May 4 – June 22, 2019

A Kind of Return

Works by Bishara Elmi & Luther Konadu
Curated by Alyssa Fearon

A Kind of Return brings together projects by Bishara Elmi and Luther Konadu that offer nuanced reflections on interpersonal relationships within Black communities. Konadu is an emerging Winnipeg-based photographer who takes self-portraits and photographs of close friends and loved ones. The resulting images present the subjects on their own terms, and challenge dehumanizing representations that have long been associated with the Black body in photography. Elmi is a Toronto-based artist who addresses the tension between displacement and belonging within relationships, particularly as it relates to the Black queer and trans experience. Using fabric, text, and moving and still images, Elmi’s work argues that the experiences of exile and marginalization can occur within the context of a relationship, not just from a physical location.

At their core, both projects ask: What role can relationships serve for those living in oppressed conditions? And how do those individuals find each other and build community? Elmi and Konadu explore their truths of what this means culturally and systemically, while complicating stereotypical and narrow representations of Black communities.

A Kind of Return is a Featured Exhibition in the 2019 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

About the Artists

Bishara Elmi is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, educator and public speaker working in visual forms and with numerous materials and creative processes. Elmi is currently residing in Toronto by way of Mogadishu. The artist also works individually and within collectives centering BIPOC youth, women and femme voices and stories, and Elmi has created many spaces for these types of storytelling and skill-sharing to take place.

Luther Konadu is a writer and artist of Ghanaian descent based in Winnipeg. His studio labour is project-based and realized through photographic print media and painting processes. He is interested in how the legacies of these mediums continue to shape prevailing perceptions of group identities, and uses his work to reinterpret this kind of image-making. Konadu lives and works on Treaty One Territory, the stolen lands of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota and Oji-Cree Nations.