Principal investigator / Project director

Dr. Analays Alvarez Hernandez is a Havana-born art historian and independent curator based in Montréal/Tiohti:áke/Mooniyang as an uninvited guest. Her research focuses on contemporary art, with an emphasis on commemoration and public art, global art histories and diasporas, Latinx-Canadian art, and curating. She has received a bachelor’s degree in Art History (2005) from the Universidad de La Habana, and her doctorate (2015) from the Université du Québec à Montréal. From 2016 to 2018, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History of Art at the University of Toronto. Since 2019, she is Assistant Professor of Global Art in theDépartement d’histoire de l’art et d’études cinématographiques at the Université de Montréal. In the past, she has also taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. Her main research projects focus on “domestic art galleries” in (post)socialist societies, as well as on the activity of Latinx-Canadian artists in Montréal in the 21st century. She has co-editedLatin American Art(ists) from/in Canada: Expanding Narratives, Territories, and Perspectives (Latin American and Latinx Visual Culturejournal, University of California Press, Winter, 2022) and “Revised Commemoration” in Public Art: What Future for the Monument? (RACAR journal, Universities Art Association of Canada,Fall, 2021). Alongside her academic research and teaching experience, Alvarez Hernandez has organized several exhibitions in Montreal, Havana, and Toronto as an independent curator. She also sits on the board as vice-president of the artist-run center OBORO and is a member of the Culture Montréal’sCommission permanente de l’art public.

Keywords Global arts histories, contemporary art, public art, monuments, memorials, diasporas, contemporary Latinx-Canadian art,contemporary Cuban art, decolonial studies, curating.

Blurb of University The Université de Montréal was founded with the goal of offering higher education. Over the course of more than 135 years, it has become an institution serving society as a whole.



Yi Gu is an associate professor of modern and contemporary art and visual culture with a focus on Asia, especially China. Her research interests include cold war visual culture and post-socialist art, comparative media studies, Chinese photography history and contemporary photography in Asia, politics of aesthetics, data visualization, and visual methodologies across disciplines. Her book Chinese Ways of Seeing and Open-Air Painting (Harvard University Press Asia Center, 2020) points out an ocular turn of China’s twentieth century as a foundation for a revisionist history of modern Chinese art. She is currently completing a manuscript on socialist data visualization and China’s contemporary Digital Countryside initiative. She is a co-editor of open-access academic journal Trans Asia Photography and a convening member of the research project “Recalibrating Postwar Chinese Art: Digital Humanities and Alternative Archives.”

Keywords Socialist and Post-Socialist Visual Culture, Aesthetic Capitalism, Postwar Chinese art, Mass art and amateurism, Photography in Asia

Blurb of University The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s top universities with a long history of challenging the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity and resolve of its faculty, students, alumni and supporters.


Maria Silina, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History of Art at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal. They participate in several research projects that address Communist culture and media, museum studies, and contemporary art activism. Their book Art History on Display: Soviet Museum Between Two Wars (1920s-1930s) is forthcoming from Bard Graduate Center. Currently, they collaborate with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut on a project on Socialist gendered public spaces, as well as with Montréal Atelier d’histoire Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve on a project on local public history.

Keywords art, museums, Communism, art activism, memory and critical heritage studies, philosophy of art, media, public art, queer culture and auto-ethnography.

Blurb of University Université du Québec à Montréal is one of the largest and the most dynamic francophone universities in Canada and worldwide. Its strength lies in museum and heritage studies, of which I am very proud to be part.


Research Assistants

Jacob Zhicheng Zhang (University of Toronto)

Maryna Khrennikova (Université de Montréal)

Former Coordinator

Raquel Cruz Crespo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the Universidad de La Habana. In Havana, she worked as a project coordinator in public and private institutions. Cruz Crespo was member of the curatorial team that organized the collateral exhibitions presented by the Visual Arts Development Center as part of the 12th Havana Biennial (2015). Since obtaining her Master’s degree in Research Practices and Public Action from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), she has been active as a cultural worker and independent researcher in Montreal. She is interested in artist residencies, cultural mediation and alternative art spaces. Currently, she co-coordinates the artistic programming at DARE-DARE.

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Former Research Assistant

Sophie Mallette holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the Université de Montréal (2021) and is currently pursuing her studies as a Master’s candidate. Her research interests focus on contemporary artistic practices that take place in or are inspired by urban public space. She is particularly interested in the oppressive and alienating nature of the city and how certain artists, through their subversive practices, manage to modify our perception of these places and, consequently, to infuse them with meaning and critical thinking. 

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