My friend and colleague Akim Ade Larcher, originally from St. Lucia in the balmy Caribbean but now working in cold Toronto, finds Canada colder than it should be. Blamelessly placid though the country may appear, a chill still surrounds those whose bodies are different, or who, even more seriously, do things with their bodies of which the state disapproves. Akim writes,
In Canada, the word stigma is associated with sex workers, drug users, prisoners, HIV positive people, gay men, Blacks, sex offenders to name a few. I wanted to explore the concept of stigmatization … and see whether I could capture how the criminalization of sex work and drug use increases risks and harms.
He’s now trying to raise funds to mount an exhibit of photographs and literary texts showing the persistence of stigma and the power of criminal law in Canada. Take a look at the website, which looks fantastic, and particularly the videos. Let him know what you think, and contribute if you can.