The women showcased in this photo exhibit are the gatekeepers of our language and culture. They are strong, wise women who, against unimaginable odds of war, poverty and immigration rose above the reality of their existence to become extraordinary role models for their Canadian granddaughters.
Many of the women in this exhibit were first documented in my book entitled Our Grandmothers Ourselves: Reflections of Canadian Women. Through the power of narrative, the granddaughters captured in their stories the hardship their grandmothers endured and the resilience they built to survive. Our Grandmothers Ourselves is the catalyst for this exhibit where insights into the immigrant life, the changing family in Canada, feminism, intergenerational relationships and aging from many cultural and religious perspectives is captured in print.
Literature, however, is not accessible to everyone. The written word can be limiting for those who do not read and write in English or French. The universal language of the image, the photograph, creates possibilities for understanding, and gaining access into the mysteries of life. Twenty-four Canadian women have gathered photos from their native homeland. The following countries are represented in the exhibit: Afghanistan, Algeria,China, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Venezuela.
Each photo is accompanied by an English and French citation written by the Canadian woman and a translation of the same citation in the grandmother’s first language.
The exhibit was first launched on International Women’s Day - March 8th, 2005 at the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery in Toronto.
Thank you to the sponsors of this exhibit: