Kenneth Scott

A time, A place, Our gaze: Re-framing the Subaltern | Curated by Kenneth Scott
Saint John Arts Centre  |  Rotunda Gallery  |  January 12 – March 8, 2024


The A time, A place, Our gaze exhibit is a collection of rare portraits, snapshots, and vernacular photographs taken by unknown African-descended photographers. These life-affirming photographs bring renewed visibility to the struggles and successes of members of Saint John, New Brunswick’s Black community during the 1920s to early 1960s. Through the lens of a camera and through the lens of history, the images also create a collective memory of a time that once was, so that all who witness them can learn and draw inspiration from them.

With their gestures, attire, and facial expressions, the sometimes known, but often unidentified subjects depicted in these cherished black-and-white images, frequently display a sense of agency and delight in how they will be represented in the private and public domain. For members of this specific Black community, these unearthed images continue to serve as an anecdote to the continuous bombardment of negatively-biased mass media portrayals of Black people in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere since the invention of the camera in the early 1800s. They represent elusive memories in black and white: from our past, to our present, for our posterity.

Curator’s Biography

Kenneth Scott was born in Saint John, New Brunswick and spent his formative and teenage years living and learning in the city’s south end. As a recently retired elementary school educator, author, amateur photographer, and history enthusiast, he remains a passionate advocate of culturally relevant pedagogy, anti-oppressive education and inquiry-based learning. 

Kenneth currently spends his time researching and engaging in several personal Black History “restoration projects”, most recently in cooperation with the New Brunswick Black History Society in the creation of a banner highlighting a former Saint John Black enclave known as Union Alley. 

Kenneth also possesses a fervent belief in the power of the Arts to connect people and communities, as well as enrich lives. The photo exhibit, A time, A place, Our gaze: Re-framing the Subaltern provides an opportunity for all Saint Johners to engage in a bit of historical inquiry and community building via the photographic arts and represents his curatorial debut.

Here is an interview and video from CBC News: