by James Legaspi
18 min, Canada, English
magnolia is a musing following the loss of my lola, my grandmother, linking the process of grieving over a loved one with grieving over lived racial trauma and deeper research into historical atrocities, specifically the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, American intervention, and how my lola witnessed this history. In a wandering of imagery and monologue, I balance these three pillars of trauma, each informing the other as petals form a magnolia flower, then a magnolia tree—the tree that stood as the landmark for my lola’s house in Toronto.
James Legaspi is an emerging Filipino Canadian multimedia artist currently studying at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, living and working in Brampton, Ontario. Recent accomplishments include work exhibited at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Women’s Art Association of Canada, Visual Arts Mississauga at Riverwood, Propeller Gallery, and Hart House, curatorial work at the Blackwood Gallery, in addition to professional experience as a teaching assistant at Sheridan College and as a studio assistant at the Blackwood Gallery.
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