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College of Extended Learning

The UNB Art Centre rings in the new year with TRACE

TRACE: Tracing the Space of the Refugee Crisis opens at the UNB Art Centre on Jan. 17 at 5 pm and runs through Feb. 14. The exhibition features 14 large format digital prints and a documentary film that examine the 2015 European refugee crisis. The film was awarded Best Feature Documentary at the Santorini International Film Festival in 2019. A panel discussion will accompany the exhibit. It will be held on Feb. 5 at 7 pm in Memorial Hall’s auditorium (details to follow.)

As our experience of the refugee crisis was translated through media accounts that focussed on the spectacle of human suffering, we saw images of overcrowded tents, overloaded boats, and children dying on the Mediterranean shores. In this exhibit, Raluca Bejan and Ioan Cocan turn this mediatized gaze outwards, in order to scrutinize the ‘spaces’ in which people seek refuge. The photos play with the Derridian notion of ‘trace’ to create a symbolic topography of the refugee crisis and to mark the absence of a former presence. What we experience is the haunting silence of this absence.

Raluca Bejan was born in Focșani, Romania. She received her BA in Political Sciences from Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania, and MSW and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto. She was Visiting Academic at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, UK, in 2016 and 2018. Currently, Raluca is Assistant Professor in Social Work at Dalhousie University, and formerly Assistant Professor at Saint Thomas University.

Ioan Cocan works in media arts and graphic design. He obtained his BA from the University of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania and a Master in Fine Arts, Interactive Media and Environments, from Frank Mohr Institute for Graduate Art Studies and Research in the Arts and Emerging Media, Hanzehogeschool University, Groningen, The Netherlands.

TRACE was curated by Natasha Lan, a Toronto based curator and artist who is a graduate of Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. She is currently a graduate student and an administrator in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

A complementary exhibit of TRACE: Tracing the Space of the Refugee Crisis continues at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in the Bruno Bobak Artist-in-Residence Studio from Jan. 14 - Feb. 7.

The artists would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, St. Thomas University, CIRN-Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Narrative, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the UNB Art Centre.

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