Resisting Erasure: Forging Our Own Space & Histories
Resisting Erasure: Forging Our Own Space & Histories is an exploratory film that investigates racially divided queer landscapes and the erasure of queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and many more people of colour (QTBIPOC) from gay villages, such as the Church-Wellesley Village in the City of Toronto. This film includes four participant interviews and critical conversations that attempt to address the questions, ‘Who are the spaces within gay villages and queer city areas planned and designed for?’, and ‘Where are the spaces that celebrate and welcome queer racialized bodies within the City?’. This film also includes conversations that centre around reimagining the gay village to be more inclusive and embracing of queer racialized identities, along with personal accounts on how the participants navigate urban and suburban space as queer racialized people.
Jc Elijah (Eli) M. Bawuah (he/him), BA (Hons), MES-Planning, is an Afro-Asian queer Urban Planner with multi-disciplinary experience gained by working on various city-building and community development projects. He has co-developed equity initiatives across Ontario centering the lived experiences and voices of Toronto’s diverse urban stakeholders. As a Committee Member of the City of Toronto’s LGBTQ2S+ Council Advisory Body he advises and co-imagines strategies, aimed at removing barriers faced by the queer community. With the goal to advance diversity and representation in the planning profession, Eli co-founded the Mentoring Initiative for Indigenous and Planners of Colour (MIIPOC), where he focuses on establishing a national network between experienced planners and emerging planners from underrepresented communities.