BioDiversity: Faces of Ecological Stewardship is a zine by CEC staff member Zoe-Blue Coates in collaboration with artists Niloo Farahzadeh, Jaime Blankinship, Nicole Neidhardt, Karissa Chandarkate, Emily Thiessen, Andrea Searle, Joy Ngenda, and Neil Aaron Singroy Bourne. The project aims to teach all ages about Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour who have been ecological stewards throughout history. People like George Washington-Carver, Beangka Elliott, and Wangari Maathai have made lasting impacts on areas such as soil health, environmental activism, and plant knowledge.
This project was made possible through the generosity of the City of Victoria, CRFAIR, and TD Friends of the Environment.
PDFs are available for free below. Paper copies of the zines are available at the centre. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive a copy in the mail.
About the Creator and Artists
Zoe-Blue Coates is a woman of Afro-Caribbean and African American ancestry. She studied Canadian History and Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria. Zoe-Blue is passionate about how people learn about history and how they can take lessons from the past to build strong communities. She began the BioDiversity Zine series in the summer of 2020 with the hopes of uplifting undertold stories of ecological stewardship.
Nicole Neidhardt is Diné (Navajo) of Kiiyaa’áanii Clan on her mother’s side, a blend of European ancestry on her father’s side and is from Santa Fe, NM. She has a BFA from the University of Victoria and a MFA from OCAD University in Toronto, ON. Nicole’s Diné identity is the heart of her practice which encompasses Indigenous Futurisms, installation, illustration, painting, and murals.
Karissa Chandrakate is an Indo-Caribbean immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago and is currently residing on Lekwungen Territories (Victoria, B.C.). Her ancestry is East Indian. She is a photographer, videographer, and illustrator. Karissa uses the power of art to amplify voices and challenge cultural narratives.
Andrea Searle is an illustrator based out of Victoria, B.C.. They are inspired by comic books, Catholic iconography, Mexican folk art, and vintage fashion.
Emily Thiessen is an illustrator and climate justice organizer who liked creative troublemaking. She comes from Malaysian-Chinese and Mennonite roots and grew up on Lekwngen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories.
Joy Ngenda is a queer, mixed settler + West African transplant who lives on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) lands. They are a multi-disciplinary artist and sometimes student. Their artistic practice is rooted in conceptualization of experiential emotion and individual moments both imagined and realized.
Find them on Instagram: @contr4ry, @joyngenda
Neil Aaron Singroy Bourne is an avid book reader, illustrator, film maker, and journalist living on unceeded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) lands. He was born in South London to a family of Guyanese immigrants.
Find him on Instagram: @independentblackmedia