Guiding Bonds

About Us

Guiding Bonds is an interdisciplinary symposium that explores peer support networks amongst BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) scholars and artists engaged in research-creation practices. The symposium will provide an opportunity to bring together artists and academics from several fields of art, design, cultural studies, communication studies, sociology, community development, social innovation studies, with professional designers, artists, community organizations and indigenous knowledge keepers.
Guiding Bonds intends to offer accessible knowledge and models for peer support, mentorship, and networks formed by artists, designers, community leaders, Indigenous knowledge keepers, and educators from Toronto. Future programming will enable participants to network through their shared commitment to equity, social innovation, social justice, and societal transformations.
The research involved in this project requires participation from individuals who hold lived experience and knowledge related to mentorship, systemic biases, informal training, peer support networks and critical pedagogy to imagine structures that respond to these challenges within academic environments. Many scholars, researchers, and practitioners have developed peer support models for artists, designers, and researchers. This conference would form a space for scholars and practitioners to share their knowledge and imagine cross-institutional support structures to respond to emerging gaps from EDI initiatives and strategies.
Artists, academics, independent scholars, and community organizers will offer a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and practices to shape a broader understanding of equity and societal transformation. As presenters and audience members share various strategies, models, and approaches for mentorship we believe that the outcome of the book sprint workshop will allow them to digest the new knowledge and integrate it into their research and creative practice. Moreover, the workshop’s textual output will shape a plural understanding of research networks and guide us in designing an inclusionary peer-to-peer support structure that resonates across institutions, communities, generations, and sectors.


Carrianne Leung

Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and assistant professor at the University of Guelph in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by CBC, shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards 2019, long listed for Canada Reads 2019 and awarded the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 2019. She is currently working on a new novel, titled The After.

Patricio davila

Patricio Dávila is a designer, artist, researcher and educator. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, at York University. He is also core member of the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) project at York University. Patricio is also co-director of Public Visualization Lab/Studio (PVLS). PVLS is a networked lab and studio (York U, OCADU, TMU) and focusses on how visualization can operate as a critical design and media practice. A priority for PVLS is to understand the ways that the representation of data is political as well as analytical and creative. A basic premise that guides PVLS’s projects is that visualization is an assemblage that arranges people, things and processes and as such demands a commitment to ethics, accountability and meaningful participation.

Immony Men

Immony Mèn is an artist, educator, and community-based researcher. He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science at OCAD University. As an artist, he has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been awarded municipal, provincial, and federal arts council grants to support his work. His research focuses on developing a theoretical framework for understanding (specifically Khmer/Cambodian) diasporic experience through media praxis, critical race theory, and various forms of community engagement. Men’s practice takes the form of research-creation projects such as interactive installations, interdisciplinary performances, social artworks, and participatory community projects. Works include Receipts, Fabulous Ones, Post-Colonial Hot Ones, Traversal Residency, Passing through the Heart, Shadows!, Cite, Chthulucene, Powers of Kin, Everything in Place, and Taking Care of Business. Immony is co-director of Public Visualization Lab / Studio.

Alana traficante

Alana Traficante is an arts organizer, writer/editor and sometimes curator based in Toronto. She facilitates networks in the artistic community through exhibition, book and space-making initiatives, with an interest in civic engagement, capacity building and mentorship. Alana holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2016) and a BA in Art History from the University of Toronto (2004). She has worked as the Executive Director of Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography since 2018.

Project Staff

Nedda baba

Nedda Baba is an artist, programmer, and project coordinator. She is also the co-founder of Dead Projects, a digital collective and virtual project space for emerging and underrepresented artists. Nedda is a graduate of the MFA program at York University, where she also completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Lilian Leung

Lilian Leung is a designer, artist, and community-based researcher. Based in the unceded territories of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, they are focused on applying thoughtful and considered design solutions to community-centered projects, and developing relationships through collaboration.


Funders Logos - Wide - OCADGrad
Funders Logos - Wide - SSHRC
Funders Logos - Wide - CanadaCouncil


Sponsors - OCAD
Sponsor Logos - G44
Sponsor Logos - YorkU
Sponsor Logos - Guelph