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Oxygen Art Centre



Workshop 1: Intro to Queer Time

March 10, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Guest Speaker 1: Kama La Mackerel

March 17, 2022, 5:30 – 7:00 PM PST


Workshop 2: Queering Pasts

March 24, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Guest Speaker 2: Léuli Eshrāghi

March 31, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST


Workshop 3: Imagining Queer Futures

April 7, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Guest Speaker 3: Billy-Ray Belcourt

April 14, 2022, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM PST


🧀 To register to attend the workshops, click here.

🧀 Max. 12 workshop participants, ages 15-30.

🧀 Admission to both the workshops + events is free.

Oxygen Art Centre launches the second phase of an online youth arts education program entitled freezer cheese. Generously supported by the BC Arts Council Pivot Program and Osprey Community Foundation, the second phase offers an online youth workshop series and public speaker series throughout March and April 2022. Part one of freezer cheese, here.

Led by researcher and curator Hanss Lujan Torres, the freezer cheese: queerer times series presents weekly workshops and visiting speakers to explore alternative ways of thinking about time and the ever-changing present moment. Rooted in 2SQTBIPOC experiences, these events will engage with broader timescapes like pandemic time and colonial time and try to make sense of the “queerer” times we are all experiencing.

Using concepts from queer and affect theory as guiding frameworks, the workshops will introduce participants to concepts of queer time, a post-modern model of temporality that positions the current understanding of time and progress as binding, normative constructs and imagines new and different ways of being. Participants will explore how creatives have depicted time and challenged its structures by looking at examples from contemporary art, poetry, and popular culture.

The accompanying speaker series will feature artists and writers, Kama La Mackerel, Léuli Eshrāghi, and Billy Ray Belcourt. They will offer readings of their work and discuss their relation to time and queerness. In conversation with the facilitator Hanss Lujan Torres, these events will emphasize anticolonial approaches and Indigenous understandings of time. 

“freezer cheese” is derived from the fated piece of cheese—dairy or otherwise—that sits safely in the freezer, awaiting the moment it is needed for nutrition, for comfort, for enjoyment. These workshops and speaker series consider what lessons can be pulled from the theories of queer temporality and ask how we can use these to navigate moments of unease, pause, and disorientation brought on by the pandemic while also evoking a sense of play and curiosity.

Interested participants are invited to register for the workshop via EventBrite. A maximum of twelve (12) participants will be invited to attend each workshop. Priority will be given to 2SQTBIPOC youth (ages 15-30). No previous experience is necessary.

Those interested in attending the speaker series are invited to register via EventBrite links above. All events are free and open to the public.

This project is generously supported by British Columbia Arts Council, Osprey Community Foundation, and Cowan’s Office Supplies Ltd.

Image Credit: (Left to Right)Kama La Mackerel, Léuli Eshrāghi, and Billy Ray Belcourt, Images courtesy the artists 


About the Facilitator

Hanss Lujan Torres is an artist, curator and researcher from Cusco, Peru, working between the unceded territories of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Minor in Art History and Visual Culture from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and is an MA candidate in the Department of Art History at Concordia University. His research and curatorial practice consider subjugated archives, queer temporalities, and alternative futures in contemporary art. Hanss is the research coordinator for the Indigenous Futures Research Centre. In addition, he has worked with several arts organizations in British Columbia, including past president of the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art and a curatorial assistant at the Kelowna Art Gallery.


About the Guest Speakers

Kama La Mackerel is a Montreal-based Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature.

Kama’s work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and self- and collective-empowerment. They believe that aesthetic practices have the power to build resilience and act as resistance to the status quo, thereby enacting an anticolonial praxis through cultural production.

Kama has exhibited and performed their work internationally and their writing in English, French and Kreol has appeared in publications both online and in print. ZOM-FAM, their debut poetry collection published by Metonymy Press was named a CBC Best Poetry Book, a Globe and Mail Best Debut, and was a finalist for the QWF Concordia University First Book Award and the Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ2S+ Writers.

Léuli Eshrāghi is a Sāmoan/Persian/Cantonese interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator and researcher working between Australia and Canada. They intervene in display territories to centre global Indigenous and Asian diasporic visuality, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, they engage with Indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatane people from kinship and knowledge structures. As a curator, speaker and educator, Eshrāghi contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, courses and rights advocacy. They are Curator of the 9th TarraWarra Biennial of Australian Art in 2023 at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Curatorial Researcher in Residence (Blue Assembly) at the University of Queensland Art Museum, and Scientific Advisor (Reclaim the Earth) at the Palais de Tokyo.

Website + Instagram

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. A 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar, he earned his PhD in English at the University of Alberta. He was also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an M.St. in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford and Wadham College. In the First Nations Youth category, Belcourt was awarded a 2019 Indspire Award, which is the highest honor the Indigenous community bestows on its own leaders. He is the author of three books: This Wound is a World, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, and A History of My Brief Body. His fourth book, A Minor Chorus, will be published in the fall of 2022 by Hamish Hamilton (CAN) and W.W. Norton (US).