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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.

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4 Comments

  1. hey, i may have some whos emmas flyers kicking around

  2. Hey, I was young kid volunteering at Who’s Emma from late 98′ til about when it closed. Your videos remind of how amazing was to me back then.

    I may have a pile of HI-8 Tapes with show footage… and the like since I was shooting everything I could at the time. Unfortunately I was there during it’s demise. When new records were no longer ordered and no one could seem to agree on how to run the place.

    I’ll see what I have lying around. E-mail me.

  3. Ugh I wish I had known about this sooner!!! Unfortunately I just got the Toronto Zine Library’s announcement about it today and missed the screening tonight. What are the other avenues for viewing this documentary????

    • Hi, The video with additional footage is currently installed at Project 165 – which is 165 Augusta Ave. The space should be open from noon to 4 Tuesday to Saturday until June 20th.

      There are other events related to this project taking place on Tuesday June 16th, Thursday June 18th, and June 20th (as stated on the flier/poster for the project). Also, there is a screening at the NFB theatre on June 23 at 8:30 – however, because this is a small theatre there is very limited entry. On the 25th I think there will be another screening at Ryerson with plenty of seating… I’ll have to post the details of this screening when I get more information.

      Thanks for your interest!


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  1. […] Musselman about Kensington Market’s late 90s anarchist space. Here’s excerpts of his explanation of it. Who’s Emma was a collective of punks and anarchists that existed in Toronto’s Kensington […]

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