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be our allyBe Our Ally - Photographs by Anna Gaby-Trotz is held over until Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound.

It is an Available Space Art Project (ASAP) presented by Sheatre and The Tom Thomson Art Gallery. 

In this work, Gaby-Trotz asks, "How can we create a world that is open to difference?"

These are portraits of people who have chosen to be photographed for Be Our Ally while being asked that question.

"Ally: to unite or form a connection or relation between." These are portraits of individuals connected by the common thread of wanting to create a world that is tolerant, safe, and respectful to all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation. These are not glamour shots—in fact the people in these photos are not posed or staged. These images are simply of people. Together they say – "Be our ally."

Be Our Ally is a violence prevention project to foster diversity and respect for difference. We should not have to live in a society where people who are seen to love differently are targets of hate crimes and discrimination. We believe that we must begin to transform the words and values that create victims of hate crimes in the LGBTQ community.

BOA is built on the hope that with dialogue and mutual understanding we can reshape how we see each other.

Be Our Ally is a collective production of Sheatre, facilitated by Joan Chandler, david sereda and Anna Gaby-Trotz.

The project combines interactive theatre, photography, audio recordings and music. The photographs, along with the interactive play, have travelled to 22 communities in Ontario and been seen by 8500+ viewers.

Anna Gaby-Trotz, printmaker and photographer, travels to the most remote places in Canada to explore our relationship to the land. In 2012, Anna received funding to travel through The North West Passage, furthering her work in the Canadian Arctic. This fall, Anna was selected to be an artist for the epic Canada C3 Expedition, where she travelled through waters in British Columbia examining climate change. Her current work explores her relationship to a landscape that is melting and changing before our eyes. Whether working from the side of a river-bank, or in a college or university, Anna believes in the transformative power of art. After completing her MFA in Printmaking from The University of Alberta, Anna worked in Edmonton at Boyle Street Community Services. There she built an inner-city arts program for some of the most underprivileged people in Canada. Anna worked as photographer on Be Our Ally, working with rural youth to examine homophobia. Anna also teaches for The Haliburton School of the Arts and is the Technical Director of Open Studio in Toronto.

source: media release, Sheatre

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