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Home /  AWW Free School: Extreme Music Therapy / AWW Free School: Extreme Music Therapy

AWW Free School: Extreme Music Therapy

Tue April 16, 2019 6:30PM - 10:00PM

Co-presented with Ken Moffatt, The Jack Layton Chair, and Melanie Panitch, The Director of The Office of Social Innovation, Ryerson University

Inspired by the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Unbroken, this unique series in collaboration with Ryerson University will transform the exhibition into a site for social action. Four interdisciplinary workshops, focused on documentary media, spoken word, performance, and online journalism, will be offered free with registration. These workshops, co-led by artists, facilitators, and writers, will activate the exhibition by connecting its themes to the practice of public citizenship.

March 5: Embodied Narratives
March 19: Documenting Dissent
April 2: Fake News
April 16: Extreme Music Therapy
June 4: AWW Free School Final: 6/4/89

6:30 – 7:30 pm: In-gallery workshop with Sarah Kitteringham
7:30 pm: Doors open for metal show
8 – 10 pm: Metal show

When Ai Weiwei was released from his detainment by the Chinese government in 2011, he put out the self-proclaimed heavy metal single “Dumbass” as “a kind of self-therapy” to help him deal with the traumatic experience of being held in detention by the state. With this in mind, writer, on-camera personality, and musician Sarah Kitteringham facilitates an in-gallery heavy metal listening exercise, followed by a metal show featuring angry queer gloom cult Vile Creature, and political & emotional hardcore band Tashme.

Sarah Kitteringham is a writer, on-camera personality, and musician in Toronto. She hosts or co-hosts Overkill Reviews, Overkill Global, Overkill Rewind, and Cassette Cult on the YouTube channel Banger TV, a subsidiary of Banger Films, whom have produced award winning documentaries such as Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal and Iron Maiden: Flight 666. Sarah is an ongoing contributor at Bandcamp, Exclaim!, and Noisey. Sarah completed a Masters in Arts from the University of Calgary in 2013, where she specialized in communications and sociology. Her thesis project was titled “Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses: The Treatment of Women in Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, and Grindcore,” and chronicles the experience of 15 Canadian touring musicians in extreme music subgenres. Raised in Calgary, she was first introduced to Iron Maiden as a pre-teen, and has worked in heavy metal since. In addition providing technical support at Bandcamp, she is the vocalist and lyricist of epic doom metal band Smoulder. The act will release their debut album ’Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring’ via Cruz del Sur Music on April 26, and will appear at festivals internationally throughout 2018 and 2019.

About the exhibition

Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most influential artists and human rights activists, as well as one of China’s most formidable critics. Known for smashing conventions—and ceramics—with iconic works like Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, he upends the cultural traditions and materials of his native China.

This highly-anticipated and timely exhibition explores the breaking of boundaries, both physical and symbolic, and considers how the artist’s ceramic works form a basis for his ongoing exploration of urgent social justice themes, including immigration, freedom of speech, and the repression of dissent. Learn more

Presenting Sponsor

La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso

Exhibition Partners



Hal Jackman Foundation

Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers PC

AW Asia

Media Partner

Toronto Star

Programs Sponsor


AWW Free School Partners

Photo: Barry Douglas