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The Time of Balsams: In Conversation with Lamis Haggag and Marina Fathalla

June 29, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Time of Balsams: In Conversation with Lamis Haggag and Marina Fathalla

Thursday, June 29th, 2023
6:00 pm

Critical Distance Centre for Curators
Suite 122 – 401 Richmond St W, Toronto

Visitors will meet at the gallery to experience the exhibition, Garden of Broken Shadows, before the group proceeds down the hallway to the courtyard for the event. 

Resisting singular, easy, conclusive, or finite definitions The Time of Balsams is a conversation between Lamis Haggag and Marina Fathalla. Taking cues from Lamis Haggag’s new work The Lamenting Monotropa at Critical Distance, we will delve into myth-making, insisting on returning to the ways of being that live through us. We will be guided by the sun to unburden and to find solace in its harshness, in her silence. The tradition of lamentation reminds us that we’re storytellers, that we inherited grief, knowledge and layers of culture, through colonial occupations, and others passing through. We dance to sadness, we collectively share in it, we make things up as we go, we lose ties in order to blend in, we lose ourselves, we return.

This in-person event is free with registration.

About the artists

Lamis Haggag is an Egyptian multimedia artist, living and working in Toronto since 2016. She received her MFA from The University of Calgary in 2013 and her BFA from Helwan University, Cairo in 2008. She participated in exhibitions and residencies in Toronto (Doris McCarthy AIR program), Montreal ( Artist in residence at Fonderie Darling), Calgary, St. Thomas Ontario, Cairo, Beijing, Dakar, Lagos, Berlin and Incheon. In addition to her art practice, Haggag is an art instructor, installer and proposal writer. She received various grants and scholarships in Canada from CCA, TAC, OAC, AFA, Interaccess Artist-run Center and the University of Calgary. Haggag is also the recipient of awards and grants from the Goethe Institute in Lagos, the Goethe Institute in Cairo, Incheon Foundation for Arts and Culture in Incheon, Al Mawred Al Thaqafy for the Arab region, Kamel Lazaar Foundation in Tunisia, and various awards from the Ministry of culture in Egypt.

Marina Fathalla is a coptic artist and currently the Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery. She grew up in Mississauga alongside the Credit River on unceded Anishinaabeg territory. Guided by the unseen, or what is just beneath the surface, she’s currently exploring dormancy, the mystical and ritual through textiles, writing and movement. She finds the most joy in creating programming that is site, group and community-responsive and supporting emerging artists to grow their practice.


The Critical Distance gallery is located on the ground floor at 401 Richmond, a wheelchair accessible building with a ramp at the Richmond Street doors and an accessible washroom on every level. The gallery is equipped with automatic doors. Critical Distance prioritizes creative and collaborative approaches to access in conversation with guest curators, artists, access professionals, and people in community. For any questions or more information, please contact us at info@criticaldistance.ca.

Garden of Broken Shadows is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Critical Distance gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


Image: Lamis Haggag, plant picking / The lamenting monotropa, 2021-22, Digital photography print on chiffon. Courtesy of the artist.



401 Richmond
401 Richmond St. West
Toronto, ON M5V3A8 Canada
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