A 48-hour space for conversation

Union Gallery

Student initiative allows students anf faculty alike to express themselves and be heard

For 48 hours, Convocation Hall will host a series of artistic installations, for Queen’s students and faculty members alike to answer one not-so-simple question: “How are you?” 

The answer to the prompt will be presented through a variety of artistic mediums, ranging from photography, to play writing, creation of an artistic piece and dance — the list goes on and on.  

Entitled, A Space: 48 Hours at Queen’s University, the two-day initiative aims to simply offer a space, where students, faculty and community members can be heard. 

After multiple incidents preoccupied with racial and gender identity unfolding this year at Queen’s, Wallis Caldoza, ArtSci ’17, took it upon herself to create a safe space for students to express themselves. 

“There are so many voices we are missing, simply because there’s just not space for them to be heard,” Caldoza said in an interview with The Journal. 

Following the open forums that took place after controversy within the Drama department over the casting of a white woman in the role of Othello for a student production, Caldoza sought to carve out space that’s not limited to a couple hours, but is an ongoing project to create open dialogue among Queen’s and Kingston natives.  

“The whole idea is that there should always be space. The whole notion that there shouldn’t have to be an event to create space, there should always be space created,” Caldoza said. 

Moreover, the project spurs questions, such as how well do we carve out space for others to be heard? How well do you listen? And, what does it mean to be apart of the Queen’s community? Not to mention, how do you really feel? 

“I don’t want anyone to hurt,” said Caldoza. “It sounds silly and trivial, but if we’re really going to hurt then, man, let’s talk about it.” 

The space will be in use for 48 whole hours for people to enter and exit freely. The length of the event aims to acknowledge the mere challenge of existing and preserving. 

Upon every hour mark, a member of the space will ask the room, “So, how are you?” followed by 10 minutes for visitors in the space to respond. 

“I hope that people who need that space take advantage of it, and I hope that this is not the be all and end all,” said Caldoza. 

“There’s nothing more spectacular and daunting, horrifying and beautiful than just being human.” 

The event will take place for 48 hours, from 6 p.m on April 7 to 6 p.m on April 9.

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