Chante Barnwell

Socio-Legal Studies, York University
Chante Barnwell photo

Chante Barnwell (she/her) is a scholar, multidisciplinary visual artist, and full-time Ph.D. student
in Socio-Legal studies within the Department of Social Science at York University. Her Ph.D.
dissertation research in Socio-Legal studies will unpack the intersections of visual jurisprudence,
public policy, race, image digitalization and crime media archives. Utilizing a qualitative
triangulation approach, she intends to determine how the collection, categorization, digitalization
and distribution of media-produced crime photographs contribute to the visual perception of
criminality and victimization in public institutional archival collections. Born and raised in
Toronto, Canada, Chante graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and
Administration and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media, both from Toronto
Metropolitan University (recently renamed). In addition, she holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts
degree from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in Art and Culture, Majored in
Studio (Visual Arts) and Minored in Art History. During her past graduate studies, she
completed two Master’s Research Papers (MRPs) and a solo self-curated MFA thesis exhibition.
Her MRP topics ranged from Afro-diasporic Caribbean Canadian carnival celebrations and their
relationship to Emancipation day commemoration practices in Ontario. To urban governance and
the collective implications of geographic inequity in heritage designation and planning policy
within the City of Toronto. Beyond her academic endeavours, Chante’s artistic practice includes
documentary photography, narrative soundscapes and gallery installation. In addition, she has
actively volunteered across the City of Toronto, contributing thousands of hours to various local,
national and international reaching initiatives and organizations.