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A Photo Essay by Ebti Nabag
October 16, 2020 - January 17, 2021
Over the course of the Safe in Public Space initiative, Toronto-based portrait and documentary photographer Ebti Nabag will travel beyond The Bentway site to public spaces city-wide, capturing communities’ changing interactions with their local parks, squares, and centres of communal gathering. Nabag’s work will examine, in real time, how ideas of safety manifest and are communicated in public space through borders and boundaries, signs and symbols, public space architectures, and delineations of space.
Who determines the rules for public space safety, and how are those rules indicated and enforced? How do communities — as the experts of their own experiences, cultures, and comfort levels — work to subvert and reshape established rules of public space safety to better suit their needs in rapidly-changing times? Follow the evolution of Ebti Nabag’s work through the release of weekly images that expose, from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and across the city at large, what it means to seek safety in public space.
About Ebti Nabag
Ebti Nabag is a graduate of Ryerson University’s MFA program Documentary Media in Film and Photography. She is a Sudanese-Canadian visual artist who works with photography, video, and installation. She is also a digital and analogue photography instructor. She teams up with galleries and community organizations to deliver visual programs that provide opportunities for creative self-expression and aid in the development of identity. Her personal work is motivated by stories from the average human, and hopes her documentations serve as bridges between people and communities.
About Safe in Public Space
Safe in Public Space is a multifaceted initiative that aims to broaden the definition of public safety to address new public health challenges presented by COVID as well as systemic inequities, and ensure that there is a shared social contract governing public space access and use.
How do we define public safety and for whom? Where are safety and accessibility at odds, and how can those conflicts lead to new creative solutions that reshape public space and give people the confidence to re-engage in the city without anxiety?
Through creative experiments on The Bentway’s physical and digital sites; images, ideas, writings, and dialogues from a diversity of collaborators; a new Public Space Fellowship program; and in-depth community consultations, Safe in Public Space aims to arrive at shareable learnings and best practices for spaces city-wide, as well as specific safety commitments for the future of The Bentway.
For more, visit safeinpublicspace.com.