Creative Counter-Memorializations:
A Symposium/Gathering in Kjipuktuk (Halifax)

November 24th - 27th 2022

Collaborative Counter-Memorialization in Creative, Curatorial, and Pedagogical Practices

Join the Counter-Memory Activism research cluster for Creative Counter-Memorializations: A Symposium/Gathering this November 24th -27th. The Symposium will feature a wide variety of artistic and scholarly responses to difficult and contested histories, ranging from art exhibitions, dance pieces and movement workshops, and academic panels on comparative genocides. We are excited to feature a number of artists, activists and scholars, including Kanien’kehá:ka curator Ryan Rice, Dr. Amber Dean on settler-colonial structural violence, and African-Canadian performers Liliona Quarmyne and Diane Roberts. We are committed to an inclusive, collaborative, and more radical approach to visualizing public memory and commemoration.   

The programming will be based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia), the unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people, with several events accessible virtually. Detailed accessibility information is available for each event below. Please contact us regarding any additional questions and concerns.    

Schedule of Events

Accessibility Details by Location

Museum of Natural History

  • 2 designated accessible parking spaces, curb cuts from the parking lot

  • A ramp leads from the parking lot to the main entrance

  • There is a drop off spot on Summer St, directly in front of the museum.

  • Main door and lower level door (exit) are equipped with a power opener

  • Both stairs and an elevator provide access to lower level program rooms and the washrooms

  • Designated single-use, gender-neutral, washroom with a power door opener

  • All exhibits are on one level (although there is a steep interior ramp)

  • Seating in select locations throughout the exhibits

  • Spacious exhibits with wide pathways

  • Two wheelchairs available for visitor use (first come, first serve)

  • Sensory map of the galleries and social narrative available for download or at the admissions desk

  • Fire alarms include both auditory and visual signals

  • The Museum of Natural History is proud to be an Aira Access Partner.


The New Academic Building, University of King’s College

Archibald Room, 3rd floor


  • This building is accessible via elevator 

  • There is parking on campus, and is close to a bus stop.

  • There are gendered washrooms on the third floor, and gender-neutral ones on the 2nd floor

  • There is ample seating in the room itself, however the fixed desks may make it challenging for guests using mobility devices.

  • Hybrid delivery–the event

  • Map of Campus

The Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD Fountain Campus

  • The Anna is located in a historic building built in 1860. Although charming, its historical architecture is problematic. Our main entrance has one step to enter. To access the portable wheelchair ramp please ring the doorbell to the left of the entrance and a staff person will assist you immediately during opening hours. Once inside you will be able to access Gallery 1 and 2. Gallery 3 is located down two half flights of stairs in an “L” shape. To avoid using the stairs and access Gallery 3 gallery staff will accompany you outside to the Gallery 3 entrance on Hollis street, a 30 sec walk from the main door.

  • Washrooms: Our two washrooms are at the back of the gallery, up a flight of stairs through a small hall and then down a second flight of stairs. They are both gender neutral. Unfortunately the gallery does not have wheelchair accessible washrooms on site but gallery staff can assist in taking you to the closest wheelchair washroom on campus.


The Central Library Halifax

  • Performances will be on the main floor, all floors are accessible via elevator 

  • All-gender washrooms


  • Wonder’neath is an accessible building with an entrance on the ground floor and elevator access up to the second floor, which is available from the ground floor of the building. An automatic door control into the building is situated adjacent to the door. Gender-neutral wheelchair-accessible public washrooms are available on both floors, and a baby changing station is accessible on the ground floor. A Quiet Room is accessible on the ground floor for anyone on the autism spectrum or anyone who is easily overstimulated in busy environments.

  • Accessibility document.

Walk located at South End

  • The event will take place outdoors on paved surfaces.

  • Will happen entirely on paved surfaces

  • **Confirm further details 


Port Loggia and Treaty Space Galleries, NSCAD Port Campus

  • The Galleries at our Port Campus have accessible coin operated parking out front on Marginal road. The galleries can be accessed at the north end and the south end of the building. Both entrances have automatic doors, operated by buttons both outside and inside. There are no steps to the gallery. Washrooms can be accessed by a ramp on the North end of the building where you will find a security desk. They will be able to escort you to the nearest washroom on that floor as the doors are accessed with a key card.

Panel Descriptions

Panel #3


How do co-creators become memory activists, producing work that unsettles our relationships to difficult heritage? How might this activism engage with the presence of archival materials and data visualisation? This panel of artists and scholars uses alternative processes to commemorate stories and spaces. Through video-image projection, installation, and performance, Mi Young’s People in White revisits the trauma of the Korean War, while Hosein Khodabakhsh’s Against Communal Memory is a digital counter-monument that archives crimes committed by the Iranian government against its citizens. In Alternative Voices, Aggrey Agwata documents community engagement and artistic creation with the Ndotu Zetu group in Kenya. Finally, Kathryn Waring uses creative avenues to combat archival erasure of patient’s voices in the former Craig Colony for Epileptics in the state of New York.    


Panel #4


Can the body be a counter-monument? In what ways do sound and movement destabilise textual hegemony? In this panel, three artists will explore the possibilities of performance as it relates to difficult histories and contemporary crises. Hannah Kaya investigates the capacity of “climate grief circles” formed to collectively mourn ecological collapse. In contrast, Mariana Marcassa’s piece explores sound as a conduit of resistance to a colonial past. Finally, Kate MacDonald’s work breaks free of the constraints of genre, demonstrating the world’s many facets and intersections.       

Panel #5


What methodologies can be developed for collaborative processes between artists, scholars, curators, and the public? How can the public participate and engage with counter-monuments? This panel explores public art and its potential for sharing perspectives on difficult and contested histories. Kristine Germann addresses ideas of witnessing as a way of diverging from the dominant lenses of capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy. Trina Cooper-Bolum interrogates the differences between Western and Indigenous ideas of commemoration, highlighting the importance of decolonizing heritage. Desirée Valadares explores Colonialism and carcerality in the troubled landscape of the scenic highways of British Columbia, and offers ways in which we can re-imagine our relationships to those places.

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