50 SHADES OF BROWN an exhibition –
The 50 Shades of Brown project started as an idea, grew into a series of beautiful photographs, and has now been born as an exhibition. The project is about embracing beauty, celebrating visibility and diversity, and connecting to what it means to be Two-Spirit.
50 Shades of Brown was created to honour and uplift Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer people living in Mohkinstsis and Treaty 7. Due to the ongoing effects of colonial violence, Two-Spirit people have existed on the margins of society and at many intersections of the Queer community.
Together, we will increase visibility of the Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer community while reflecting and celebrating its diversity.
WHERE THE RIVERS MEET a program through the Centre for Sexuality
"Where the Rivers Meet" is a program operated by the Centre for Sexuality that focuses on increasing the visibility of Two-Spirit identities in Treaty 7, expanding understanding of what it means to be Two-Spirit, and increasing opportunities for connection amongst Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer individuals.
MARSHALL VIELLE – Creator, 50 Shades of Brown
Marshall is an actor, performer, connector, educator, and the Creator of 50 Shades of Brown.
In their work with the Centre for Sexuality, Marshall runs the "Where the Rivers Meet YYC", project which focuses on raising awareness of, and fostering connection within, the Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer community.
Learn more, below ...
ALANNA BLUEBIRD –Photographer, 50 Shades of Brown
Photographs in 50 Shades of Brown were taken by Alanna Bluebird, a Blackfoot/Dene artist currently residing in Tsuut’ina Nation. Alanna makes art, teaches language, and uses her creativity to empower youth.
In addition to capturing beautiful photographs, Alanna writes, performs spoken word, works in film, and creates using traditional Quillwork techniques.
Click below to see her presenting at TEDxYYC ...
SINGS MANY SONGS WOMEN – Soundscape, 50 Shades of Brown
Sings Many Songs Women is a Women’s Hand Drum, Songs Healing & Empowerment Group
PEARL WHITE QUILLS is Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) from Kainai and Siksika, a part of the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) in Southern Alberta. Blessed with the name Aa koa miyanist tsi`nih kiaki (Sings Many Different Songs Woman).
DEBORAH GREEN (Gopher) is a proud Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from Piapot First Nation in Treaty 4, Saskatchewan. Her ancestral name is Kàkikè manitohkân iskwêwak (Forever Spirit Woman), Mahikan etah ka ohtâskanesihk (Wolf Clan).
NOREEN DEMERIA is Aninshanabe Kwe from the Tootinaowaziibeng First Nation in Treaty 4 in Manitoba. She is known by the ancestors as Kaniidabedng (Keeper of the Law Lodge), Mahkwa Doodem – (Bear Clan).
CAITIE KEMP is Métis and began drumming for her own healing and found her powerful voice, which she now shares with others to heal and empower. Catie brings physical healing to the people through managing a gym and building kinship.
WHAT IT MEANS TO ME
BB ISKWEW – mural artist, 50 Shades of Brown (off-site at ContainR in Sunnyside)
bb iskwew is an Indigenous mural artist from Treaty 8 territory.
In July of 2022 bb was commissioned by Marshall Vielle to paint the 50 Shades of Brown portraits onto a container for an outdoor mural in Kensington.
Bellerose, who is part of the queer community, said the signature floral design in her work is from her great-grandmother who beaded the pattern on moose hides, traditional vests and moccasins. The florals are also symbolic of two-spirit and Indigiqueer identities.
"I was thinking about two-spirit identity and really being able to bloom
into your full self and to express that and share that with the world."
Mural Artist, 50 Shades of Brown
Watch bb's full interview ...
HOSTING THE EXHIBIT
50 Shades of Brown is designed for touring.
The exhibit is modular, easy to ship and install, and ready to travel.
If you are interested in hosting the 50 Shades of Brown exhibit in your own venue or community,
please contact Leanna at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The CENTRE FOR SEXUALITY
The 50 Shades of Brown Exhibit was produced by the Centre for Sexuality.
Centre for Sexuality is a community-based organization delivering programs and services to support healthy sexuality across the lifespan. We have been leading the way in the areas of sexuality, healthy relationships, consent, human rights, gender identify, sexual orientation, equity, and inclusion for 50 years in the Calgary community. Our mission is to teach, train and advocate to support healthy bodies, healthy relationships, and healthy communities. Our vision is secual well-being for all.
Centre for Sexuality provides Relationships and Sexual Health Education, WiseGuyz, and the
Girl's program to over 10,000 youth every year through our school-based education programs.
They train professionals, so they have the comfort and skills to integrate sexual health into their practice. Since 2009, their Training Centre has impacted over 60,000 professionals working in social agencies, institutions and workplaces, building their capacity to support safe and inclusive environments for their clients, customers and staff.
They advocate to ensure policies that support healthy sexuality across the lifespan are integrated into organizations and adopted by governments.
To learn more please visit: https://www.centreforsexuality.ca
WEST VILLAGE MARKETING
West Village Marketing, a Calgary-based creative agency, was commissioned to conceptualize, design, and fabricate the 50 Shades of Brown Exhibit for the Centre for Sexuality.
West Village works with a variety of non-profit organizations and for profit corporations in branding, reputation management, traditional and digital media, and event management. They are passionate about helping organizations they believe in broaden reach, expand audiences, and broadcast messaging in innovative ways.
In designing 50 Shades of Brown the West Village Team was honoured to work collaboratively with Marshall Vielle, the Centre for Sexuality, and The GRAND to conceptualize meaningful exhibit components honouring the subject matter. The result is an informal space with elements that are thought provoking and interactive. Important information is presented in an accessible manner and visitors are encouraged to find the answers to their own questions as they explore.