FES faculty, students of Marvellous Grounds Collective launch two books

York University Professer Jin Haritaworn and the Marvellous Grounds Collective will launch two book collections, Nov. 11 and 14.

Haritaworn, from the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), is the project coordinator and principal investigator of Marvellous Grounds! – a project funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant and an Early Researcher Award.

It is book and web-based project that seeks to document and create space to vision the ways that QTBIPOC (queer and trans Black, Indigenous and people of colour) create communities, innovate projects and foster connections within Toronto/Three Fires Territories and beyond.

Toronto has long been a place where people move to join QTBIPOC communities. Yet the city’s rich history of anti-racist and anti-colonial queer and trans activism remains largely unwritten and unarchived. While QTBIPOC have a long and visible presence in the city, they always appear as newcomers in urban maps and archives in which white people appear as the only historical subjects imaginable. To unmap and counter-archive this, a team of five FES and York faculty, grad students and graduates, including Haritaworn, Syrus Marcus Ware, Ghaida Moussa, Alvis Choi and Rio Rodriguez, have brought together some of the city’s finest artists, activists and academics in two books and a blog.

The books

Featuring the art, activism and writings of QTBIPOC in Toronto, the book Marvellous Grounds (Between the Lines) tells the stories that have shaped Toronto’s landscape but are frequently forgotten or erased. Responding to an unmistakable desire in QTBIPOC communities for history and lineage, this rich volume allows us to imagine new ancestors and new futures.

Queering Urban Justice (University of Toronto Press) foregrounds visions of urban justice that are critical of racial and colonial capitalism, and asks: what would it mean to map space in ways that address very real histories of displacement and erasure? What would it mean to regard QTBIPOC as geographic subjects who model different ways of inhabiting and sharing space?

The events

A panel and reading, Celebrating Marvellous Grounds at Naked Heart 2018, will take place Nov. 11 from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The cost is $5, or free with a Naked Heart Festival Pass.

Join these queer of colour authors and the Marvellous Grounds Collective for readings and a panel discussion about queer of colour stories and Marvellous Grounds’ brand new books, Queering Urban Justice and Marvellous Grounds, featuring Lezlie Lee Kam, Shaunga Tagore, Tara Atluri and Wy Joung Kou. The event is hosted by Alvis Choi.

There will be ASL interpretation available and the venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

On Nov. 14, the Queering Urban Justice Book Launch will take place at the University of Toronto from 4 to 6 p.m. in Room 2007, Women and Gender Studies Institute, 40 Willcocks St., New College.

Learn about the three-year process for planning and producing the two books. Together with a few contributors, the collective will share excerpts and discuss the challenges and successes of community building. Expect readings and discussion from Kusha Dadui, Omisoore Dryden, Monica Forrester, Jin Haritaworn, Elene Lam, Ghaida Moussa, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Syrus Marcus Ware.

This event is free and snacks will be provided. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.