Damian Siqueiros is fighting a dystopian future with photographs that are full of hope

"Everywhere you look, everything that you see is dystopian; it's negative." The Montreal artist's new series envisions a future filled with optimism instead.

'Everywhere you look, everything that you see is dystopian; it's negative'

(Damian Siqueiros)

When you see Terra Sapiens, the new series by multimedia Montreal artist Damian Siqueiros, you'll see visions of a pristine earth populated by dreamlike people surrounded by foliage, mist and clouds. What does it all mean? To Siqueiros, Terra Sapiens is an antidote to the wide variety of dystopian images we see in contemporary culture. What he is presenting is an alternative.

Siqueiros says, "Positive representation of the future is one of the most relevant topics right now because everywhere you look, everything that you see is dystopian; it's negative. So we need to be informed about these initiatives that are already happening that are based in science, that are a reality, that are helping the environment. We need to see those things to be inspired to activate hope and get there."

Watch the video:

Damian Siqueiros and art for an environmentally healthy future

3 years ago
Duration 2:17
Damian Siqueiros introduces his project Terra Sapiens and how it offers optimism and scientific perspectives to a vision of this planet's future. Filmmaker: Louis-Martin Charest

In this video made by filmmaker Louis-Martin Charest, you'll go inside Siqueiros's studio as he creates pieces of Terra Sapiens, which is the next step in his career that's been marked by what he calls "artivism" — an activist spirit that drives his work that previously dealt with cultural and gender identity.

(CBC Arts)

The subjects you'll see participating in Terra Sapiens — produced in partnership with Lembasworks — include Claudia Chan Tak, Mariette Raina, Hamilton Nieh, Alisia Pobega, Alice Tran, Sanghun Lee, Sabina Son Soon, Vanesa Garcia Montoya, Jungmin Seo, Kiara Felder, Diana Leon and Paco Ziel. The music in Terra Sapiens was composed by Tara Baswani and Moses Baxter.

Find out more about Damian Siqueiros here. Siqueiros is currently working on Terra Sapiens: Environments of Regeneration.

See more from the series:

(Damian Siqueiros)
(Damian Siqueiros)
(Damian Siqueiros)
(Damian Siqueiros)
(Damian Siqueiros)

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionists or catch it on CBC Television Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT). Watch more videos here.


Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.