Junaid, Bushra

Bushra Junaid is a multidisciplinary artist-curator and author based in Toronto. She grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she and her siblings were raised by her Nigerian and Jamaican parents.  Bushra’s own life story and her memories of the culture and food of Newfoundland provide a backdrop to the narrative and themes of her own work, which probe notions of history, memory, identity, and belonging.  Many of her works look at the Atlantic connections between the African diaspora communities in Newfoundland and the Caribbean, and they focus on the commodities that were traded between them, and the cultural legacy that endures.  Bushra visited Crestwood in February 2024, where she shared her story and work with Crestwood students in a Black History Month presentation.  That included the fascinating story behind The Possible Lives of W. H., Sailor, a work of poetry and art that Bushra published in 2022.  She was inspired by the remains of a sailor found in Labrador; with that and her research into the lives of Black seamen Bushra created her book, which imagined what the life of this man must have been like.  That and her other work inspired Crestwood students to look at and consider history in a new way!