To see the city through the lens of a photographer can have you looking at the place you call home, in a way you’ve never envisioned before. What those photos would say, how they would make you feel, what questions it would evoke, make up the magic of photography.
Award-winning Photographer, Colin Boyd Shafer, is currently embarking on a photographic depiction of Toronto’s most famous asset: its people. He calls the project, “Cosmopolis Toronto”; a collection of portraits of Torontonians born in another country, but who now call Toronto home, at a place in the city they bond to, taking a second photo of them holding an object which connects them to their past and telling their story.
Colin, who is also a teacher, intends to examine migration and capture the unmatched variety of Toronto, saying, “I think we say ‘diversity’ quite often but rarely (maybe never) are there ‘real stories’ about the individuals involved. I guess the aim of the project is to visualize/capture the diversity of this great city and create an accurate picture of Toronto 2013.”
He also distinguishes “diversity within diversity” explaining that, “many people do not fit into the mould of what an average person of their ‘culture’, ‘religion’ or ‘country of birth’ is like.” He goes on to give examples such as, “my participant born in UAE is of Pakistani-background, my Syrian participant is training to be a Franciscan priest and my Canada-born participant is a black gentleman from Nova Scotia who is a fifth generation Canadian.”
“My grandparents migrated here and contributed as educators and artists. The participants I have met have their own incredible stories and are all adding to make Toronto an incredibly rich city. As I see Canada closing its doors (making migration nearly impossible for some people) I want us to not forget that most of us, are ourselves, the product of migration. Migration has made this city great.”
Cosmopolis Toronto will be showcased in two exhibitions early next year at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and CONTACT Photography Festival.
For more info: cosmopolistoronto.com
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman