Archive for January, 2011

Canada’s G20 detainees

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Faraz Siddiqui, who was marching with a student contingent on June 26, 2010, was detained at the makeshift prison that evening and released without charges the next morning.

January has been really cold in Toronto. Just this past weekend the temps dipped so low it felt like -29 C. These are times when I’m particularly glad to be in the studio!

I’ve been indoors taking portraits of people arbitrarily apprehended during last June’s G20 summit in Toronto, and they’ll be done to mark the one-year anniversary. I hope they serve as a reminder of the fragile hold we have on democracy and to provoke a discussion about our rights in a free society.

These folks are some of the 1,105 people arrested and detained at the makeshift prison on Eastern Avenue in the city’s east end. They were released without being charged with any offences. For a breakdown of the G20 mass arrest, the largest in Canadian history, see

It’ll be timely, particularly since the federal auditor general will be releasing her report after the May 2 election on the G20 security costs, which were estimated to be nearly $575 million. To provide some perspective, the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 was about $12 million.

These portraits will be featured as part of the Raw Memory group exhibit at Gallery 1313 during CONTACT 2011 from May 11-22. Look forward to seeing you at the opening reception on May 12, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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