The Occupation

Ian Willms, Demonstration, Toronto Financial District, 76 x 114 cm inkjet print, 2011

Ian Willms, General Assembly, St. James Park, 76 x114 cm inkjet print, 2011

Ian Willms, Eviction, St. James Park, 76 x114 cm inkjet print, 2011

Ian Willms, The Occupation, In vitrines at Gallery 44

Ian Willms, The Occupation, In vitrines at Gallery 44

The Occupation

Thursday, December 1, 2011 to Thursday, January 5, 2012
June 14, 5:15PM
About the Exhibition: 

“We are the 99%” is a powerful message that was heard around the world, and resonating here through Occupy Toronto—we are paying attention. Moreover, we are exchanging information and advocating on our own terms. In that spirit I feel it is important to present these photos to you in this place at this time. – Alice Dixon

Due to the collective nature of the Occupy movement, it is difficult to make a statement about it from the perspective of an individual. Coming to St. James Park as an independent photojournalist meant I was free to experience the process of making it into much more than just a park. I engaged in meaningful debates, listened to compelling stories, slept on the ground and even did the dishes. By the time Mayor Rob Ford ordered the Toronto Police Force to evict the occupation on November 23rd, I was proud to stand with my new friends in opposition. The events of that day still weigh heavy in my heart, but I take comfort in the thought that the most important structures built in St. James Park are impossible to remove. – Ian Willms

Artist Biography: 

Ian Willms is an independent documentary photographer whose practice investigates the systemic disempowerment of abandoned people and the environments in which they live. His current work-in-progress explores the degradation of health and culture in remote First Nations communities near the Alberta Oil Sands. Ian lives and works in Toronto. 



Alice Dixon is the Exhibition Coordinator of Gallery 44, and maintains an independent practice as an artist, curator, and writer.