Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires (PC/Cp) is delighted to announce that:
Anoushka Ratnarajah has been chosen for the annual 2019
Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires Emerging Artist Award
This award of $2000 is given annually to an emerging artist who is Indigenous or of colour. This Emerging Artist Award is funded exclusively from donations to PC/Cp by artists and others who work in the Canadian art system.
France Trépanier, co-director, said, “We are pleased to recognize and honour the brave work of Anoushka Ratnarajah. Both her writing and performance work explore with remarkable sensibility the complexities of living in many positionalities at once.” Chris Creighton-Kelly, co-director, added, “Like many of our younger colleagues, especially millennials, Anoushka embraces her intersectionality. And she accepts this identity(ies) not only with ‘pride’, but also treats it as an artistic challenge in her work - its intricacies, its intimacies, its incongruities.”
On hearing the news of this award, Anoushka Ratnarajah commented, "I am so honoured to have been chosen for this award by artists I deeply admire. Having focused primarily on curatorial work for the past three years, this support means I will be able to carve out time to return to my writing and performance practice. I am grateful and humbled by this opportunity."
Anoushka Ratnarajah is a queer, mixed-race femme of Sri Lankan and British ancestry. She is an interdisciplinary, transnational artist and arts organizer who has worked as a producer, performer, writer and facilitator with cultural organizations in Vancouver, Montréal and New York.
Anoushka is invested in collaborating and creating work with other women artists of colour, other queer and trans artists. Anoushka’s solo performances and written work focus on her queer, femme, mixed race body and identity as a site of contradiction, marked by histories of violence and silence, but also a canvas for play, questioning and empowerment.
Anoushka is the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Anoushka has been a fellow with The Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics and Voices of Our Nation Arts. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from UBC and an MA in Arts Politics from NYU.
Anoushka Ratnarajah has stated,
“Art is our most powerful weapon in the fight for liberation and justice. Art is our most compassionate and intelligent tool for resistance to help us survive and thrive in a world that is unceasingly hostile towards us. Art making builds empathetic connections between us, between people on screen, on stage and in theatre seats, so we can create a story that we live together.
I hope for the queer art I program to keep troubling audiences, as much as it moves us. To make us uncomfortable, to question our safety and normalcy, and unite us across our differences so we can fight for each other to thrive in an increasingly tense and dangerous world.”
Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires is a multi-year, national, bilingual initiative which seeks to place Indigenous art practices at the centre of the Canadian art system. Primary Colours/ Couleurs primairesalso asserts that art practices by people of colour play a critical role in any discussion that imagines the future(s) of Canada.