Canada self-promotes its cultural image as one which is defined and distinguished by its mosaic society. This acceptance of diversity is a quality Canada is noted for by countries abroad. Being a member of an immigrant family, I also accept and identify with this view.
Visiting my ancestral homeland of Switzerland, I was recently struck by the political landscape created by the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP). Their posters aim to instill a strong anti-immigration attitude among the Swiss people with demeaning and offensive imagery. The SVP claims that its country should intensify regulations relating to the number of immigrants it accepts. An increase in acts against racial minorities has been a consequence of the SVP’s fear mongering messages and imagery.1
The images shown are a product of my strong disagreement to the SVP posters, which in turn causes me to reflect on Canada’s diversity policy. In this series I appropriate the tone and visual language of the SVP posers to criticize the pseudo-inclusivity of the mosaic model. Additionally, my works are designed to incite contemplation and dialogue on the part of the viewer regarding issues of Canadian immigration and multiculturalism.
1. Ivan Ureta, “Abusing the Swiss system of direct democracy: the Swiss People’s Party aims to stop “mass immigration”.” Open Democracy, http://www.opendemocracy.net/ivanureta/
(accessed November 17, 2011).