Conceived by Toronto artist Farrah Marie Miranda, Speaking Fruit   is a mobile, roadside fruit-stand and design studio that feeds the movement for migrant farmworker rights.  Drawing on curatorial strategies, Miranda invited artists, academics and community organizers Evelyn Encalada & Gabriel Allahdua (Justice for Migrant Farmworkers), Heryka Miranda (choreographer), Luca Lucarini (filmmaker), Lal & Ruben Esguerra (sound design), Ryan Hayes (graphic designer / printmaker), and Craig Fortier (principal investigator) and dozens of migrant farmworkers to participate in this collaborative production.  Beginning with a single question posed to migrant farmworkers in Southern Ontario, the project asks:  “If the fruits you grow and pick could speak from dinner tables, refrigerators, and grocery aisles, what would you want them to say?”    Organizers have gathered dozens of written and audio responses to this question from migrant agricultural workers across Southern Ontario and mobilized an incredible array of artists, partners, activists, and allies around these messages, turning them into direct action and also creative expression. With colourful produce, a virtual screen, and lively soundscape, this hybrid sculpture / organizing hub convenes workshops and events that aim to share strategies and build alliances between movements for racial justice, food justice, and labour justice while distributing to the public these messages through specially designed produce packaging.    Speaking Fruit has performed as an experiential learning hub and co-curricular platform for courses at York University and the University of Waterloo, and has been featured in events and exhibitions at the Santa Fe Arts Institute, the Art Gallery of York University, Onsite Gallery (Toronto), and at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (Hamilton).   Speaking Fruit is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. It is also the recipient of generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ontario Arts Council and the University of Waterloo.
       
     
  The Produce Party (2017) , commissioned by Artcite Inc, unsettles the nostalgia for locally-grown produce. In  Walks of Survivance , a two-person exhibition curated by Srimoyee Mitra, the installation was presented alongside Lisa Myers'  Blueberry Spoons .   In this installation, the ambience of a locally sourced soiree is breached by a series of interventions. Ads from as far back as the 1970s, jingle happily in the background. The marketing belongs to Foodland Ontario - a consumer promotion program of Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.  Rupturing contrived longings for the innocence of  home -grown produce, a coffin-shaped dining table spans the length of the gallery. Fashioned from old fruit-crates, thirteen paper plates are nailed to its surface. Permanent, yet temporary. Beside each plate, an article drawn from activist, legal and health publications serves up evidence of the injuries, health risks, fear and exploitation migrant workers face, along with glimmers of resistance.  Looming overhead, four rusty farm wheels take the shape of a chandelier. Adorned with soiled shoes, gloves, and plastic produce - the fixture implicates the viewer in the violence of industrial agriculture, and the politics of buying local.   Photos by Joshua Babcock, Programming Coordinator, Artcite Inc. 
       
     
  Mass Arrival (2013)  is a public art, installation and new media project, conceived of by Farrah Miranda.  Preferring to work collectively, Miranda formed the Mass Arrival Collective: Farrah Miranda (artist) Graciela Flores-Mendez (legal worker), Tings Chak (artist-architect), Vino Shanmuganathan (law student), Nadia Saad (social worker). The project has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at Whippersnapper Gallery (Toronto), Surrey Art Gallery (Surrey), Astérides (Marseille), has received the generous Ontario Art Council support.   Juxtaposing visual and textual narratives surrounding migrant boat arrivals to Turtle Island (Canada), it becomes clear that while some white arrivals form the basis of national creation stories, others form the basis for fear, hysteria and the tightening of border control.    1492:  Boats carrying white-European settlers pulled up to the shores of Turtle Island (North America. A war was waged against the original Indigenous inhabitants of this land. The legacy of this war is birthed in claims to racial and moral superiority and enclosed in borders. Creatively naming themselves as  pioneers  and  explorers,  white settlers imposed a logic of race based entitlement that till today leaps from the pages of textbooks.    1914:  A ship carrying 476 mostly Punjabi passengers from British controlled India arrived at the shores of Coast Salish Territories, (British Columbia). The passengers, British subjects, were challenging the Continuous Passage regulation, which stated that, “immigrants must come from the country of their birth, or citizenship, by a continuous journey, and or through tickets purchased before leaving the country of their birth, or citizenship”, a law brought to curb immigration from India.   1939:  Sailing from Hamburg with 907 Jewish refugees on board, the St. Louis, sought safety in Canada, among other places in the Americas. Racialized and rejected, the migrants were returned to Europe where most of its passengers died in the Holocaust.    1999:  Four separate ships carrying 599 migrants from the Fujian province of China arrived at the shores of Coast Salish Territories (British Columbia). Met with national disdain, the migrants aboard these ships were cast with immense suspicion. Highly visibilized and characterized as  illegal boat people,  the migrants aboard these ships were cast as a threat to Canadian sovereignty, and fore-fronted as a symbol of Canada’s failing refugee policy.    2009 & 2010:  Freighter ships, the MV Ocean Lady, carrying 76 Tamil migrant men was seized off the shores of Coast Salish Territories (British Columbia). Less than a year later the MV Ocean Lady landed ashore in Canada, this time with 492 Tamil passengers. Prior to its arrival, an online survey of about 1,000 Canadians found that 48% of those polled would deport the passengers from the Sun Sea, even if their refugee claims were found to be legitimate, with and no links found between the migrant and a terrorist organization. Thirty-five per cent of those surveyed would allow them to stay in Canada as refugees if their claims are found legitimate (Fong, 2010).    2013:   Mass Arrival docked a ship built of canvas and plywood, filled it over 200 white people, and docked it in a busy Toronto intersection. This intervention marked the third anniversary of arrival of 492 Tamil migrants aboard the MV Sun Sea.    Emanate from these contexts are themes of visibility and invisibility; themes of historical erasure and assertion; and the question, who has the moral legitimacy to decide who belongs in a settler colonial nation state.
       
     
  Mass Arrival (2013)  is a performance art, installation and new media project, conceived by artist, Farrah Miranda.  Preferring to work collectively, Miranda formed the Mass Arrival Collective: Farrah Miranda (artist) Graciela Flores-Mendez (legal worker), Tings Chak (artist-architect), Vino Shanmuganathan (law student), Nadia Saad (social worker).  Marking the arrival anniversary of the MV Sun Sea, the ship that brought 492 Tamil migrants to Canada, the group staged a mass arrival of their own. Two-hundred self-identified white people descended into one of Toronto's busiest intersections aboard, a satirical canvas replica of the MV Sun Sea. The flagship store of the Hudson's Bay Company, North America's oldest corporation, served as the backdrop for the performance. Passersby were handed leaflets that asked, "How does this arrival of white people make you feel?"    Audiences were encouraged to post responses on social media, using the hashtag  massarrival.     In the dominant imagination, the term,  mass arrival  signifies dark-skinned invaders, defiantly packed into rusty freighter ships, willfully violating the territorial integrity of Canadian borders. Emanate from this picture are themes of visibility and invisibility; themes of historical erasure and assertion; and the question, who has the moral legitimacy to decide who belongs in the settler colonial nation state? It becomes clear that while some (white) arrivals form the basis of national creation stories,  others  form the basis for fear, hysteria, and the tightening of border control.