Excerpt from Mitra Fakhrashrafi’s curatorial statement for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival:
Salam from Niagara Falls takes up first and second generation Iranian and Afghan place-making in the context of ongoing settler colonialism on Turtle Island. Family photographs at Niagara Falls are a staple in many migrant/refugee homes, often evoking newfound relationships to belonging in Canada. Through photo-based practice, the artists rethink nostalgia associated with Canada as “a nation of immigrants”, drawing from and digitally manipulating personal archives to share acknowledgments of Indigenous land and presence.
Free Salam from Niagara Falls postcards will also accompany the works. The back of the postcards will summarize the exhibit and explain treaties and settler colonialism to viewers engaging with the festival programming. The postcards will be available in English, Dari, and Farsi.