Landed: Together in Canada by Sarah Foy ’01
The Landed exhibition opens on May 28 with the launch of DOC NOW, the Ryerson University documentary media festival. Landed is also an official affiliate event of WorldPride 2014 Toronto, and will be in the Emerging Artists Project gallery at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, May 24 to June 29. For gallery hours and more information, visit: www.landedtogether.ca.
What was the inspiration for Landed: Together in Canada?
“I am an American, and in 2009, I fell in love with a non-American. At the time, U.S. federal law did not recognize same-sex marriage, and it did not permit U.S. citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for permanent residence in the U.S. For my partner and me, this meant that our only viable option was to leave the U.S. when her student visa expired in 2012. We left our home, our community of friends and family, and our jobs and professional networks for the hope of finding a permanent home together.
“Fortunately in our case, my partner is Canadian. Because the Canadian government recognizes same-sex relationships, it was fairly straightforward for me to begin the process of immigrating to Canada as her partner. For many binational couples, the situation is far more complex because neither partner is from a country that recognizes same-sex relationships. Within a couple of weeks of my arrival in Canada, I met another couple who landed here for this reason. This inspired me to find as many couples as I could who immigrated to Canada because they could not live together in the U.S. I ended up identifying over 50 couples (including one who contacted me after reading about my project on the WorldPride website), 17 of whom I interviewed and photographed for Landed.”
“I am in the process of thinking through how I might continue to work on my thesis project. I would love to arrange for an exhibition of Landed in a gallery in the U.S. I may also seek funding to expand the project, e.g., to same-sex binational couples without a connection to the U.S. (or Canada), or to LGBT individuals who have sought refuge in Canada because it is too dangerous or difficult for them to live in their own countries.”