The visual and visceral artefacts of an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) cultural mapping project are on display until Friday, Oct. 28 at the TRU Art Gallery. Longing, Belonging, and Everything in Between asks viewers to bear witness to community members’ reflections on experiences of EDI, positive or negative, and contemplate what belonging means and looks like to them.
Cultural mapping is part art project and part academic inquiry. A research team led by principal investigator and curator Evelyn Asiedu asked over 100 participants to reflect on the question, “Where have you encountered experiences of equity, diversity and inclusion at TRU?” and to put their impressions on paper.
“The research question is a sensitive one,” says Asiedu, a post-doctoral researcher in the Office of the Vice-President Research. “Our primary job is to listen. To give space for participants to express what they need to and ensure they feel heard.”
Participants—including students, faculty, staff and administrators of all levels—used water-colours, pencils and markers to create images or simply write words to express their lived experiences.
Asiedu hopes anyone who visits the exhibit sees there are many ways to have difficult conversations in an impactful and productive way. “People are still yearning to be heard.”
The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the gallery on Student Street in Old Main.
This project is supported by the Office of the Vice-President Research as part of the EDI Capacity Building Grant.