In this article, Syrus Marcus Ware interrogates the rhetorical moves by arts institutions and academic programs that increasingly espouse the language of inclusion and position themselves as welcoming public spaces for marginalized people in Canada, arguing that instead a deep 'unwelcomeness' continues to pervade these spaces. Ware recites three different incidents of violence and hostile ignorance: in the university setting, in a supposedly safe housing space for individuals with disabilities, and in a job interview for a large arts institution. Through these three telling anecdotes, Ware confronts the interrelated anti-Black racism, ableism, and transphobia entrenched in Canadian cultural institutions and policing cultures. Ware concludes with a refusal to wait for "the welcome mat" in a society so determined by white supremacist structures, instead calling for the creation of social justice communities for Indigenous resurgence, Black liberation, and self-determination.


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pp. 10-13
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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