Archive as Genealogies

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 hope to use our creative abilities to engage, expand, and critique the work of our elders, and tell our own stories to forge different ways.

Provenance

TACLA is a meeting ground for creative storytelling and intergenerational engagement, nurtured by, in, with and for our communities. We are committed to creative research, artful representation, equitable outreach, and accessible presentation to tell intentional narratives about our histories, presents, and futures.

Mandate

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

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.

Current Projects

Bodies of Knowledge

A digital publication of multimedia artist profiles, with communal narratives and critical intertexts
funded by the OAC

Wayfinding

a directory of active community arts and grassroots initiatives

Meet the core team

Jasmine Gui

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.

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.

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.

Kelly Lui

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.

Nam Hoang

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.

Melina Mehr

Melina Mehr is a multi-disciplinary creator raised in Abu Dhabi and currently based in Toronto. She is an art museum professional, writer, and film photographer, whose work focuses on social justice, transgenerational memory, and storytelling. She received her Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto and currently manages freelance curatorial research and community programming while running her DIY project, invisibilities zine.

NashWa Khan

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.

All Our Relations

TACLA is committed to solidarity with Indigenous Nations and peoples who are the traditional and present keepers of this land.

We are also allied with Black communities here on Turtle Island fighting white supremacy, anti-blackness and the devastating, continuing structures of colonialism.

We believe in intentional solidarity and allyship practices. We invoke “pan Asian” as both praxis and goal while recognizing that Asian diasporas, histories and presents are varied, complex and conflicting.