Toronto-based artist comes to Taber for Pride project

·2 min read

An artist has returned to southern Alberta from Toronto for one of their projects. During Taber Pride Week, Michael Seleski was present throughout the town photographing individuals and the event for their newest project about queer communities in southern Alberta. Before the pride flag-raising event, Seleski was able to speak to us about their newest art project.

“I’m an artist and photographer from Toronto; originally I was from Lethbridge, Alberta and I am working on a project called Queering Southern Alberta,” said Seleski. “Essentially, I am looking at all of the pride festivals across southern Alberta and seeing the amazing communities that celebrate pride here. Living in Toronto for the past 10 years, often I find that queer communities in larger cities are possibly a little more complacent, and coming back home to southern Alberta, I find the queer communities here to be so much more passionate. I think that it’s so beautiful and I think that actually southern Alberta has a ton of queer history and a ton of progressive moments in queer Canada history. I am here post-COVID to document some things and take portraits of some folks.”

Seleski briefly discussed how their current project is going, as well as going more in-depth about what inspired them to embark on this artistic journey.

“It’s good,” said Seleski. “I have, I believe, 30 participants who we have reached out and scheduled individual photo shoots. I am photographing Taber pride, Lethbridge, Drumheller, and some folks in Medicine Hat. After doing research for the past few years, there’s actually a big term that a lot of people don’t often talk about which is called Metronormativity. What that means is, essentially, that queer people in smaller towns don’t really exist and that to be a normal queer person, you often migrate to a big metropolis. Quite frankly, that is just not real — there are queer communities in all pockets of Canada, and the world and especially places that are a lot more rural. They’re an amazing queer community there. That is kind of like the true heart of this work that I’m doing.”

Ian Croft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Taber Times

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