Christos Dikeakos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1946 and moved to Vancouver with his family when he was a child. He was immediately interested in understanding the history of his new home and when he wasn’t in school he was at the Carnegie Building (site of the Vancouver Museum) researching and learning about Vancouver’s pre-colonial history.
His art practice began in the 1960’s when he started photographing the False Creek, area of Vancouver. Today, Dikeakos continues to document and comment on the political and social realities of the city’s changing landscape while uncovering its layers of unseen histories.
In considering the theme of “c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city,” Dikeakos selected photos from his extensive project, “Sites and Place Names Vancouver,” that began in the early 1990’s. The series of photos reflects on the dichotomy of place: the new metropolis and the Aboriginal cultures that precede and overlap with it. Dikeakos interviewed late Musqueam elder, Dominic Point, to learn about the sites before the city overtook them, and gleaned key words and histories associated with their ancient uses. By layering words and their Musqueam place names over photographs, Dikeakos provides a glimpse into the site’s accumulated history—the people, activities, stories and traditions that have made these sites important over time.
The artist and Vancouver Airport Authority would like to thank the Musqueam for their assistance in providing the updated written form of the words and Musqueam place names used in these photos. The Passage Ways series reflects the change to the written form of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the language of the Musqueam people whose village is situated across the Fraser River and on whose traditional territory YVR is situated.
This work is curated in relation to the theme of ćәsnaʔәm, the city before the city, an exhibition developed by the Museum of Vancouver, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre. Thanks to InTransit BC.