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Q&A with Jaimie Isaac on Born in Power

Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art in the exhibition, Born in Power.

We caught up with Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art to talk about her latest exhibition, Born in Power

Born in Power considers the power of photography and film to capture and create constructs of identity. This exhibition unpacks the history of photography, addressing colonial violence while also acknowledging the resistance, reliance, and reclamation the artists express.

Why was it important for the WAG to share this exhibition at this time?

With covid-19, we’ve had to reschedule exhibitions which opened up an opportunity to share this exhibition I’ve been researching earlier than anticipated, and it’s as important now as ever, to address the significance and need of representation in these institutions. The work is powerful, and relevant reflecting heightened conditions in our world right now and historically.

How have Black and Indigenous artists used photography, film, and mixed media to portray their experiences?

The material embodies representations of the self and their communities as acts of reclamation and self determination, in control of their image they express their diverse experiences. Black and Indigenous womxn share a collective history of enduring oppression, discrimination, diaspora, sexual violence, and racial objectification but also care for community, leadership, resiliency, resistance, and survival. Carrying that knowledge and experience, these artists use techniques in photography and film to define identity and realities for themselves without the influence of institutional expectations and impositions.

What do you hope visitors gain from engaging with Born in Power, online or in person once it is safe to do so?

My hope is that these stories shared in this exhibition are respected, in that the work should be listened to and interpreted with an awareness of bias and recognition of privilege and power of looking. The stories and experiences are layered and dynamic so I hope visitors will enjoy the striking work, the monochromatic design and the programming which will involve voices from the community and is a significant part of the Born in Power exhibition.

Tell us about your inspirations for this exhibition, how did the concept come about?

I’m always inspired by connecting to current experiences, environment, and history, the artists, and their perspectives.


Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing exciting online programming for this exhibition soon!


2 thoughts on "Q&A with Jaimie Isaac on Born in Power"

Cindy Kelly says:

I am looking forward to the day that we can safely return to the Art Gallery and appreciate the various exhibitions on display.

janet fontaine says:

Intriguing. Looking forward to knowing more when WAG presentations are available.

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