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Public invited to experience Born in Power exhibition virtually thanks to Safe at Home MB Grant

Show responds to Black and Indigenous solidarity and representation in galleries

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory, February 11, 2021: In conjunction with Black History Month, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is thrilled to unveil a series of virtual programming for the exhibition Born in Power, curated by Jaimie Isaac, WAG Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art. With support from the Safe at Home Manitoba Grant Program, the series makes it easier to #stayathome, giving free access to thought-provoking talks, tours and community programming.

Born in Power presents Indigenous and Black representation in photography, film, and text from a self-determined lens. The exhibition considers the power of photography and film to capture and create constructs of identity and consider the history of photography and media as a colonial tool, an imperial weapon of racial violence and objectification. Born in Power presents primarily womxn and nonbinary/enby identities that embody representations of the self and community as acts of reclamation and image sovereignty to occupy space. The new exhibition has been installed at the WAG since November 2020, but the opening has been postponed due to the pandemic. Now, thanks to the Government of Manitoba, this critical and timely show will be experienced through rich programming no matter where you are in the world.

View a sneak peek of the exhibition here.

Enduring a collective history of resistance, intersectional oppression, discrimination, and objectification, the artists from Indigenous and Black identities use photography to defy stereotypes and Eurocentric standards – defining identity for themselves without the influence of society’s expectations and impositions. Representations of intergenerational Indigenous and Afro/Black bodies are recast, re-scripted, challenged, and countered by self-determined and familial power. 

About Born in Power Safe at Home Manitoba Programming

  • Stay in and stay warm this weekend with the Born In Power opening celebration with DJ Kilusan from Studio 393 LIVE on Instagram this Friday, February 12 from 5-7pm.
  • Artist talks with featured artists from the exhibition. Auntie Lens will share perspectives from inspiring “Aunties” in the community.
  • Community-led tours and responders from local Winnipeggers, including the Bannock Babes and many more artists, educators, and community organizers.
  • Virtual performances from artists, musicians, DJs, and poets.
  • Artist-led virtual studio classes, around themes presented in the exhibition.
  • Storytelling Saturday mornings with Black and Indigenous children’s book authors.
  • Virtual artist studio-visits with Black and Indigenous artists in the community.

About Born in Power

  • Born in Power, on view at the WAG until Summer 2021, depicts representations of Indigenous and Black bodies from Black and Indigenous image makers.
  • The exhibition responds to the ongoing Black Lives Matter rallies and powerful BIPOC solidarity movements, foregrounding the current social and political climates we are experiencing, and honouring Black History Month.
  • The show explores representations of the self and community as acts of reclamation to occupy space in institutional space.
  • Despite living in patriarchal, oppressive, and racialized social conditions, the femme focused and non-binary subjects represented in the images shift the script and express their power in self-representation.
  • Artists include Ella Cooper, Anique Jordan, Meryl McMaster, Kali Spritzer, Raven Davis, Hagere Selam (Shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot.
  • Born in Power will involve programming and engagement with local artists and community through partnerships with Studio 393, the Decolonizing Lens Film Series, and more.
  • WAG@Home Born in Power content will include a series of #auntielens digital programming. These brief conversations from womxn from the community compelled to speak about their community organizations they care about and themes in the exhibition, which will be shared on the Government of Manitoba’s website as well as the WAG’s website and social media.
  • #auntielens guests will share personal and professional experiences of feminism, solidarity, intersectionality, resistance, resilience, representation, reclamation.

“Manitoba is pleased to support exhibitions that can bring us together, and challenge the way we view our world. We must continue to strive for a better, safer Manitoba with tolerance and compassion for all, especially as we navigate these difficult times we are in.”
—Honourable Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage

Born in Power brings together the work of several Black and Indigenous artists, in both historical and contemporary contexts. As an art museum and community gathering place, the WAG is committed to ensuring all people feel welcome and safe here. We have a lot of work ahead to achieve that, and we thank our community for the feedback, accountability, and trust on this journey. We also thank the Government of Manitoba for making this show more accessible to the public through virtual programming.”
—Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Born in Power addresses the work of Black and Indigenous artists from womxn and enby identities through photography, and video, inviting audiences to witness the power of self-determination, self-representation and empowerment. I’m so pleased that the Safe at Home MB program has given artists and community the opportunity to share their work with their own words, and that Manitobans can engage with that work from home.”
—Jaimie Isaac, Curator of Indigenous & Contemporary Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery

“While we often hear the words “racism, Anti-Indigeneity, Anti-Blackness, Anti-Afro Indigeneity, gender-based violence, and ableism,” we sum these experiences up as being lived, and witnessed by everybody who falls under these identities equally. However, if you are experienced by others as other than white, cis-gendered, or non-disabled, violence and the risk of violence is amplified, significantly. Compounded are the risks of human trafficking, police violence, medical negligence, and food/housing security.”
—Raven Davis, Artist

Associated Links
Winnipeg Art Gallery – Born in Power
Sneak Peek: Born in Power
Safe at Home Manitoba Grant Program

Stay Connected
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #atwag #qaumajuq #auntielens

Safe at Home Manitoba Grant Program


For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Amy Rebecca Harrison
Engagement Supervisor
Winnipeg Art Gallery

Amber O’Reilly
Engagement Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
204.786.6641 ext. 210

The Winnipeg Art Gallery (the WAG) is a cultural advocate using art to connect, inspire, and inform. Playing a dynamic role in the community, we are a place for learning, dialogue, and enjoyment through art. The WAG holds in trust the largest public collection of contemporary
Inuit art in the world. To celebrate the art and to honour the Inuit, the WAG is building Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre. Opening in early 2021, the centre will bridge Canada’s North and South through exhibitions, research, education, and art making. To learn more visit


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