Pride/Swell was a University Research Fund (UNB) and SSHRC Connections Grant-funded social distance art & activism project with 2SLGBTQ+ youth from across Atlantic Canada. From 2020-2021, 50 2SLGBTQ+ youth from across Atlantic Canada received a package in the mail that contains 1) art supplies; and 2) a prompt.
In November 2021, several members of Pride/Swell met up in Fredericton to co-curate an exhibition of our collected works. The exhibition, “It’s Time to Rethink Everything”: A Pride/Swell Exhibition, made visible moments in time throughout the Pandemic: public support of Black Lives Matter, the attempts to save Clinic 554, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and medical racism through the example of Joyce Echaquan. The DIY art makes visible disability, queer rurality, the corporatization of Pride, the effect of COVID-19 on families and communities, the lack of access to mental health services, and finding community in a world on fire. Check out some images from our exhibit on our Pride/Swell x Monarch exhibition page.
In 2022, we received a SSHRC New Frontiers in Research Grant to continue the project as Pride/Swell+ with an explicitly intergenerational focus, working with 55 2SLGBTQ+ youth and elders from Atlantic Canada.
Through art making and collaborative approaches to archiving (on social media and later in physical spaces), we seek to share our experiences creating intergenerational queer-focused community around art, identities, and space during Covid-19. Watch this site to see a growing archive of our art & activism!