“Deception Designs: The CMHR’s Representation of Gareth Henry

By Thomas Fields*


The audio guide I have created questions how the museum has chosen to represent Gareth Henry as a queer migrant, and how his success and progress towards “fully realized human rights” are highlighted due to his banners location in the museum near the Tower of Hope. Drawing from concepts such as lovely knowledge, difficult knowledge, the happy migrant and exhibitionary silences, I attempt to queer the exhibit and critique the limiting factors of the CMHR’s architecture

Click here to read the audio guide script.

Sources Consulted

  • Bowcott, Owen and Maya Wolfe-Robinson. “Gareth Henry: ‘I saw my friends killed … There’s no safe place in this country.‘” The Guardian. 2012. Access February 12th.
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Project Origins. 2018. Access March 11th, 2018.
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Architecture. 2018. Access March 11th, 2018.
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights. “Human Rights Defenders.”Rights Today.
    Banner. 13 December 2017.
  • Murry, David. “The (not so) Straight Story: Queering Migration Narratives of Sexual Orientation and Gendered Identity Refugee Claimants.” Sexualities, vol.17, no. 4, 2014, 451-471.
  • Ritchie, Nicole Anne. Queering Museums: Questions of Space, Affect, and the (Non)Normative. University of Toronto, 2015.
  • Tyburczy, Jennifer. “Introduction.” Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display. University of Chicago Press, 2016, 1-37.

Sound Credits
Voice: Thomas Fields

  • “Big Pillow Shaking.wav.” Freesound, uploaded by hinzebeat, 5 June 2015, https://freesound.org/people/hinzebeat/sounds/275579/.
  • “Improvised Chill Stuff > Improvised Chill 7.” Freesound, uploaded by waveplay, 23 May 2014, https://freesound.org/people/waveplay/sounds/238530/.
  • “Walking Steps.” Freesound, uploaded by timothy_neville, 6 September 2016, https://freesound.org/people/timothy_neville/sounds/353615/.

Image Credit
This image, taken by Thomas Fields, is of the exterior of the museum as shown from a parking lot across the street.

Click here to return to the main page to see the other audio guides.

*Imagined, designed, recorded, and edited by Thomas Fields. Mastered by Julia Dyck.