Commissioned by the Art Gallery of York University, and two-years in the making, Ring of Fire is a 300-person strong street procession by internationally renowned Trinidadian artist Marlon Griffith. Made for the City of Toronto and staged at the Parapan American Games, Ring of Fire takes place on Sunday, August 9 along University Avenue from Queens Park to City Hall at 12 pm.

This groundbreaking large-scale, long-term participatory art project is the culmination of a trans-cultural and inter-disciplinary collaboration between individuals, groups, and organizations from across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. It is a constellation of social movements emerging from deep-rooted traditions. Inter-locking circles of performative forms of colonial cultural resistance from across the Americas—from pow wow to capoeira to spoken word to carnival—raise critical awareness around accessibility in solidarity with persons with disabilities. Ring of Fire is a living line and a symbol of endurance, solidarity, and social awakening.

Using the structural dynamic of Carnival “mas” as a working strategy, and the “mas camp” (collectively run production studios for the artistic component of Caribbean Carnival) as a site of co-authored exchange, Ring of Fire brings together disability dancers from Picasso Pro and Equal Grounds, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, members of Toronto’s Capoeira Angôla community, and young spoken word poets from Jane-Finch, Malvern and Regent Park. Throughout May, June, and July, collectively conceived and created “mas camps” (in costume production, spoken word, movement, and music) take place across some of Toronto’s leading arts organizations with strong community roots throughout the city: including Art Starts, SKETCH, The Malvern S.P.O.T., COBA, and Success Beyond Limits. These organizations are dynamic hubs for fostering inter-generational participation and unprecedented collaboration between youth from diverse neighbourhoods across the GTA.

Ring of Fire is made by Torontonians for Torontonians.


Curated by Emelie Chhangur