question posed to migrant farmworkers in Southern Ontario, the project asks: “If the fruits you grow and pick could speak from dinner tables, refrigerators and grocery aisles, what would you want them to say?” Organizers have gathered dozens of written and
audio responses to this question from migrant agricultural workers across Southern Ontario and mobilized an incredible array of artists, partners, activists, and allies around these messages, turning them into direct action and also creative expression.

Evelyn Encalada, an organizer with the group Justice for Migrant Workers says the project is both urgent and necessary. “It brings together worlds that are kept apart but inextricably linked, interrupting the erasure and disconnection inherent in Canada's agricultural labour schemes.”

With colourful produce, a virtual reality film and lively soundscape, the sculpture convenes events that aim to share strategies and build alliances between movements for racial, food and labour justice, while distributing these messages to the public through specially designed produce packaging.

For Gabriel Allahdua, the project provides an opportunity for migrant farmworkers to share their thoughts, experiences and demands with the public. “We want permanent status not temporary work,” he explains as a matter of fact.

Presented on specially designed produce packaging available at the fruit-stand, these messages will make their way to produce consumers in Southern Ontario and beyond. Consumers may respond to messages from the workers, using the hashtag #SpeakingFruit.

“I wanted to create space for migrant farmworkers to join in the artistic process,” explains Farrah Miranda. “Migrant farmworkers can be artists too. Many already are.”

In the spirit of experimentation and collaboration, Farrah Miranda invited other artists to join her at the farms this summer.

Hamilton-based choreographer, Heryka Miranda, believes that art has the power to transform. “There’s a kind of magic and self-permission that happens when one begins to think of themselves as an artist. Through dance, the grape growers I worked with were able to share their profound relationship to the land and the fruit that they work with daily”.

A virtual reality headset will be available at the fruit-stand. Wearing it, allows the viewer to travel to the vineyard. Amidst its rustling leaves, and moody skies, they will witness the creativity of the workers. Supported by Toronto musicians, the sound in the film was produced by the workers.

This fall Speaking Fruit also travels to:

  • Sept. 16 - Black Creek Community Farm
  • Sept. 20 - Our Sustenance Night Market in Six Nations
  • Sept. 21-23 - Art and Food Justice Festival in Hamilton
  • Sept. 24 - Leamington Gathering with Migrant Farmworkers
  • Sept. 28 - Canadian Student Leadership Conference + Guest Lecture in Waterloo (Renison University College)
  • Sept 30 - Nuit Blanche
  • Oct. 7 - Hemi GSI Convergence
  • Oct. 25-Nov 30 - Santa Fe Arts Institute
Location 
REN - Renison University College
Front Entrance
240 Westmount Road North

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G4
Canada

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