Artist in Residence
For 2017-2019, STO Union welcomes Shaista Latif as artist in residence.
The relationship between the Artist in Residence, STO Union and Nadia Ross is an ongoing dialogue that revolves around the artistic development of projects and core business aspects that enable project development. Everything influences everything.
An excerpt from “An open letter to STO Union’s Artist in Residence, Shaista Latif” written by Artisitc Director Nadia Ross :
As an artist, your voice right now, your perspective, all of the research and exploration you’ve been doing – all of this – matters. These times might make some people believe that there is no point. Don’t believe it. There is courage when people join at a rally to stand up against injustice and when they close their wallets to the snake oil salesmen. Our job, as artists, is one of those jobs that requires more (and this can apply to many jobs like journalists, lawyers, activists, organizers, etc.): it requires us to see the rotten core of these struggles and then to go through it, come back out and express what we’ve seen. As artists, we express it creatively, through stories, paintings, our collective tragedies and the rays of sunshine in the far corners of a canvas that eternally reminds us of what we are really searching for.
Shaista, you are an artist that has the capacity to see and go deep. You have the energy of youth. You and your generation do have the power to change the course of history. I know you can do this. And if you hear other people say that they have to disengage because it’s all to much, remind them that this is not new, that many generations before have faced a version of this beast – they did it, so can we.
On being an artist by Shaista Latif:
serve the process. feed your practice. protect your practice. strengthen your vocals. move your body in ways that give you agency and power. reclaim each stage. reclaim each space. advocate. persist. resist. remember your voice is vital. do not surrender to the canon. stretch your boundaries. respect your boundaries. let your heart hold this thought: you do not need a stage to do the work of making theatre. Compassion and consciousness is not earned through a show ticket. Much love to marginalized artists who continue to push through and make work
Shaista Latif’s wordview shakes things up, both at STO Union and through the work she produces while in residence. Her current project in development is a new iteration of The Archivist, her award-winning show supported and presented through Toronto’s Why Not Theatre’s collaborative producing model, The Riser Project.