In Wagner and de Burca’s experimental film RISE, poets, rappers, and musicians who belong to the collective R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) perform agitprop edutainment in the Toronto underground. R.I.S.E. is comprised of young, mainly first-and second-generation immigrants from the Caribbean for whom rhythm and poetry is an act of empowerment and self-expression. The film hybridizes fiction and documentary to establish a third language-territory—a space where rhythm and poetry are employed as catalysts to explore a complex diasporic and multi-cultural context.

RISE is a film commissioned by the AGYU and produced by Emelie Chhangur in partnership with R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) Edutainment. 


The photographs and films of Bárbara Wagner (born in Brasilia, Brazil; lives in Recife, Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (born in Munich, Germany; lives in Recife, Brazil) have explored the boundary between documentary between fiction, the role performance plays in daily life, and the translation of ideas and styles across cultures. Their show at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo took as its jumping-off point the movement RISE, which relies on spoken-word performances and has been used in Canada to educate marginalized youths.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7