Ten Cities: The Past Is Present

Wayne Johnston presents writings and drawings that explore the relationship between memory and place. His writing could be described as prose poetry, creative non-fiction or postcard stories.

He’s revisiting ten sites in each of ten cities that have had a formative impact on his life. He seeks to discover the conversations the past can have with the present. Previous events in this project have been staged in New York City, Toronto, Accra (Ghana), London (Canada), Geneva (Switzerland) and Zagreb (Croatia). The event lasts about 45 minutes. All are welcome. Admission is free.

“Wayne Johnston has the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat with his tales of urban scenes.” —Jim Chan (Videographer, New York City)

“It was a hypnotic and profound experience. Each brief story was like a postcard from the past. Difficult memories were treated with the same importance as the more pleasurable moments, making the telling all the more powerful. No judgement – just bearing witness to events that shaped the life of one individual. It left me wanting more.” —Daniel Lafrance (Graphic Novel Illustrator and Storyboard Artist, Toronto)

“Wayne Johnston’s performance consisted of spoken memory-fragments, grounded in cities of significance to him, presented with illustrations. The memories were sometimes sad, sometimes profound, but regularly lifted by a touch of humour.” —John Dent (Lawyer, Toronto)

“Wayne hadn’t given a reading, nor had he given a powerpoint presentation of art work. The relevance of that afternoon’s session was in a synthesis of parts: a gestalt. Wayne had given a performance. And it was memorable.”
—Martin Egblewogbe (Ghanaian Author, Accra)

“I love and admire the author’s willingness to stare at his own life and extract events and reactions that we can all relate to.” —Wayne Jones (Librarian, Ottawa)

“A creative, innnovative, and intensely personal way of validating how passing moments and short interactions from one’s life can have such a lasting and powerful impact.” —Ajay Heble (Author and Director of the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, Guelph)

“It’s brilliant! It’s funny, and sad, and unsettling and surprising. You observe other people and their passions and relationships so well.” —Robin Bergart (Librarian, Guelph)