Colonialism and the gender binary are intrinsically linked and their duet can force traditional knowledge underground. Cole Alvis (She/Her) facilitated an embodied panel that explored the intersections of 2 Spirit, trans and non-binary identities, featuring Jesse Del Fierro (They/Them/Siya), Syrus Marcus Ware (He/Him), and Simone A. Medina Polo (She/Her).
Cole (she/her) is a 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) artist based in Tkarón:to with Chippewa, Irish & English ancestors from Turtle Mountain. She is one of the leaders of lemonTree creations, manidoons collective, AdHoc Assembly and is on the board of the Dancers Of Damelahamid. Recently, Cole performed in Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company & National Arts Centre) and directed the Dora-nominated bug by Yolanda Bonnell (manidoons collective & Luminato), Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard (lemonTree creations, Why Not Theatre & Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and, alongside fellow Dora-nominated Michael Greyeyes, co-directed an Indigenous opera double bill called Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre, National Sami Theatre Beaivváš & Soundstreams). This spring, Cole is calling on the women in her matriarchal line to remember together their Michif ancestors.
JESSE DEL FIERRO
Jesse is a non-binary, Filipinx – Canadian theatre creator, performer and facilitator with the privilege to work in both Moh’kinstsis on Treaty 7 Territory and on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples colloquially known as Calgary AB and Vancouver BC respectively. They have the absolute joy of being Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre & Playwrights Theatre Centre’s 2021-22 MSG Emerging Dramaturg and one of The 35//50 Initiative’s Strategic Coordinators in partnership with Theatre Alberta. They have collaborated on works presented at PuSh International Performance Art Festival, SummerWorks, Audain Gallery, Vines Art Festival and rEvolver Festival amongst others. As a recipient of BCAC’s 2020 Early Career Development grant, Jesse is currently under the mentorship of Jenna Rodgers of Chromatic Theatre, and Jivesh Parasram of Rumble Theatre to further develop their skills as director, dramaturg, collaborator and overall badass artistic leader. Intersectionality is their only reality, and they appreciate you. Say hello at www.jessedelfierro.com
SYRUS MARCUS WARE
Syrus is a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. For 12 years, he was the Coordinator of the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth Program. In 2017, Syrus was named the TD Arts Diversity Award winner through the Toronto Arts Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2015, Syrus was named a Vanier Scholar and was ranked 7th nationally. In 2012, he was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership and activism, the largest award of its kind in Canada, and in 2005, Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by Now Magazine. Syrus is currently a facilitator/designer for the Cultural Leaders Lab (Toronto Arts Council & The Banff Centre). As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. Syrus holds degrees in Art History, Visual Studies and a Masters in Sociology and Equity Studies, University of Toronto and has recently earned a PHD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.
SIMONE A. MEDINA POLO
Simone (she/her) is a trans Latinx philosopher, interdisciplinary artist, and community organizer based out of Amiskwaciwâskahikan in Treaty 6 territory. Informed by her experience as an immigrant mestizo trans woman, her work in philosophy has centred around theories and practices of emancipation which translate over to her music as pseudo-antigone and in her role in many diverse communities. Through her artistic and community-based endeavours, Simone has been a curator and organizer for lectures, dialogues, panels, visual art exhibits, music shows, and festivals – some of her most recent and notable work includes the curation of Nextfest’s 2020 Pride Nite Club with Ricky Holloway, the short film “Stories from Nowhere in Particular” produced for Found Festival, and her research contributions for the Edmonton Performing Arts Accessibility Ad Hoc Group report with Kelsie Acton and Brooke Leifso. She is currently the Festival Producer for Nextfest which is on RIGHT NOW! Check it out at nextfest.ca.
This session was supported in part by Citadel Theatre’s Exchange Series. Citadel Theatre is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Theatre Alberta and these incredible artists, and would like to acknowledge Canada Council for the Arts and the Edmonton Community Foundation for their support of this event.