By Latoya Powell
Writer, artist and alumni student from Ryerson University Hana Shafi led a talk about consent this week.
The talk, called Art and Consent, is part of the annual Disorientation week, a week-long discussion on activism, social justices and more. It’s organized by the Ryerson Equity Service Centres.
“Consent isn’t sexy, it’s mandatory,” said Shafi.
In this workshop, Shafi, also known as “Frizz Kid” led a group of students through a series of art and visualization exercises. The group reflected on the meaning of consent and healing.
Shafi said the significance of these workshops allow students to have a “space to decompress and allows us to have healthy and fun conversations about mental health [and] about issues that affect marginalized people on campus.”
During open discussion, the group also dismantled some of the rhetoric surrounding consent.
Shafi explained that one of the false theories about consent is that. “It’s not about making a situation more sensual,” she said. “It’s about somebody asking if they are allowed to have sex with you.”
The group shared many thoughts, ideas, and art pieces all relating to their unique definition for consent.
Olesya Proholpouych, a coordinator at the Centre for Women and Trans People Ryerson, said that her favourite exercise was the non-visuals drawings.
“I felt like those were very zen,” she said. “It just lets you see differently… as opposed to when you see the paper and you’re thinking about the drawing.”
Shafi said that she practices these exercises in her personal life. They have helped her improve her mental health and awareness. She said that these affirmation practices have encouraged her to have more honest conversations with the ones closest to her.
Shafi also authored a book about coming to terms with your own body image as a brown girl. It’s called It Begins with the Body, and has been critically acclaimed.
This is one of many social-justice-oriented events going on this week. The equity centres will be hosting similar events to Art and Consent like the talk on Food Security and Marginalized Identities on Friday.