Beacon Project


by Erasure Art Collective
  • Oct 13th - Performance-Installations at Sackville Landing (6:15-6:45) and Central Library (7:30-8:00)
  • Oct 14th - Works on display at Central Library
  • Oct 15th - Works on display at Central Library
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Blackout’ reimagines fugitive slave ads as erasure poems and invites audiences to witness the onsite creation of reimagined works. The project challenges colonial narratives by recreating these historical ads using ‘erasure’ or ‘blackout’—a form of poetry created by erasing select words from an existing text to create a visual poem. ‘Blackout’ uncovers messages in fugitive slave ads that appeared in local newspapers during slavery—a legal practice of buying and selling human beings that saw millions of Africans and people of African descent enslaved over hundreds of years. While Halifax was never a major slave trading port, there is nonetheless documented evidence of persons of African descent being bought and sold locally during the 1700s and 1800s. Fugitive slave advertisements appeared in Halifax newspapers asking for the return of “a Negroe Girl named Thursday” (Nova Scotia Gazette, 1772), “a Negro Boy Slave Named Dick” (Royal Gazette, 1790), among others. These ads, which were written by slaveholders, often positioned persons of African descent as prey: hunted, hopeless, weak. ‘Blackout’ therefore seeks to rework the slaveholder’s text to reveal new narratives honouring those who challenged one of history’s most rigid and inhumane systems, and championing their bold acts of resistance.

Oct 13th
6:15 PM - 8:00 PM
Oct 14th
Oct 15th
Roaming Activism Performance