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Activism through the arts
Join YW Calgary for an online discussion with two local artists and their art-based activism focused on preventing domestic violence.

This November, YW Calgary will be acknowledging Family Violence Prevention month. Family Violence Prevention month intends to shed light on this complex issue, open difficult conversations and encourage individuals in our community to learn more about ways they can help. As a component of the YW’s strategic plan for Women’s Economic Prosperity, we will be hosting a free, virtual event and offer many different resources, to improve our community’s understanding and ability to prevent Family Violence.

This event will highlight the work of two local artists to learn about their domestic violence activism efforts through different creative mediums. The first artist is Maryam Ejaz, a film maker who will be screening her short film, Purple Kisses (2020) – the story of a young South Asian woman living in an abusive marriage. The second artist is Claudia Chagoya, an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores gendered violence and her socio-political background. She will be showcasing her current installation A Rose for Remembrance (2021) which can be viewed at the Calgary Arts Commons.

Additionally, you can find other valuable resources, education and engagements on the YW Calgary website, or our various social channels. Keep up with what our province is doing by using the hashtags #WhereToTurn or #GoPurpleAB. Together we can work together to end Family Violence.

A virtual Zoom link will be provided by email upon registration:


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Maryam Ejaz – Independent Filmmaker, Producer, and Poet

Maryam Ejaz is an independent filmmaker and director. In 2020, she debuted her first short film Purple Kisses, a story about a young woman’s experience in an abusive marriage. Her work has been screened at multiple film festivals across the country and most recently at the International Film Festival of South Asia, North America’s largest South Asian film festival. Her love for storytelling is continuously driven by her passion to advocate on taboo topics such as issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and racism. As a proud Pakistani-Canadian, she values the representation of different stories and cultures within film, and hopes that her stories make people feel seen and heard. Currently, she is applying to obtain a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and continues to be active within the Calgary film community.

Claudia Chagoya – Interdisciplinary Artist

Claudia Chagoya (1991) is a Mexican interdisciplinary artist born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and based in Calgary, Canada. She holds an MFA degree from the University of Calgary, and a BFA from Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her artistic practice explores topics related to gender violence and her socio-political background, through the use of materials rooted in Mexican culture such as: rebozos, salt, copal and sawdust. Chagoya has been the recipient of grants from Calgary Arts Development, Canada Council for the Arts and has been shortlisted for the Alberta Artist in Residence/Arts Ambassador Program. Her work has been exhibited in Mexico and in Canada and has she been an artist in Residence at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, the Women’s Centre of Calgary and Calgary Allied Arts Foundation at cSPACE King Edward. Currently she is showcasing her project “A Rose for Remembrance” at the Ledge Gallery in Arts Commons, where she is part of the RBC Emerging Visual Artists Program (RBCEVAP) 2021-2022.