Exploring a new city. Starting university. Thriving as a community. These are some of the experiences shared in New Beginnings, a photography installation showcasing the work of immigrant and refugee youth which opens at the CMHR on December 10, International Human Rights Day.
New Beginnings is the result of a photography project called “Youth Lens” that took place with 72 young refugees and immigrants in Ottawa. Organized by U SHINE Movement and the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, it brought together youth to help them share their experiences and dreams for the future through images.
Youth learned from professional photographers and each other through workshops, which also encouraged lively exchanges between participants about rights, freedoms, and Canadian values, building bridges of understanding and friendship.
As part of the project, participants captured the images presented in this installation, which represent their new beginnings in Canada.
“The joy of being listened to, understood and accepted encourages newcomers like me to be persistent despite the challenges of we face,” said Glory Djouka, a youth featured in New Beginnings. “I hope this installation will help others share their stories as immigrants and refugees in Canada.”
New Beginnings was curated by U SHINE Movement and is presented at the Museum in partnership with Alliance Française du Manitoba. It runs until June 13, 2022.
Media are invited to a preview of New Beginnings on December 9 (details below).
The Museum is also celebrating International Human Rights Day with free admission for all visitors on December 10. Tickets are available online. Proof of vaccination is required for visitors 12 and over.
As well, starting at sundown on December 10, the Museum’s glass cloud will be lit up in a dazzling light show, projected from inside the Museum, which will continue every evening until February 20. For the rest of December, each night during the show, the Museum will be lit up a vibrant blue for 10 minutes starting at 7:00 p.m. to honour healthcare workers.
WHAT: New Beginnings, an installation of photographs from immigrant and refugee youth
WHEN: Media preview December 9, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Open to the public December 10
WHERE: The Forks North Portage Partnership Classroom Lobby, CMHR, 85 Israel Asper Way
This installation is part of the CMHR’s commitment to make space available for community-based initiatives that highlight important issues of rights and dignity in Canada and around the world.
Newcomer youth whose work is featured in New Beginnings are available by Zoom or phone. Representatives from U SHINE Movement and Alliance Française are also available. Please call to arrange an interview.
“Youth Lens” was created in collaboration with the Social Planning Council of Ottawa and supported by grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the French Embassy in Canada. Photography instruction by Kiran Ambwani and Mathieu Brunet.