Remembered on Canvass

Do we as a society become numb to the violence around us?

Do we glaze over the latest tragedy in an effort to remain detached from the suffering?

I think we do.

Then there are artists like Pamela Masik, who chose to delve into the lives of the missing women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  Masik’s exhibition, THE FORGOTTEN, remembers the missing women and puts into clear relief the harsh reality that these women had lives, friends and loved ones.  Masik forces us, as a society, to see these women up close, to pay attention to the incredible loss of such potential.  

These women were from broken homes and abusive relationships.  They were addicted to drugs, living on the streets, and trying to scrape out an existence in violent and hostile surroundings.  They were true survivors, trying to live in the most difficult of environments in a time and place where others had already forgotten them.

One woman will always be a like a black and white snapshot in my memory.  She had a wonderful laugh, a bubbly outlook, and an addictive personality.  She was street smart and strong willed.  She was a mother and a sister and a friend to many.  When it was confirmed she was one of the dead on ‘the farm’, I was shocked and saddened. 

This woman had been a feisty little spark-plug, quick to be aware of her surroundings, and she was the last I would have expected to fall victim to a human predator. 

Life is too short for too many.

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