Unmasking Your Roots with Sydonne Warren & Nastassia Aikman

Saturday 16 October, 3-4:30PM
Saturday 23 October, 3-4:30PM
In-person at Esker. Youth and young adults 16-25.

What makes you authentically you? How do you stay connected to that authenticity? How do you share that with the world?

As part of Esker’s ongoing RELATIONS Engagement Series youth aged 16-25 will have the opportunity to explore these questions with local artist Sydonne Warren and poet Nastassia Aikman in a two-part poetry and performance workshop.

Participants will be led through a poetic response to exhibiting artist Manuel Mathieu’s compelling painting, ST-Jak 3. This powerful piece expresses the stories and emotional history of Haiti, the land the artist comes from, and questions how these stories are carried and inherited by the people of a land. The topic of the workshop, “Unmasking your Roots,” will be explored through writing poetry and creating a visual art project.

Unmasking one’s roots reveals the true character of an inanimate or living being, uncovering its most natural and tangible form. This natural state discloses what makes us who we are, what keeps us grounded, and how we connect with the people and things around us.


Nastassia Aikman fell in love with poetry as a small child growing up in rural Jamaica. The iconic Jamaican poet and folklorist, Louise Bennett-Coverley influenced her craft and soon Nastassia began writing and performing her own poems. Nastassia is a performing artist who mainly writes in her Jamaican dialect, “Patois” and can be found performing her pieces in and around the city of Calgary at various events.

Sydonne Warren is a Jamaican-Canadian artist specializing in large-scale expressive paintings, murals, and digital design. Her artwork often showcases high contrast subjects, bold colour palettes, and a mixture of expressive strokes, drips and rigid lines. Her themes reflect her experiences as a Jamaican-Canadian immigrant, woman and mother. She uses her perspective to share her desire for the African diaspora to occupy, impact and own space.

Attendance on both dates is essential.

October 16th, 2021 at 3-4:30pm, October 23rd, 2021 at 3-4:30pm