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The Creativity Everything lab launches new initiative for Black creatives

The Black Mosaic is led by and for Black creatives at FCAD to come together and share their works
October 20, 2020

The Creativity Everything lab founded by David Gauntlett, Creative Industries professor launches The Black Mosaic, a new support project for Black creatives. Led by Mir Asoh, a Black (Cameroonian-Malagasy) multidisciplinary artist and fourth-year Creative Industries student, The Black Mosaic is a virtual hub for Black creators to come together and share their creative works. The project is one of several initiatives launched by David Gauntlett and the Creativity Everything lab in response to COVID-19. Creativity Everything takes a broad and inclusive approach to creativity and seeks to embrace a diverse range of creators and creative practices. 

“David reached out to me, inquiring if I would be interested in being hired to lead and conceptualize an initiative for Black creatives. This was right up my alley!” said Mir Asoh, founder of The Black Mosaic. “The support I received included feedback for ideas, graphic design support, as well as support with promotion and outreach. It’s been wonderful to create and participate in this project for my community. Most of all, it’s incredible to bear witness to Black artistic brilliance.”

Mir Asoh, fourth-year Creative Industries student and founder of The Black Mosaic

David Gauntlett, Creative Industries professor and founder of the Creativity Everything lab

The Black Mosaic

The Black Mosaic is a free community-based, peer-support project in the form of bi-weekly sessions for Black creators to exchange feedback on new or existing projects — without the pressure to showcase finished work. From literary arts to film and photography, the sessions touch on a diverse range of creative practices and are inclusive to creators and artists across many disciplines.

“Through The Black Mosaic, participants can connect with other Black creatives, while giving and receiving feedback in a chill and easy-going environment. In this capitalistic world, there is so much pressure to be ‘productive’ and to be constantly churning out super polished work,” said Mir Asoh. “The Black Mosaic aims to push back against this by creating a space where Black creatives can simply share artistic works-in-progress, without the pressure to showcase ‘finished’ work. The focus is also on talking about the creative process and ideas behind the work.”

Harrybyharry is a surreal talk and sketch show written and produced by Harry Clarke. This show puts art and activism first, using Harrybyharry's limbo-like lair as a space to push (and join) the boundaries of journalism and performance.

Friends of Harrybyharry are invited to experience a free-flowing interview while the audience is treated to vibrant visuals that incorporate Clarke's favorite medium of collage.

The project offers group support through themed Zoom meetings, where participants have the opportunity to discuss and share works-in-progress, aspirations and frustrations with like-minded creators. The group support component of the project creates an avenue for participants to connect and collaborate with other Black creatives in the city. The project also offers one-on-one support for those who prefer to share their creative endeavours in a private setting. In celebration of the creators who took part in The Black Mosaic, participants will be provided with the opportunity to submit their works in progress to be compiled in the End of Season Exhibition — a virtual zine created by Mir.

“Derivation” is a short story written by Sapphire Woods, a Black, queer, shapeshifting and gender-expansive person of Afro-Caribbean descent migrating out of Tkoronto to Algonquin and Iroquoian territories.

While kidnapped and displaced through various kinds of ongoing colonial torture and extraction, Indigenous and Black folks still have a connection to these lands. Their story highlights the tension between the consequences of human extraction from the land and imagines what the land would require if it extracted from us.

"The COVID pandemic has meant that many people are seeking comfort and nourishment in creative activities. It has also meant that many whose work relies on creative performance and events have had to pivot to all kinds of innovative alternatives,” said Gauntlett. “FCAD's Creativity Everything lab has sought to support both of those groups through several free online classes and courses, videos and interactive initiatives.”

“How High is the Moon” is a film created by Chukwudubem Ukaigwe, analyzing Black civil rights in the ghost of ontology. The film takes an anthropological approach to mapping Pan-African Black resistance, drawing and locating parallels between history and present realities, as well as speculating future relationships between race, class and ideological groupings.

The film is composed of manipulated videos from archival sources, which are tailored gently with scripted roles and filmed scenes that were written and directed by the artist. Parts of the monologues and dialogues from this film, were chopped up, reconstructed, and stitched into a poem, Published by the Winnipeg Art Gallery with the title; ‘This Cup’.

Creativity Everything

The Black Mosaic is the latest in a stream of many online events, initiatives and videos, external link created by the Creativity Everything lab since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Other initiatives have included Creativity Conversations, an online coaching and support service; two series of online workshops, ‘Keys to Creativity’ and ‘Making it Happen’; and the Creativity Everything podcast, a season of 12 episodes talking to all kinds of creators about all kinds of creativity.

“We are especially pleased to support The Black Mosaic. The initiative is run by Mir, and is by and for Black students and community. We just provide behind-the-scenes communications and design support. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate and sustain the incredible Black artists and creators who have joined so far," said Gauntlett, the Canada Research Chair in Creative Innovation and Leadership.

The Black Mosaic at Creativity Everything is one of the initiatives developed by FCAD to offer platforms for creativity, specifically for the Black creative community at the faculty. To join The Black Mosaic, visit the Creativity Everything, external link website to learn more and register.

FCAD at Ryerson University

Entering its eighth decade, FCAD is a global centre of media and creative invention. As a disrupter in innovative education, FCAD is dedicated to developing creators with authentic voices who engage directly with creative industries around the world.

With 23 undergraduate and graduate programs that are shaping the future of their fields and tight-knit partnerships around the world, FCAD offers more opportunities to educate the next generation of creative leaders than anywhere else.