WORDS: Angela Walcott
IMAGES: JAMII-FEETPRINT Storytelling Project
The Esplanade is a vibrant master planned community just east of Toronto’s financial district. It’s sandwiched between a historic-distillery-turned-cultural-destination and the 208-year-old St. Lawrence Market. Lake Ontario is less than a kilometre to the south – once you’ve passed the city’s second busiest thoroughfare, the Gardiner Expressway.
It is in this very specific context of both subsidized and market-priced housing, where new Canadians and visible minorities make an average household income of $20,000, that the FEETPRINT Storytelling Project took shape.
Inspired by Markt’d – an initiative that celebrates sneaker culture – more than 150 pairs of shoes and dozens of enthusiastic participants will examine notions of identity and belonging in this multifarious community during Culture Days.
“I hope (finding) answers to questions are tough and that they (participants) will learn more about others so they can reflect on who they are,” says event organizer Isorine Marc. A member of the non-profit cultural services group that developed FEETPRINT, she’s confident the project will be inspirational and have a lasting impact for the community.
Designed to capture the essence of the Esplanade, the project is driven by the power of the personal narrative, and engages people of all ages to share their individual stories as part of a larger collective representation through designing art for shoes. The artist-led process explores deeply introspective questions such as: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where do I belong?’.
This free, two-hour drop-in session is presented in partnership with the Toronto Public Library and supported by the Ontario 150 Initiative. All materials (including markers and sneakers) will be provided. And rest assured, “there is no right or wrong,” Marc says. “Only you know who you are.”
Join the FEETPRINT Storytelling movement on Saturday September 30th from 2-4 pm. Find out more here. Watch this video to see and hear firsthand the impact FEETPRINT is having in this community: vimeo.com/230020352.
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