Who’s Emma was a collective of punks and anarchists that existed in Toronto’s Kensington Market from 1996 to 2000. It was considered a social experiment, an autonomous zone, a record shop, a bookstore, and most significantly an alternative education site veiled as a ‘cool’ place for youth to congregate. Named after Emma Goldman, the notorious anarcho-feminist who once resided in the neighborhood; Who’s Emma existed (for the most part) without a clear mandate or operational structure, but offered a site for radical community development.
I am creating an exhibition of artifacts, photographs, and video interviews of people who were involved with Who’s Emma. There also is a conventional documentary video (some might say “film”) called Remember Who’s Emma, which chronicles the rise and fall of the collective. This video and additional footage will be installed in the exhibition space at Project 165 (165 Augusta) in Kensington Market from June 9th to the 20th (2009). There are also a few events based out of the exhibition. I will be posting updates about these events as time goes on.
When I was a teenager I visited Who’s Emma and those breif visits left a big impact on me. I am currently studying at Ryerson University, working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media. This is my thesis project.