The Asian Canadian Living Archive (TACLA) is reclamation and renewal.
We at TACLA believe in the power of listening to and recording the stories and wisdoms of those who came before us and did the necessary work to pave a way for us in the present.
We also believe in using our creative abilities to engage, expand, and critique the work of our elders, and tell our own stories to forge different ways.
TACLA is a meeting ground for creative storytelling and intergenerational engagement, nurtured by and for our communities. We are committed to creative research, artful representation, and equitable outreach to tell intentional narratives about our histories, presents, and futures.
Mandate // Archive As GenealogIES
Why create TACLA?
TACLA has a threefold mandate in our activities:
- To Coalesce: To connect and bring pan-Asian artists together in dialogue, creation and resistance
- To Keep: To imaginatively remember histories, presents, and stories of pan-Asian Canadian artist communities
- To Witness: To animate multiple knowledges in nonlinear, messy and flexible ways for the purpose of empowering, educating and healing communities
What goes in TACLA?
In phase one, we will be actively sourcing, brainstorming and pitching TACLA’s ideas to groups of people, partnering with community organizations to pilot initiatives.
In phase two, we will begin co-constructing multimedia artist profiles, compile a directory of active community arts and grassroots initiatives in the GTA, publish critical intertexts in the form of introductions and reviews produced by our communities, and program animation and outreach events throughout the GTA.
How does TACLA work?
TACLA is committed to working collaboratively in decolonial praxis and radical imagination, which means critically working in solidarity with and toward pan-Asian communities.
We understand that allyship requires a spirit of humility, listening, and a willingness to be open and held accountable to build relationships communally through the many different histories, cultures and positionalities that make the pan Asian diaspora on Turtle Island.
Meet the core team spearheading Phase 1 of TACLA’s initiatives!
Kelly is a community arts facilitator who is constantly interested in the ways digital media can be a site and tool for social change. She is a graduate from the Masters of Environmental Studies program at York University with a focus on community-arts methodology, critical food pedagogy and critical theory. Her favourite food is any form of noodle soup.
Jasmine is a Singaporean-born interdisciplinary artist and arts programmer. The founder of Project 40 Collective, managing editor at LooseLeaf Magazine and producer at Teh People Studio, she works in writing and mixed media. She holds an MA in English, Diaspora and Transnational Studies (U of Toronto), with a focus on race, creative resistance and power. She is widely known as a tea lady.
Nam is a designer and cinematographer whose work focuses on a unique blend of strategy, creative direction, and interdisciplinary experimentation. He is the founder of Makeshift Collective, a shared studio space for designers, artists, and fabricators. Nam is also the creator of the Vietnamese Refugee’s Archive, a crowdsourced platform for the Vietnamese Canadian Diaspora to tell their story.
Özge Dilan Arslan
Özge Dilan Arslan is an interdisciplinary Kurdish artist, activist, and researcher. Founder of the SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) art collective Diaspora Express, Özge aims to illustrate the complexities of life within the diaspora. She is currently pursuing her MA in Communication and Culture at Ryerson/York University, and working alongside the Studio for Media Activism.
Nashwa Khan holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University with areas of concentration focused on narrative methodologies, community and public health, refugee, and forced migration studies. She is also a writer and poet published in a variety of places. Sometimes you can find her tweeting too little or too much.
gRayson F. Lee
Grayson is a Ph.D student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. He researches Korean webtoons, the digital culture industry, and transnational culture, utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to ask how people are imagining alternative realities within/without capitalism. Grayson is also a co-founder of giant doma, where he produces podcasts, makes digital collage art, and fulfills various other creative impulses.
Drop us a message and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as we can!