From Streets to Playgrounds: Activating the Archive: Representing Children in Early 20th Century Toronto

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

The output comprises two curated exhibitions – Carlton Hill: The Children of Brighton’s Displaced Community (Brighton, 2015) and From Streets to Playgrounds: Representing Children in Early Twentieth Century Toronto (Toronto, 2016-17) – accompanied by catalogue essays and lecture presentations, and two documentary films shown at these and subsequent exhibitions and available online.

Working with photographic evidence and curatorial methods, including the projection of works onto historic buildings, Winckler investigated how archive material can be activated for contemporary audiences. The research was framed by Elizabeth Edwards’ concept of a photographic stowaway, captured in historical photographs by chance. Archival research recovered photographs commissioned by public works departments for site mapping purposes, in Canada and the UK, which included children photographed inadvertently in public spaces. In order to build narratives that linked this archive material to living histories, Winckler conducted interviews with residents of the urban areas originally photographed, and with photographers. The latter included researching and producing a filmed conversation with Wolf Suschitzky, a highly regarded documentary photographer known for his photographs of children. By researching the histories of children incidentally caught by the camera and then tracing their histories to the present day, Winckler and her collaborators improved understanding of the interrelation between social histories of this period and the photography that provided a concurrent visual history, while exposing some of the impact of slum clearance on the close-knit communities of these areas.

The research was part of Winckler’s contribution to a multi-disciplinary collaborative project, ‘The Wished-for City’ (2013-2018). The Carlton Hill exhibition was first shown at the Jubilee Library, Brighton in 2015, and Streets to Playgrounds was first shown at the City of Toronto Archives gallery opening in 2016. The dissemination included conference presentations, a peer reviewed journal article (Visual Methodologies, 2015), films and site-specific outdoor events.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationJubilee Library, Brighton
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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