Zainub Verjee, Signified!

Remixed without permission from an image by Ken Lum.

I am happy and proud to declare that it was I, who nominated laureate Zainub Verjee for the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, 2020. Our relationship as individuals, which has been both personal and professional, embodies the contiguity of contemporary art across of the Pacific Rim, and it is the desire to signify and articulate this contiguity that set me on the path to making the nomination.

What began as an idea for an image for the Leraian series of my Koboi project and an extended blogpost on the genesis of the image was developed into an essay for an important anthology titled Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada and into the successful nomination I wrote for the Governor General’s Award.

Here is an extract from my nomination of Zainub Verjee, “Working with as much regard for the centre as for the periphery, Verjee’s modus operandi has been one of developing platforms for the disparate constituents of the Canadian artistic community . . . throughout her career in arts administration, she has managed to leaven effective space for ‘wild’ innovation and ‘undisciplined’ dissent. She has channelled these disruptive energies towards achieving change at the heart of power, while maintaining some degree of functional harmony for the whole.”