Annie Canto, Nura Ali and Jean Chisholm
Mentorship from Bopha Chhay, Artspeak

POOL fosters community-based practises that explore new ways of gathering and collective learning. Antiracist pedagogy, decolonial methodology, and peer-to-peer solidarity make up the core of our practices. With these interests at the heart of our work, this project expands our understanding of community support and activism by exploring new ways to gather that embody relational and mutually supportive ways of being, and challenge the hegemonic structures that disconnect us from the communities and ecologies we live within.

Through different iterations of social gatherings we aim to build relationships with community leaders and activists in our networks while reflecting on the flexibility of our socially engaged practices as they transition in the face of new and unforeseen social barriers. We aim to work with mentors and collaborators who support their communities through equity work in various ways – individuals who enact an understanding of homeplace as a site of resistance. We explore new kinds of connectivity that can be fostered in this time of precarity and to learn from the practices of labour organizers, artist/activists, and social justice scholars who are beginning to transition their work to and from distant spaces.

See POOL Presentation (October 2020)

POOL is a Satellite x DESIS project, a five-month residency for student-led project teams to develop major sustainability and social innovation projects. Residents have access to studio space, mentorship, peer support and funding toward the goal of initiating events, programs, or community partnerships; developing products or services; or starting studios, collectives, agencies or non-profits.

Annie Canto (BFA, MFA) is an artist and educator currently working in Vancouver, BC. In 2020, she graduated from Emily Carr University with an MFA emphasizing research in social practice and engaged pedagogy. Working with performance, text, comics, and food she facilitates participation in communal spaces to acknowledge the complexities of the Other and question the overarching systems that govern our relationships. In her current work, Annie is exploring collaborative writing and hosting practices as strategies for community organizing.

Nura Ali is a visual artist, community organizer and social activist. Her multidisciplinary practice engages issues of memory, place building, displacement and power. Nura has been involved in grassroots organizing in the non-profit sector for many years at the Al Madad Foundation and with the British Somali Community. Nura is committed to community-oriented organizing and for this reason became one of the founding members of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Co-op.

Jean Chisholm (BA, BDes, MDes) is a communication designer, researcher, and educator. Her interest in community collaborations and transitions towards socially and ecologically sustainable ways of living informs her research and design practice. In 2020, she completed her Master’s in Design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, exploring relational, place-based practices within her hometown of Prince George, BC.