Soliloquy for Serafim Launch at iy̓el̓shn

On September 16, 2023 Afro Latina artist Ruby Smith Díaz released her inaugural soundscape, Soliloquy for Serafim, created as part of her WEDGE Residency at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver.

“ Serafim “Joe” Fortes was an Afro-Caribbean man who in the late 19th century served as a lifeguard at iy̓el̓shn (English Bay). In this audio response, Ruby Smith Díaz considers Fortes’ legacy, exploring the contradictions between his service, settler colonialism, and white supremacy in Vancouver, including controversy on his proximity to whites on the beach itself.

Attendees were treated to a live performance by the artist herself, in collaboration with actor Joe Costa, playing Serafim, at the water’s shore. Vines Festival facilitated a short Q+A after the performance, followed by remarks by Tʼuyʼtʼtanat-Cease Wyss.

Special thanks to Wayde Compton and the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver for their support in the creation of this piece.