Queer, Creole, Contested: Caribbean Archives Reimagined


5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

GENEROUSLY CO-SPONSORED BY Caribbean Studies – University of Toronto

Location: University College, University of Toronto, Room 253

For the next iteration of the Sex Salon panel series, we are excited and fortunate to present “Queer, Creole, Contested: Caribbean Archives Reimagined” with Mónica Espaillat Lizardo (PhD candidate in History, University of Toronto), Kayla Carter (Founder and Executive Director of The Black Artist Market Toronto), and Brianna Roye (Independent Photographer and Artist).

In this panel, space is opened to reimagine ideas of legitimate histories, legitimate archives, and legitimate knowledge production within the Caribbean (to queer the Caribbean). Focusing particularly on the idea of alternative archives, this panel will be chaired by Mónica Espaillat Lizardo (History, University of Toronto), who will present their doctoral work in progress that posits alternative queer archives of Dominican belonging (oral/performance/visual) and contests the formal state-sponsored archives that silence/erase the lives of Black and queer Dominicans. Lizardo will speak in conversation with Kayla Carter and Brianna Roye, two Afro-Caribbean Canadian artists, to reflect on queer Caribbean archives from theory to praxis.

About the panelists:

MONICA is a direct-entry PhD Candidate at the Department of History and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. As an Afro-Latinx immigrant and having lived in America illegally, her intellectual pursuits are motivated by material ethical political considerations. Her work as an educator is motivated by her desire to create accessible (un)learning spaces, particularly for students who exist on the margins of the education system. She believes that by changing the narratives through which we educate ourselves and future generations we can also alter the systems of exclusion that manifest violently on the lives of marginalized communities.

KAYLA CARTER is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and healer. She is a Tkaronto-based Black, disabled, chronically ill, femme survivor of Jamaican, Cuban, and Maroon ancestry and believes that her existence is not accidental, but deliberate. With a Masters in Health Studies, her research was on the epigenetics of ancestral trauma. Kayla has been an equity and diversity facilitator and consultant for over 10 years. Her work focuses on ancestral and intergenerational trauma, race, gender, sexuality, disability justice, reproductive justice and what it means to be unabashedly human.

Starting her career as an artist at the ripe age of 15, Kayla has performed to sold-out audiences. By using art as a means of symbiotic healing for herself and her audiences, her work has been described as “disarming beautiful and transformative”. Through her work as a healer and intuitive reiki practitioner, Kayla works with clients to work through mental health, self-care, self-love, ancestral and intergenerational trauma, sustainable forms of healing, and radical reproductive justice/healing. She is currently working towards becoming a birth doula for underserved communities.

Kayla is the Founder and Executive director of The Black Artist Market Toronto an artist market that is dedicated to carving out spaces for Black Artists to share and sell their art free from tokenization and with the support of their community. As the force behind her podcast, The Clearing by K, Kayla unpacks and demonstrates the ways storytelling is a powerful medium of healing by interviewing artists, healers, creatives and those who have something to say. She would like to thank her ancestors and remind them that their work was not in vain. She would also like to acknowledge and express gratitude to the Mississaugas of the Credit River and unceded Three Fires Confederacy Territories, as the land where she is currently a settler.

BRIANNA ROYE is a Jamaican-Canadian photographer from Toronto, Ontario, who identifies as a queer androgynous woman. She has worked for a number of music & art festivals, including Manifesto and Afropunk. She has exhibited her work in several shows, and primarily focuses on capturing Black and other POC in her community.


Due to the UC Revitalization Project Construction, there will be no wheelchair-accessible entrance to University College until further notice. Since the UC Quad is a high-traffic construction area during the project, the entry must be restricted as a safety precaution. We hope to have accessible entrance re-opened as soon as possible. If you plan to attend Sex Salon and need accessibility assistance, please notify the event organizers at sds.sexsalon@gmail.com to arrange an escort through the construction zone. For information on all construction-related closures and a list of available entrances, please visit: https://www.uc.utoronto.ca/uc-under-construction.

Extreme gratitude goes to the Caribbean Studies Program at University College for sponsoring this event.

Poster image description: a group of five to seven people are on a truck/parade float surrounded by balloons of different colours that make up a rainbow. One of them is carrying a flag that appears to be the combination of the Dominican Republic’s flag and the Pride flag.

Image courtesy of Mónica Espaillat Lizardo

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