The Resistance of Peggy Pompadour is a sonic walk that tells the story of Peggy Pompadour, an enslaved woman who arrived the town of York (old Toronto) in 1793. Consisting of images and a life-sized model of a crude jail cell, the walk, accompanied by an installation, was commissioned and co-presented by Women’s Art Resource Centre Gallery in Toronto in partnership with the Queen West BIA as part of the Exhibition curated by Earl Miller for Nuit Blanche.
The piece brings to life an incident where Peggy Pompadour, who was owned by Peter Russell, is jailed for resisting slavery. Ironically, the location of the jail is the present site of Toronto’s posh King Edward Hotel. The story, set slightly in the future, features Gloria Smith, a young Black woman who is brought to the hotel by her mother to celebrate her 21st birthday. Gloria finds herself involuntarily traveling back to the past where she encounters Peggy in a jail cell. When Gloria returns to the future she is determined to tell Peggy’s story.
” Told through the time-defying travels of protagonist, Gloria Smith – who is able to access and re-spatialize the geographies of both 21st-century metropolitan Toronto and the 18th-century town of York, the story is experienced as a sonic journey in which characters from the future open a portal into the past that is experienced in the present.”
Written and Directed by: Camille Turner
Music composed by: Ravi Naimpally
Guitars performed by: Tim Posgate
Production coordinated by: Jounghwa No
Voice over by: Ophilia Davis, Meghan Swaby, and Ross Turnbull
Prison cell constructed by: Patrick Ellard
Photography by: Andrejs Rubenis
Social Media by: Aisha Simpson
Many thanks to Linda Abrahams and Earl Miller