Canada’s sesquicentennial (150th) has largely been the typical excess of Nationalistic fervor – where patriotism has become to mean to follow blindly and not criticize/poke holes against the appearance of “unity” and narrative of “best of all possible worlds”. Contesting voices have emerged (e.g. First Nations erecting teepee in the Capital, CBC Radio One Canada Day interviews by Piya Chattopadhyay and Duncan McCue featuring diverse peoples and viewpoints) that question what is fundamentally the celebration of colonialism and its ills which is still ongoing today for indigenous peoples and people of colour.
To explore the paradoxical ephemeral and degenerative nature of memorials, Stephen takes to the streets of Toronto to map and document on B&W film the 69th address (or where it would have been) of roads named in honour and memory of Canada’s colonial legacy – with some pun-worthy ones thrown in for good measure. In visualizing the slippages between the original intent to memorialize and the reality of history and development, TO Canada with love illustrates the discourse of monument and nation and is as degraded as the unremarkable facades – the past was and is never as glorious as it was made out to be.
Conceived & Photographed by: STEPHEN CHEN | Completed: 07/17