In 2018, eQuality Project researchers facilitated a pair of Art Exchange workshops with young artists to develop art-based responses to (in)equality issues in the networked environment, using art as a form of resistance. Participants were presented with a series of Imagination Primers that highlighted the ways youth artists have used online media to resist online harassment, surveillance, and racism, and then planned and executed art projects to promote a more just online environment. A total of twenty-eight young artists produced a broad range of visual, performance, and experiential artistic responses that reflected (in)equality issues important to them.

The first workshop took place in February 2018, at St. Stephen’s Community House in Toronto. The workshop was led by eQuality’s Valerie Steeves and Jane Bailey, with support from Chloe Georas (from the University of Puerto Rico Law School (UPR)) and Andy Villanueva (an award-winning filmmaker and member of eQuality’s Youth Advisory Committee). Georas initiated two additional art-based interactions in Puerto Rico: one in her UPR class and another through a general call to the community, in which participants were mentored by two art professors.  These interactions culminated in a second workshop convened by Steeves, Bailey, Georas and Villanueva in San Juan, Puerto Rico in April, 2018 and, ultimately in an art exhibition in San Juan’s Diagonal art gallery in May 2018.

To help support community groups, teachers and others interested in hosting a similar event, we worked with eQ partner MediaSmarts and created a facilitator’s guide and lesson plan. If you are interested in running your own Art Exchange workshop, please follow the links below.