Abitrary Borders

Arbitrary Borders

Art Exhibition

Presented by

The Beyond Fear Arts Collective ,and the Quaker Committee for Refugees

in Collaboration with The Dabke Collective

Curated by Helen Melbourne,

Facilitated by Eusebio Garcia, Roberto Martin and Kate Dee and the Dabke Collective

Arbitrary borders are set by governments or authorities; by war and treaties; by regulation, social and institutional differences and personal boundaries.

Millions of people worldwide have been forcibly moved to reserves or camps, detention, or marginal lands and denied citizenship and human rights within their country of birth. For millions of others it is no longer safe to stay in their homelands.

Borders are not just between countries. There are internal political boundaries that have the same effect. Forced resettlement; regulations; treaties that set up separated geographical areas and remove traditional lands of Indigenous peoples around the world through apartheid, isolation, marginalization are part of this arbitrary separation.

At what point do we stop and examine the personal and moral cost to society of setting boundaries based on fear and protectionism, on difference? When do we look closely at the real and personal effects and tragic consequences of barriers rather than seeing only the barrage of media, political rhetoric, and strategy? How does it affect the world and growing tensions when so many people have their basic human rights violated, when they are born stateless? When climate change, globalization and extremist attitudes prevail over our basic humanity?

The show examines the concept of immigration and rejection, walls, fences, resettlement, detainment, the millions of people caught in political battles and manoeuvres, and what it means for humanity and individuals when a decision is made to close borders and evict asylum seekers, to send them back to their unsafe homeland or to homes that are no longer there or to force them to live in isolated marginal lands; when we treat people as other.

Artwork that considers either the barrier itself or what is on either side of the barrier, the hope for acceptance, or the despair of rejection are part of this juried show. Where do these barriers begin? Where do they end? As artists we raise the questions, we do not have the answers.

April 5, 6, 7, 2018

Official Opening - Thursday April 5th  from 6 - 9pm

Hours:    Thursday 11am -9pm

Friday 11 am - 9 pm

Saturday 10 am - 5pm

WHERE: Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave. Toronto, (near Bloor and St George)

For more information contact Eusebio Garcia at 416-964-9669 or

Helen Melbourne at helenmelbourne@sympatico.ca


Abitrary Borders

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