221A invites you to meet Fellow Syrus Marcus Ware at this live stream, where he will present his practice, activism and research. Syrus is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. Using painting, drawing, textiles, installation, video and performance, Syrus works with and explores social justice frameworks, and Black activist culture.
Syrus’ Fellowship will assemble a team of creators to produce a new series of speculative fiction stories for a book and an original podcast series. We also welcome æryka jourdaine hollis o’neil as the project’s Editorial & Creative Producer, who is an artist and academic with a focus on documentary media and Black Studies.
Fellows at 221A
Since 2017, 221A has worked with 14 Fellows to conduct research over extended periods of time. Each Fellow receives a living-wage stipend and production support to lead new research on potential social, cultural or ecological infrastructure. Staff work alongside Fellows to resource and translate research into public education, learning programs and engaging plans to develop new infrastructure.
- Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Arts, McMaster University. Syrus uses drawing, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including in a solo show at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver (2068:Touch Change) and new work commissioned for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art and the Ryerson Image Centre (Antarctica and Ancestors, Do You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future)) and in group shows at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, the Art Gallery of Windsor and as part of the curated content at Nuit Blanche 2017 (The Stolen People; Won't Back Down). His performance works have been part of festivals across Canada, including at Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016, 2019), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). He is part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective and co-programmed Crip Your World: An Intergalactic Queer/POC Sick and Disabled Extravaganza as part of Mayworks 2014. Syrus' recent curatorial projects include That’s So Gay (Gladstone Hotel, 2016-2019), Re:Purpose (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2014) and The Church Street Mural Project (Church-Wellesley Village, 2013). Syrus is also co-curator of The Cycle, a two-year disability arts performance initiative of the National Arts Centre. Syrus is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter- Canada and the Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism. Syrus is a co-curator of Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. Syrus has won several awards, including the TD Diversity Award in 2017. Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by NOW Magazine (2005) and was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award (2012). Syrus holds a doctorate from York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. He is the co-editor or the best-selling Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (URP, 2020)
- æryka jourdaine hollis o’neil (she/they) is a Chicago-based concurrent Ph.D. Candidate in Black Studies, MFA student in Documentary Media, and Mellon Cluster Fellow in the Critical Theory program at Northwestern University. hollis o’neil also holds a Master of Arts in American Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Filmmaking from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Their interdisciplinary research spans the fields of Black queer and trans studies, Black feminist theory, political ontology, visual culture, performance studies, and film theory and practice. Identity formation and its discontents are essentially at the core and crux of their academic research and artistic practice respectively. She is currently working on her dissertation, Translating the Void: Anti-Blackness, Racial Adaptation, and Trans Narrativity– from Stage to Screen & In-Between which examines the onto-epistemological dimensions of Black gender identity through narratives of racialized gender transition and adaptation. Their MFA experimental documentary thesis film, in the interval, considers related themes of racialized gender, sexuality, desire, kinship, enfleshment and embodied capital, personhood, violence and belonging.
221A acknowledges that the area called Vancouver is within the unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. 221A recognizes that the colony of British Columbia was created through organized dispossession and colonial violence. 221A seeks to shift its organizational practices to work together with Indigenous people to end ongoing violence, dispossession and displacement.