HTUOS/HTRON curated by Agustin PĂ©rez Rubio

Dream Act, 2009

Suitable for all ages

Revisit this project between October 4 - 12. Learn More.

refugees run the seas..., 2014

Francisco Fernandos Granados - Toronto/Canada, Guatemala City/Guatemala


'refugees run the seas...' is a billboard project that draws and diverts from pop culture as a way to invite the viewer to imagine an incalculable future where justice for migrants exists. The work consists of a blue colour field captioned with the phrase ‘refugees run the seas cause we own our own votes.’ The text plays with the last line from Wyclef Jean's rap in Shakira's 2006 song Hips Don't Lie. Shifting “boats” into “votes” as if misheard or mispronounced, the work simultaneously evokes painful past and present scenes of harrowing escape while allowing the possibility of a time to come when those seeking refuge will make their voices count. The blue that frames the text comes from a photograph of the sky above the billboard taken during the day.

'refugees run the seas…' inverts the logic dominance that keeps migrant bodies beyond the lines of social mobility. Territory turns to ocean, day turns into night, and displaced bodies turn into agents of movement, rather than victims.

The notion of movement is also found in the trace of the phrase's original context, which alludes to sensuality and opens up the work to potential queer readings.

Francisco-Fernando Granados is a Toronto-based artist working in performance, drawing and multidisciplinary critical practices. He has presented his work in numerous galleries, museums, theatres and artist-run centres.

His writing has been published in magazines and art journals such as FUSE, KAPSULA and Canadian Theatre Review.

He was awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal for academic achievement upon graduating from Emily Carr University in 2010 and was named one of Canada's 30 Under 30 by BLOUIN ARTINFO in 2014.


284 Jarvis Street (Mounted on a billboard on Jarvis Street and Gerrard Street East.)

This project is outdoors.