Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future) is half of a two-part installation at the Ryerson Image Centre and 259 Lake Shore Blvd E that draws on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism. Ware transforms the Salah J. Bachir New Media Wall into an imagined time portal through which the next generation of racialized activists offers insights into a future radically altered by climate change.

Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future) is co-commissioned by the RIC and the Toronto Biennial of Art. Antarctica, a related installation by Ware, is on view at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E.

Learn more about Syrus Marcus Ware’s practice by listening to the Short Format series on the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast. Interviewed by Aliya Pabani, episode 3 with Ware is available HERE.


Syrus Marcus Ware (born in Montreal, QC, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator, and educator. He uses painting, installation, and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture, and has shown widely in galleries and festivals across Canada. He is part of the Performance Disability Art Collective and a core team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto. He has won several recognitions including the TD Arts Diversity Award (2017), Steinert & Ferreiro Award (2012), and “Best Queer Activist” from NOW Magazine (2005).


  • Accessibility

    Ryerson Image Centre

    Accessible entrance and washrooms
    Accessible ramps / elevators
    AODA compliant building
    Accessible parking

  • Getting There

    Ryerson Image Centre

    By Public Transportation: The Toronto transit system offers numerous options that provide easy access to the Ryerson Image Centre:
    • Dundas Subway Station is located one block southwest of the RIC
    • Dundas Street streetcars travel east and west, one block south of the RIC

    By Car: By Car, drive to Dundas Street, between Yonge and Church Streets. Turn north onto Victoria Street. There is a Ryerson University parking lot approximately half way up the street, at which point Victoria is closed for pedestrian access only. Turn left to access the lot. The Ryerson Image Centre is opposite Lake Devo, directly across from the pedestrian half of Victoria street.