Pockets of Haven (2022 - ongoing) documents the safe spaces or ‘havens’ of Black creatives in Tkaronto/Toronto. The images reflect each subject’s individual personality and what all these individuals do in their spaces in order to feel comfortable, regardless of whether they built or found these spaces. The photographs are intended as a means of understanding and re-defining what safe spaces truly are.

Originally inspired by the interconnectedness of body and space, Rahim was asked to create a diptych that incorporated both elements into a single assignment. Later, he came to realize there existed an intersection of comfort within one’s body and within one’s space, something that was unique to him and his Blackness. In this body of work, Rahim explores the authenticity of personal spaces – as forms of havens or as safe spaces – within the Black community.

Confronting the subject matter of his past works, Rahim feels as if this project marks a shift in his practice. Earlier projects of his have spoken to the more negative repercussions of being Black: racism, police brutality, and cultural appropriation. However, an intentional shift to communicate a positive message is what characterizes this project. Pockets of Haven is a love letter to the community that surrounds Rahim. These images create a visual experience of the comfort we feel by being ourselves – our unique, authentic, beautiful selves.

Special thanks to, Zebidah Wangari Ndung’u, Kemora Manning and Martin Gomes 

Pockets of Haven, 2023 (From NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 4.0). Digital pigment print on Real Silk Satin 36 x 24”

Installation view from the Meridian Arts Centre, Toronto. Photos by Rahim Perez-Anderson

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