Love Behind the Bargain

Documentation: Photos on Flickr | Excerpts on Soundcloud |
Essay written by Camille Turner, C Magazine, Issue 121, p.49, Spring 2014.

Love Behind the Bargain is a performative walking tour that brings participants to various stops in Toronto’s downtown Chinatown. These stops are of significance for the artist/ tour guide Alvis Parsley as they worked and socialized in the neighborhood to connect, survive and search for their identity during their 1.5 years in Toronto as a temporary resident, queer person of color, who flew 7600 miles here for love.

Participants enter a world beyond the stereotypes of Chinatown. Alvis Parsley tells site-specific stories illustrating their journey of freedom and love, and the rarely discussed side of Toronto’s Chinatown, a self-contained community that is home for numerous immigrants.

The piece exposes intimate stories that reflect the day-to-day happenings in Chinatown and relate to political themes such as racism, labor exploitation, sexuality and cultural stereotypes. It reinvigorates public spaces that are often perceived as either exotic by “foreigners” (in the eyes of people who live in Chinatown) or mundane by community members themselves. Participants will experience the neighborhood from a micro-narrative perspective. Reality becomes a live cinema as the artist narrates to the surroundings.

Duration: 60 minutes
Dates: Aug 8 (Thu) 6:30pm | Aug 9 (Fri) 6:30pm | Aug 10 (Sat) 4:00pm
Aug 13 (Tue) 6:30pm | Aug 14 (Wed) 6:30pm | Aug 15 (Thu) 6:30pm
Aug 18 (Sun) 4:00pm

Love Behind the Bargain was presented by the SummerWorks Festival 2013. It was developed from the piece Falling in Love with Audre Lorde.

One thought on “Love Behind the Bargain

  1. What in incredibly intimate and real story that I got to experience last night as our group was taken on a personal and historical tour through Toronto’ Chinatown. Alvis Parsley shared their life, their heart and their soul with us through their stories of sexuality, love, caring, arrival, acceptance racism, exploitation and the idea of community in a space that is supposed to be welcoming. Definitely do not miss this.

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