Oxygen Art Centre launches the second phase of an online youth arts education program entitled freezer cheese. Generously supported by the BC Arts Council Pivot Program and Osprey Community Foundation, the second phase offers an online youth workshop series and public speaker series throughout March and April 2022.  

Led by researcher and curator Hanss Lujan Torres, the freezer cheese: queerer times series presents weekly workshops and visiting speakers to explore alternative ways of thinking about time and the ever-changing present moment. Rooted in 2SQTBIPOC experiences, these events will engage with broader timescapes like pandemic time and colonial time and try to make sense of the “queerer” times we are all experiencing.

The first online public event (March 17 at 5:30 pm) features Kama La Mackerel, a Montreal-based Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. To begin the event, La Mackerel will present a 30 minutes performance that documents a ritual performance that honours the history and memory of water bodies. The film was originally presented at MOMENTA Biennale de l’Image last Fall and is a multilingual performance. 

The following speaker series will feature artists and writers, Léuli Eshrāghi and Billy Ray Belcourt. They will offer readings of their work and discuss their relation to time and queerness. In conversation with the facilitator Hanss Lujan Torres, these events will emphasize anticolonial approaches and Indigenous understandings of time. 

“freezer cheese” is derived from the fated piece of cheese—dairy or otherwise—that sits safely in the freezer, awaiting the moment it is needed for nutrition, for comfort, for enjoyment. These workshops and speaker series consider what lessons can be pulled from the theories of queer temporality and ask how we can use these to navigate moments of unease, pause, and disorientation brought on by the pandemic while also evoking a sense of play and curiosity.

Those interested in attending the speaker series are invited to register https://oxygenartcentre.org/freezer-cheese/. All events are free and open to the public.

Oxygen Art Centre