Critique the Collection vol. 1: Jennifer Desaulniers

2001.009

The separated circles of buildings in Eleanor Bond’s “Study after Protective Communities in an Aging City” draw my attention to the distance between. Today, six feet. 

Physically. 

The dreary colours portray an atmosphere heavier than physical separation. A deeper level of isolation.

I like to imagine that in 2001, between the moment when Eleanor gazed into the blank canvas and when her brush touched the paint, she thought of me. I must have looked vaguely Middle Eastern to the other grade ones, like the boy who threw my homework in mud. Though I never flew a plane, touched a skyscraper, or started a fire, I was suddenly the smallest circle of buildings.

I am not the only one. Our current crisis has caused us to draw lines. I’ve heard this from my friends who look more Asian than me. I’ve also seen a different kind of anger that has built new fences between neighbors and walls of bitter scrutiny between shoppers.

After 9/11, some things never went back to normal. Nineteen years later, your shoes still come off at the airport and Muslims are checked double. North America became a protective community. Once we have defeated the virus, how long will we let it take to embrace international students and Chinese residents in our community again?

How will you paint the space between?

Jennifer Desaulniers is an artistic jack of all trades master of fun, doer of whatever needs to be done. She has worked as a singer, musician, stage manager, carpenter, seamstress, actor, and writer. As an actor, some of her favourite roles have been the quirky candy addict Annie in “The Bolt House,” the ambitious ghost Mary in “Goulfriends,” and the adorable villain Prince John in “Robin Hood: The Panto.” Her writing experience includes campy songwriting, ghostwriting a chapter of an autobiography, and reviewing screenplays for a competition before writing her own. Currently, she is building a stage and artist residence for upcoming Windsor Feminist Theatre livestreams. Check out their Facebook page for updates.