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Festival Report: HOLD FAST 2023

How do I experience time? How can I remember? How can I be in two places at once?

The 2023 Festival Report is a fully formatted document, comprised of The Next Thing, The Last Thing, Birdsong: an essay by HOLD FAST Writer-in-Residence jaz papadopoulos. The text is accompanied by documentation from official festival photographer Ethel Brown (m+e photography), as well as gallery assistant Shireen Merchant.

Click here to view and download the 2023 HOLD FAST Festival Report PDF.

Listen to jaz read an audio version of The Next Thing, The Last Thing, Birdsong:

jaz papadopoulos headshotjaz papadopoulos (they/them) is a queer, first-gen, interdisciplinary artist working in writing, installation, and video. A self-described emotionalist and avid Anne Carson fan, they are interested in media and art, horticulture, nervous systems, erotics, and romance. They explore the in-between––that which is overlooked by language and other social and cultural powers.

Their debut poetry collection, I feel that way too, is forthcoming with Nightwood Editions. Originally from Treaty 1 territory, borne and raised by Greek/Turkish immigrants and Ukrainian settlers, they currently reside on unceded Syilx lands. Find their work at

Ethel Brown (m+e photography) is a visual artist living in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ethel immigrated from Capiz, Philippines, with her family, to Newfoundland, Canada, in 1987. She works primarily in the medium of photography. Ethel is a portraiture and landscape photographer. Her photographs are documentary and storytelling in nature and convey her love for community, culture, family, and friends. See more of her work at

Thank you to everyone whose performances, installations, volunteering, and participation made this year’s HOLD FAST an unforgettable experience for our community!