Workshop, On Site

12 June 2024, 6:00pm ET

Sam Carter-Shamai

What are the cultural and social technologies that allow for a community to start coalescing when there is not access to property? Urban planner and researcher Sam Carter-Shamai invites participants to consider the entanglements, encounters, and intimacies that shape communities. Prompted by his research on diasporic identity and the stewardship of embodied culture through community institutions, Carter-Shamai will lead a tactile “fabulation cartography” workshop that reflects on the sites, systems, and structures that inform experiences of community.

Workshop materials will be provided.


Sam Carter-Shamai is an urban planner and educator working towards a more just, equitable and joyful city. Drawing on family history and archival research his current projects explore the geographies of displacement, migration and diasporic encounter. Sam is the 2024 Early Career Canadian Urban Leader at the University of Toronto's School of Cities, a 2024 Mellon Research Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and board chair of the Neighbourhood Land Trust.

SESSION: Extended Hours takes up the spatial proposition in artist Danielle Dean’s exhibition Out of this World, which transforms Mercer Union’s gallery space into a community centre. In Dean’s commissioned film Hemel (2024) and its central reference Quatermass II (1957), the setting of the community centre emerges as a site for dialogue, convergence, and rupture for a community that is grappling with the logic of its construction.

This program series invites practitioners from various disciplines to share the ideas and urgencies driving their work in the sociospatial transformation of our city. For two consecutive Wednesdays, on June 5 and June 12, Mercer Union will remain open with extended hours. Each evening will open with a screening of Hemel, then feature guest-led workshops and discussion.

About the Series

SESSION is a project modelling itself after an incubator that invites cultural practitioners to engage with questions that emerge out of a given exhibition.