Through the process of reclaiming her inherited Afro-Caribbean Indigenous storytelling role Myrtle uses her work to uncover stories located in the body. The Black body is often a site of personal, political, and social enactments and can reveal the complexities in re-creation and reclamation efforts. Her (research) creation attends to a process that is guided by trans-temporal collaborators who challenge ideas around relationships to art and productivity, community integration, and authorship.
Her latest gathering The Body Speaks (2022), is a civic engagement project that offered women of colour the opportunity to uncover stories located in the body through interviews, paintings and photovoice. This action research participatory project led to the creation of the Beyond Strong Community- a personal and collective care community that uses arts based methods as a way of accessing joy, ease, and liberation.
Myrtle Henry Sodhi’s multi-modal practices act as an echolocator which invites people to locate themselves in the stories that emerge. As a “sankofic” storyteller she shares stories using visual, auditory, and experiential methods. She is a new world creator who supports others in their own re-creation efforts.
Myrtle grounds her practice through rituals of “rememory” where her inherited role as a “sankofic” storyteller acts as a point where the past is accessed to support re-envisioning for the future. She is able to reclaim the Afro-Caribbean Indigenous role of the artist as a facilitator that supports relationships with ancestry, community, Spirit, the body, and the natural world.
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy, Education, York University
Master's non-Thesis, Masters of Education, Education, York University
Supervisors: Dr. Jen Gilbert
2000/9 - 2001/5
Bachelor's, Bachelor of Education, Education, University of Toronto
1993/9 - 1997/5
Bachelor's Honours, Bachelor of Arts, English, Carleton University
Feature Artist. Diasporic Storytelling: Honouring our Auntie’s Audio. Sonic Stories. Whitney French. Hush Harbour Press.
In this sonic story I weave together stories of the aunties that are our griots. They are the storytellers and the storied. Through the layering of sounds, languages, laughter, and frustration I encourage the listener to locate themselves and their aunties in the stories. This sound story was produced in collaboration with the Building A Black Archive Project, “Diasporic Storytelling” and Hush Harbour Press.
Artist. Mothers Grounding.
My animation, Dance Like the Ancestors Are Watching is part of a project that features artists in video, audio, and text. This project is hosted by the National Arts Centre of Canada.
We've Been Here Before. : 374. (Submitted)
My novel explores the Black female experience over generations and places with a keen eye on themes of liberation through voice reclamation, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and mothering through short stories that are connected. The stories stretch back to the Caribbean in the 1800s and extend to present day Canada. Each woman in this lineage must decide how and if she is to reclaim her voice, her Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and her place in various places and times. We see the clash of generations, cultures, spirits and identities.
Black Women EDI Educators & The Second Shifts. (2022).
York University. Master's Research Paper Supervisor: Dr. Jen Gilbert. This Major Research Project involved theoretical research that examined the emotional labour Black women expend through equity, inclusion, and diversity work. I am the only author and conducted the theoretical research under the guidance of my supervisor, Dr. Jen Gilbert.
The Body Speaks., The Clark Center for the Arts.
A multimodal arts event celebrating Afro-Caribbean storytelling and visual Arts. .The Body Speaks is an event that is part storytelling and part art exhibition. This event shares the stories of BIPOC women as told in relation to how they experience the world through their bodies. The stories are shared through an interactive Afro-Caribbean storytelling tradition called Kwik Kwak and over 15 portraits. Funding Sources: Canada Council for The Arts
Seeds for Change: Learning Without Borders.
University of Toronto As an Artist in Residence for The Learning Without Borders Initiative I collaborate with knowledge keepers, educators, community leaders, scholars, Elders, artists, activists, students and youth committed to "Pedagogies of Liberation" (Rodriguez, 2022) that centers Black, Indigenous and voices. from the global majority. This project is led by Dr. Clelia O. Rodriguez (University of Toronto).
International Students & Ethics of Care.
The IAFOR International Conference on Education in Hawaii, Honolulu, United States
A Child Who Could Not Say Her Own Name.
Politics of Sound, Toronto Metropolitan University & York University, Toronto, Canada
Storytelling through Sight, Silence & Sound: Sankofic Rituals for Locating the Self.
Universities Art Association of Canada, Toronto, Canada
Empowering Black Futures: Education & Community Panel. Black Futures Project
George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
Countering Colonial Violence: A Care-Ethic Framework for International Education.12th International Conference on Education and Justice: “Collective Scholarship for Public Pedagogy”, Berkley, United States
Black Women EDI Educators: The Second Shifts & Care Work.
American Educational Studies Association (AESA), Pittsburg, United States
The Antidote for the Archive.
Unconference Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Canada
Liberatory Practices of Power.
Toronto Neighbourhood Centres Annual Retreat, Jackson's Point, Canada
Black Graduate Womxn Panel: Re: Navigating Graduate School with Care in Mind.
York University Graduate Student Conference in Education, Toronto, Canada
From Student Voice to Student Advocacy.
Beginning Teachers Equity Conference, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada