Ways of Attuning: A Curatorial Study Group

March 3, 2022 - June 1, 2023

Ways of Attuning is a curatorial study group initiated by Liz Ikiriko and Toleen Touq, in partnership with Critical Distance Centre for Curators in 2022. The program is a learner-focused mentoring and study group based in Tkaronto/Toronto that aims to create a collaborative learning environment in which everyone is an active, knowledge-sharing member. The study group focuses on curatorial strategies and relational methodologies. While it functions independently and hopes to expand away from academia, it remains in conversation with the global contemporary art world. The program centers on relationality, accountability, and operates within the context of race, place, class, ability, sexuality and gender as fundamentally missing components from institutional and academic curatorial programs.

The program provides tangible space and time to create meaningful, robust, and critical frameworks for supporting participants’ curatorial practices. Ways of Attuning includes a series of guest lectures, practical workshops, and mentoring sessions that delve deep into the curatorial proposals of each participant, all of whom will present exhibition programming with Critical Distance in 2023 and 2024. The selected participants are: Francesca Ekwuyasi, Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud, Safia Siad, Fatma Hendawy Yehia, along with graphic recorder/artist participant, Emmie Tsumura and admin support, Joe KoniecznyGuest facilitators and mentors have included: Daniella Sanader, Christina Battle, Adelita Husni-Bey, Nahed Mansour, Pamela Edmonds, Chiara Figone & Yaniya Lee, Aamna Muzzafar, Natasha Ginwalla, Genevieve Wallen, Ophira Calof and Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Ways of Attuning is generously funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Participant Bios:

francesca ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging. francesca’s debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread, was longlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize, was a finalist for CBC’s 2021 Canada Reads competition, the 2021 Lambda Literary Award, the 2021 Governor General’s Award, the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and the 2021 ReLit Award. Butter Honey Pig Bread was recently longlisted for the 2022 Dublin Literary Award. Her writing has been published in Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, Transition Magazine, the Malahat Review, Visual Art News, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, GUTS magazine, the Puritan, Canadian Art, and elsewhere. Her story, Ọrun is Heaven, was longlisted for the 2019 Journey Prize.

Supported through the National Film Board’s (NFB) Film Maker’s Assistance Program (FAP), francesca’s short documentary Black + Belonging has screened in Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal festivals.

Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud is the current Project Manager for AccessCBC and a member of the Board of Directors at the Toronto Queer Film Festival. They hold a B.A. from Toronto Metropolitan University’s RTA School of Media and have been a local arts vendor and facilitator in Tkaronto since 2016.

Safia Siad is a curator, writer, and DJ. Themes of joy, loving as resistance, liberation, hope, and care inform her practice. She recently curated – interlude at The Art Gallery of Burlington which brought together works that meditate on the concept of rest and necessary spaces carved out for pause and preservation. Her work focuses on placemaking and archive building for those who rarely get to witness themselves reflected in art and media along with bridging the gap between institutional and non-institutional ways of teaching and learning. She is currently building an Afrosonic Innovations Lab with Dr. Mark V Campbell at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Fatma Hendawy Yehia is an Egyptian-born curator and mother, based in Toronto. Yehia holds an MFA in curatorial studies from the MVS Curatorial program at University of Toronto. She participated in curatorial workshops (including Tate Intensive 2017), residencies (ProHelvetia and ZKU/Berlin) and curated several projects in Egypt, UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Canada. Since 2008, Yehia held different positions at the New Library of Alexandria, Egypt including Head of Permanent Exhibitions (2010-12). Recently, she was the Assistant curator at the AGYU, Toronto (2021-22).Yehia’s curatorial practice focuses on investigating censored archives, questioning inaccessible histories, and navigating militarized spaces.

Emmie Tsumura is an illustrator, artist, and graphic designer. Using psychogeography as a personal design strategy, she seeks to disrupt and challenge familiar ways of knowing. She positions her work where politics meets the every day, and aims to use graphic design as a tool to advocate for more accessible, inclusive, and joyful communities. She embraces absurdity, chaos, and the occult in her projects, including but not limited to: research, digital and print design, map-making, illustration, event design, and installation.

Study Group Facilitators:

Liz Ikiriko is a Nigerian Canadian, mother, artist and the inaugural Curator, Collections and Art in Public Space at the University of Toronto’s Art Museum. She was a member of the curatorial committee for the 13th Rencontres de Bamako, African Photography Biennial in Mali, West Africa and most recently contributed to Aperture’s publication As We Rise: Photography From the Black Atlantic.

Toleen Touq is an independent curator, cultural producer and facilitator working between Toronto, Canada and Amman, Jordan. In Toronto she is currently curating the Greater Toronto Art 24 triennial at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. She was previously artistic director at SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) from 2018 – 2022. In Amman, she is co-founding director of Spring Sessions (2014-ongoing) residency and experiential learning program.

Find us on Instagram @waveformprojects

About the Curator(s)


Curators Toleen Touq and Liz Ikiriko have been working together since 2018 as wave~form~projects. Together, they bring years of cross-disciplinary curatorial and cultural arts practice both locally and internationally within varied settings, independently and collectively, building relationships with artists, fellow curators, organizations and institutions. wave~form~projects enacts practices that embody accessible and relational modes of care and critical thinking, centering underrepresented voices and the slow rooting of meaningful relationships across the arts and culture landscapes. We are guided by the teachings and practices of feminist, anti-colonial thinkers and pedagogues including global Indigenous methodologies as ways of being, making, and working. wave~form~projects attends to cross-disciplinary and multi-form engagements that open up spaces of inquiry and transgressive action and connection.

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