Mountains and Rivers Without End

Mountains and Rivers Without End (MRWE) is an interdisciplinary group project involving artists and scholars from Canada and Ecuador. The initial segment of the project consisted of a residency in the Ecuadorean towns of Portovelo and Zaruma during the summer of 2015; its goal was to give members of the group first-hand experience of the history and lingering effects of gold mining on the social, economic, and environmental fabric of the region surrounding these two towns. The discussions between the artists and scholars who attended the residency resulted in a series artworks and texts that were disseminated in Cuenca, Ecuador in February 2016 in an exhibition and its accompanying catalogue. A second iteration of this exhibition will open in the Centre for Contemporary Art in Quito, Ecuador in June 2016. The culmination of the project will consist of a third exhibition and a conference that will take place in November 2016 at Western University, London, Ontario. This event will bring together the artists who worked on the project and scholars from other disciplines to address the topics about mining that were MRWE’s object of study, but also to discuss the efficacy of art as a discourse that can raise and disseminate questions about such complex social and environmental topics.