Reparative Frames: Visual Culture After Reconciliation

Please note: this is a closed workshop and is not available to the public.

Reparative Frames: Visual Culture after Reconciliation invites international artists, researchers and curators to explore the timely and important question of visual culture in and as a practice of reparation. Defining reparation broadly as both an equitable approach to teaching, representing and learning from difficult histories, and an attempt at repairing relations between subjects, this two-day workshop brings together senior academics and emerging scholars in a dynamic format that responds to debates about reconciliation and redress that emerged during Canada’s sesquicentennial year. Through interdisciplinary conversation, the workshop will connect these issues to international discussions about the unfinished histories of settler colonialism, transatlantic slavery, and forced migration.

Reparation has been adopted as a key conceptual model by many Indigenous groups and cultural commentators internationally, who are motivated, in part, by the sense that the promises of state-sponsored national reconciliation projects of the last three decades have gone unfulfilled. Visual culture—from artworks and exhibitions, to media images and films—has become a key site for critique and for generating encounters that explore the notion of “repair” beyond the bounds of the nation-state. Artists, curators, designers, and activists, as well as scholars across a number of intersecting disciplines mobilize the power of images to shift the responsibility of return and repair away from Indigenous and marginalized communities and onto the reader and viewer. Reparative visual culture, therefore, initiates a call to action that implicates all actors in a system of asymmetrical power relations.

Date: December 6-7 2019
Location: The Art Gallery of Ontario, OCAD University



Abstracts and Bios




AGO Cafe, 317 Dundas St (Second Floor of AGO) | The Carafted Bean, 298 Dundas StRed Eye Coffee, 29 McCaul St | Jimmy’s Coffee, 166 McCaul Street

In a Pinch:

Grange cafeteria (Friday only), 109 McCaul St | Sin and Redemption Pub 136 McCaul | Ginger Vietnamese Restaurant, 212 Queen StMi Taco Taqueria, 247 Queen St | Ka Chi Korean Restaurant, 414 Dundas

Longer Stay:

Little India 255, Queen West | Queen Mother Café, 208 Queen St | Omai Japanese Restaurant, 3 Baldwin St | Momofuku Noodle Bar, 190 University Ave | Pizza Libretto, 155 University Avenue | Pho Hung, 350 Spadina Avenue | Rosewood Dim Sum, 463 Dundas St



Art Gallery of Ontario - Hito Steyerl, This is the Future, 317 Dundas St | Trinity Square Video - Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyên, Untitled (Entitled), 401 Richmond St | A Space – Thunderstruck, Group Exhibition, 401 Richmond | Ryerson Image Centre - The Way She Looks, Group Exhibition, 33 Gould Street | Onsite Gallery - Among All these Tundras, Group Exhibition, 199 Richmond St West | G44 – Maryse Lariviere, Under the Cave of Winds, 401 Richmond St | Sugar Contemporary - Slavs and Tartars, Pickle Politics, 5 Lower Jarvis | Power Plant Contemporary – Hajra WAheed, Rashid Johnson, Naeem Mohaiemen, Multiple Exhibitions, 231 Queens Quay West | Ignite Gallery- Individuation, Group Exhibition, 165 Augusta Avenue

West End:

Daniel Faria - Andrew Dadson, Green Peace, 188 St Helens AveXpace - Senorita Colombia, Group Exhibition, 303 Lansdowne Ave InterAccess - Scaffolds I can no longer see, Group Exhibition, 905 Dupont | TPW – Photorama, Group Exhibition, 170 St Helens Ave

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Map to The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Toronto Media Arts Centre to Nunu Ethopian Fusion


Tal Sofia Braniss, Designer, image courtesy of Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyên, from the series “Black Atlas,” 2016
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 3:30pm
Lab Member: 
Gabrielle Moser

Public Talk: Niigaan Sinclair - Reconciliation

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 1:30pm

The Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre: Indigenous Education Speaker Series invites all OCAD U students, faculty, staff and the broader community to attend a public talk by:

Friday, November 22nd, 2019 | 1:30 pm-3:00 pm
OCAD U, 100 McCaul St, Room 190 

All are welcome


Dr. Sinclair will be speaking about Anishnaabeg art and literature, bridging understandings towards reconciliation.

“Reconciliation is about the hard work of sharing. It's about resources, time, space and land. This means commitment to change, in all its complicatedness.” Niigaan Sinclair, Winnipeg Free Press, 08/17/2018

Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe from St. Peter's/Little Peguis, Manitoba. Currently on sabbatical as an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba, his work spans national and international print and publications. In 2018, he joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a columnist and in May 2019, Niigaan was named Canada’s Best Columnist, winning also a distinguished National Newspaper Award. He is also a recovering high school teacher.

Dr. Sinclair’s talk will be followed by a question and answer period.

All are welcome!

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U, 100 McCaul St, Room 190 (main auditorium)
Poster of Niigaan Sinclair talk at OCAD U on Nov 22, 2019

Global Indigeneity: De-Colonialization, Reconciliation, & Issues of Appropriation

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

OCAD U/AGO Art Education Learning Partnership Symposium:   Global Indigeneity: De-Colonialization, Reconciliation, & Issues of Appropriation

Feb 12, 12:00 - 2pm Weston Family Learning Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario

Free - Open to OCADU and AGO communities

Art & Design Education Lab: AGO, a collaborative cross-disciplinary course co-facilitated in partnership between the AGO and OCADU, has, over the last decade, presented a number of symposia with the intention of de/re-constructing knowledges and energizing our communities around teaching and learning. This symposium features a presentation by speaker Nadia McLaren, Indigenous artist and educational developer, OCADU and a gallery tour facilitated by artist and AGO art educator Paula Gonzales-Ossa. Please join us for this free event in the Weston Family Learning Centre Seminar Room at the AGO.

Nadia McLaren

Nadia is an Anishnaabe whose family roots are in Heron Bay, Pic River located on the North Shore of Lake Superior. She grew up in small towns across Northwestern Ontario and calls Sioux Lookout home. Nadia is a mother of two, a Drawing and Painting graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, a published author and is currently finishing a graphic novel entitled, “Ever Good,” which was awarded a grant from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a project of commemoration.

As Educational Developer (Indigenous Learning), Nadia brings deep knowledge and experience in the areas of Indigenous pedagogy, professional development and community engagement to her work. Nadia is an accomplished educator, artist and storyteller with more than 15 years’ experience working in Indigenous educational contexts. She is also the creator (writer/director/producer) of an award-winning documentary, “Muffins for Granny,” (Mongrel Media 2007). This documentary involved extensive research with community Elders and residential school survivors, was the recipient of a prestigious Aboriginal Healing Foundation grant and is part of the esteemed Criterion Collection.

Paula Gonzalez-Ossa is a visual arts instructor and mentoring artist at Na Me Res Sagatay Native Men's Residence. She has had 17 years of experience as a Community Youth Worker with youth at risk in Toronto's West. She is also a mural artist who has been working with many communities producing street level public art, both in Canada and Latin America for over 25 years. Her works, like the most recent 500 ft. mural titled "Our Medicines", located at the underpass at Dupont and Shaw, or "The Ancestral Tree Spirits" located at the Nordheimer Ravine's TTC station exit, depict a colourful First Nations cosmovision in relation to the Original lands of Ontario. She worked closely in creating this work with Anishnawbe mentors, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. She is currently developing a documentary about public art and protocol in the use of Ancestral Images for the City of Toronto's StART program. Gonzalez-Ossa is originally from Talca, Chile, and is now based in Toronto.  


Venue & Address: 
Weston Family Learning Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto, ON
Free - Open to OCADU and AGO communities

INVC students offer sneak peek into ROM collaboration

Group photo of students and others involved in the project
Monday, April 9, 2018

A museum technician in white gloves laid out a beaded vest and an ornate hood at the media preview of Uncover/Recover at the Royal Ontario Museum April 6. Imbued with history, culture and artistry, these colourful artifacts are among the objects from the ROM’s archives that nine students from the INVC program are researching for an interactive digital project. The result, Uncover/Recover, will be an online learning environment that incorporates photography, sound, digital manipulation and time-based media.

At the preview, students Megan Feheley and Shawn Johnston spoke about how they developed their works, what inspired them and the travel and research they undertook for this deeply personal project. Feheley will transform and animate images derived from beadwork, while Johnston’s audio work will incorporate the sounds of a deer hoof rattle.

Bonnie Devine, associate professor and the founding chair of the INVC program, believes the project will bring the stories of these artifacts to viewers across the province, and country.  

The Uncover/Recover website will be online this summer thanks to funding support from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

Female student standing next to a table with hood and vest artifacts
a man and three women standing for photo


Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 7:00pm

Tuesday January 24th, 7pm
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, 
Room 190, Auditorium

Post Screening discussion with Director Michelle St. John and Monique Mojica

In towns throughout Ontario, there are startling reminders of the colonization of Indigenous territories and the displacement of First Nations people. Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Francis and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. Similar streets have similar names in towns and cities across the province, direct reminders of the little-known Colonization Roads Act of 1872 and its severe impact on First Nations, their treaties and their land in the name of “Canadian settlement.” On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”

CULTURE SHIFTS is a documentary series at OCAD University. Culture Shifts presents documentary media as a catalyst for critical discussions and community action for social change.

The series has the support of Art and Social Change, Indigenous Visual Culture, the Faculty of Art and the Integrated Media Program


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street Room 190, Auditorium
image of speaker with text details