We are so excited to be working with The City of Toronto and photographer Colin Boyd Shafer of Cosmopolis TO for his new exhibit, “Interlove”, which explores people of different faiths who have come together, in love.
Mixing with the wrong colour, caste or faith has been a major issue for centuries—some of us know about this struggle first hand or likely know someone who does. But attitudes are changing according to Colin who says he believes there is a natural progression especially in culturally diverse cities like Toronto.
It’s that idea of “diversity” which got Colin thinking and spawned the Interlove project. He says, “For many of the couples, this is an opportunity to tell their story with confidence – the way they want it to be told. Many of these couples have faced obstacles, and in a way this is an opportunity to be proud of their love and also share some advice with anyone who may be charting a similar path.”
People often try to mask their prejudices by saying they merely want to preserve their culture/traditions and therefore cannot accept romantic unions which involve two different beliefs. “If anything, it strengthens traditions and culture. When someone is in a relationship with someone of a different belief, they themselves actually have to think deeply about what they believe and why they do the rituals they do. This requires a lot of introspection, and ultimately it leads to increased confidence in ones culture.” He recalls a quote from one of the couples he met:
Annie (Catholic) and Sunder (Hindu): “Our children learn and celebrate both religions and will have freedom to choose one of our religions, none or another religion of their choice.”
All couples face their own unique challenges and none of them work without mutual hard work. So what does Colin believe are the keys to a lasting love? “I guess I would call it the 4 Cs Communication, Compromise, Compassion and Common Values. Ultimately relationships are a lot of work, but totally worth it – and these couples demonstrate that well. It has become clear to me that regardless of belief, it is the values the couple shares that matter.
This project is such a welcomed breath of fresh air. “In a world full of stories of hate, often times with that hate being drawn along religious lines, I think it is essential to tell real stories of love. These couples’ love stories can teach us all something.”
Want to participate? He’s looking for more couples to shoot; visit: interloveproject.com
If you’re interested in attending the private Opening Reception at the Mackenzie House on May 13th 6-8pm, please RSVP by calling Mackenzie House at 416-392-6915 or e-mail email@example.com. The exhibition runs until August 12 and Mackenzie House is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12 to 5pm.
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
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