Contained within a reasonably small vestibule on the 6th floor of the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch was a picture archive. It was an index of images known as the Picture File, a collection of visual anecdotes obsessively and systematically categorized into 30 filing cabinets over the course of eighty years. The Picture File was a seemingly arbitrary and incomplete archive with a variation of moiré patterns amalgamated into a compilation of creases and folds. Every picture contained its own evidence. Ink smudges and fingerprint markings traced back to the many visitors that touched the paper over time. Every picture was unique, with differing shapes, weights, textures and printing processes.
The UK and France are commonly perceived as the former dominant colonial powers in Africa, retaining commercial interests in their former colonial territories. In the last few years an emerging discourse has emerged in the West about China’s involvement in Africa. Yet the reality is that Canadian mining corporations continue to dominate mining activities in Africa.
Osman Fernando de León Reyes, a 29-year old Guatemalan man, is facing deportation from Surrey next week. His lawyer is seeking a judicial stay order from the Federal Court of Canada to urgently stop his deportation so that Mr. Reyes is not separated from his family and not deported back to imminent danger in Guatemala.
Yesterday a media leak revealed that immigration officials are recommending the removal of citizenship rights from babies born to non-residents in Canada. This came on the heels of the racial profiling and arrest of 21 undocumented workers in Ontario this weekend. A network of immigrant and refugee groups is condemning both these developments as symptomatic of a “racist system of managed migration.”
Chak’s illustrations reveal the underbelly of facilities intentionally hidden away. “Spaces of incarceration are both nowhere and everywhere, blended into our landscapes,” she writes. “But their invisibility is no coincidence. We hide the things that we don’t want to see or that we don’t want seen.”