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Career Launcher: Artscape Youngplace (Photo)




Congratulations to Farihah Aliyah Shah who has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Career Launcher and will have a solo exhibition at Artscape Youngplace in 2017. An accompanying exhibition text will be commissioned from Sharene Shafie, recipient of the inaugural Curatorial and Criticism Practice Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher.

The Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD) is excited to announce the finalists for the Artscape Youngplace Photography Career Launcher: Mara Gajic, Antonio Giacchetti, Farihah Aliyah Shah, Nicholas Aiden, and Maddie Alexander. They will exhibit their works in the hallway galleries of Artscape Youngplace in July 2016.

The 3rd annual Artscape Youngplace Career Launcher is geared towards graduating Photography students. This year, students are offered the opportunity to participate in an extended group exhibition in the Hallway Galleries of Artscape Youngplace. The curatorial team at Artscape will work with faculty and CEAD to transform the Hallway Galleries into a showcase of emerging contemporary photographic practices, for select recipients.

As part of the Career Launcher, a jury comprised of faculty members and the curatorial committee at Youngplace will select an artist from the group exhibition and award them a solo show in winter 2017. The solo show recipient will be provided complimentary access to Youngplace's Flex Studio facilities in order to help realize their exhibition of new work. In addition, an essay will be commissioned from an upper-year student from the CRCP program to accompany the solo exhibition.

Artist Statement: Farihah Aliyah Shah

Billie Said ‘Strange Fruit’, 2017

Using self-portraiture and simple installations, Billie Said ‘Strange Fruit’ aims to respond to the current Black Lives Matter movement and past civil rights movements advocating for justice and equality whilst commenting on the lack of representation of black bodies in the history of photography. The series reflects on the significant history of still-life photography and botanical objects and challenges the viewer to elevate fragmented or disenfranchised bodies to the same respect as the popularly photographed succulent. The series lends its name from the 1930s poem “Strange Fruit” which was popularized by Billie Holiday. The poem speaks about the common practice of lynching in the American South. Despite the literal disappearance of this act, the figurative and systemic lynching of black bodies from the contemporary socio-political discourse remains. The series is dedicated to my Uncle Bob, a civil rights activist.


Farihah Aliyah Shah 
2016 – OCAD University 


Mara Gajic
2016 – OCAD University

Antonio Giacchetti
2016 – OCAD University

Nicholas Aiden
2016 – OCAD University

Maddie Alexander
2016 – OCAD University

Partner Website

Artscape Youngplace

Photo © Antonio Giacchetti

Photo © Antonio Giacchetti


© Maddie Alexander

© Farihah Aliyah Shah

© Mara Gajic

© Nicholas Aiden

© Antonio Giacchetti



Zviko Mhakayakora
Special Projects Coordinator
P: 416 977 6000 Ext. 3707

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