Upwind Productions, a collaborative team made up of MMIWG families and former Ryerson students, launched exhibition series ‘Shades of Our Sisters’ as a part of a 4th year thesis project. However, it has grown to become more than that. Both an immersive exhibition and online experience, Shades of Our Sisters is co-created by the families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to share the memory of their loved ones and what the loss of their life means.
MMIWGT2S Families First Approach
Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women [MMIW] are the acting producers on their respective documentaries in an aim to combat media narratives around MMIW that sensationalize and dehumanize their late family members by focusing on harsh details and statistics that "other" their loved ones.
Premiering in Toronto, the exhibit was attended by both the family and communities of the exhibit’s Indigenous subjects, as well as young students and media professionals helping to shape the future of reconciliation in Canada. The exhibit then travelled to Alderville and Manitoulin to engage with the home communities of Sonya Cywink and Patricia Carpenter, the subjects of the exhibit. Since its launch, it has also opened in London, Sudbury and again in Toronto.
On top of the exhibition, we have initiated a Canada wide outreach activity called 'Feathers for Our Women' in an attempt to educate and engage youths into learning about MMIWGT2S, systemic racism and violence prevention measures. After the exhibition, all media be hosted online as a digital vigil. Here, the memories of the women will live and grow organically.
To the left is the Feathers for Our Women Mobile - crafted with the help of Waylon Goodwin, a Cree artist from Kashechewan First Nations.
Shades of Our Sisters continues to run a couple times per year! Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest showings.
Disclaimer: With the roots of the project stemming from The Memory Projects (2015), Shades of Our Sisters is not affiliated with the previous documentary work about Sonya Cywink.