A photo exhibit opening Thursday at the Gladstone Hotel highlights the people behind the Black Lives Matter movement in Toronto and the United States.
The exhibit features photographs from three Toronto-based artists, each portraying a different side of the protests that have dominated the news — from the streets of Ferguson, Mo., to downtown Toronto.
Zun Lee is among the photographers who gathered his images in Toronto, and travelled to Ferguson to capture reaction to the police shooting of Michael Brown.
"I went twice, in October and December," said Lee in an interview Thursday on Metro Morning. "There was a dichotomy between what the world was shown in terms of the actual protests and what the local population conceived of as protesting and resistance."
"For me it was interesting to talk to locals and embed myself in their lives," Lee said.
"We've been dehumanized," said Jalani Morgan, another photographer featured in the exhibit. "I'm someone that comes from that perspective ... so my perspective and my goal was to always humanize the experience."
Morgan said as a black man in Toronto he wanted to document the experience firsthand.
"I'm not looking at it as an observer, or someone from the outside. I feel it, I know it, I'm there in the texture, the fabric of the oppression," Morgan said. "I have to do this, and photography is my way in which I do that."
The exhibition is part of a series of shows called Power To The People: Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest, which is put on by the Ryerson Image Centre and Black Artists' Networks Dialogue. It runs at the Gladstone Hotel until Feb. 26.