Toronto’s diversity is well known. People coming from all continents call the city home and the variety of cultures, languages and food is impressive. The city is also widespread and there is a lot to explore ! On one of our latest excursions, we visited the Aga Khan museum located in the North York area. Recently opened in 2014, its purpose is to present Islamic art and objects with the perspective of fostering a dialogue between cultures and religions.
I felt quite inspired by the beauty of the building and the exhibitions, the serene atmosphere and the sense of openness and respect that pervades the museum. I was enthusiastic to see that the theme of upcoming artistic performances for winter and spring 2020 is called Listening to each other. In the Program, the head of Performing Arts states:
Today, listening can seem like a lost art. It is both a collaborative and creative act, inviting us to see the world through someone else’s eyes. Done well, it is an act of empathy in which our ears, eyes and minds, witness another person’s individual expression”.
The museum’ s project and its open invitation to view diversity as an opportunity to enrich our ideas and worldviews are compelling and energizing. I received them as a gift, as an oasis of peace, a path of hope, in stark contrast with the deafening noise of the compounded political and religious tensions that fills our screens daily. Celebrating the genius of the human mind and the quests of our common humanity through art and culture is a sound and inspiring antidote to the divisive forces at play around us.