Capture What You See: Toronto's Chinatown with Qirou Yang & Sahar Askary Hemmat

Be a part of the art! Toronto residents, sign up to receive a free disposable camera to document your thoughts on the gentrification of Chinatown. 

Ontario Culture Days @ the Library residents Qirou Yang & Sahar Askary Hemmat are working on a project, Sensing Alienation, about the gentrification phenomenon in Chinatown.

At a time when Cantonese has been banned from being taught in Guangzhou, a provincial capital city of Guangdong in China, Qirou and Sahar started to seriously ponder when the next cultural symbol will disappear from their lives. While globalization has brought us physically together, what’s left when we slowly absorb the so-called standardism?

Traditional buildings have been torn down and modern condos are taking over. This idea is similar to the process of how disposable cameras are used. People generally use them for taking photographs and discard them once they are finished. In fact, disposable cameras can be used multiple times. Qirou and Sahar hope that traditional buildings can be treasured just like disposable cameras.

They would like to send you to use a disposable camera to document your thoughts on this matter.

What’s your connection with Chinatown? What do you feel when you think of Chinatown? Have you noticed the changes in the buildings in Chinatown, and how can you reflect your feeling and emotions with a disposable camera?

To participate:

  1. Please fill in the form, and answer the questions.
  2. Qirou and Sahar will inform you by email if you are selected for the disposable camera project. They will send you detailed information on where and when to pick up and drop off your disposable camera. You will have a week to finish the roll
  3. You will drop off the disposable cameras. Qirou and Sahar will then develop and scan the photos for you.
  4. Your photographs will be shown in Qirou and Sahar’s exhibition during the Ontario Culture Days Festival.

Aside from the Disposable camera project, Qirou and Sahar will also be producing an interview video with Chinatown everyday workers to reflect on their thoughts on the gentrification phenomenon in Chinatown. This video will be exhibited during the Ontario Culture Days Festival.

Learn more and register to attend the exhibition.