Desire Paths

Luminato's new podcast exploring futures of the city, designed by artists

Jan 25, 2021 | BY: Luminato




Desire Paths are unpaved passages, slowly carved into the terrain of a city, formed by the citizens' own walking tracks, and guided by their belief in a better way.

Desire Paths is a six-part series of audio experiences that explore Toronto futures, designed by artists.

Through field trips, self-guided narration, and interviews, each episode will offer a unique view into the artist's imagination, inviting the listener to reflect on desired paths to shape the next decade in Toronto.

Field trips across the city provide the backdrop for reflection through movement and physical presence, allowing artists to connect their personal histories and lived experiences to their vision for possible futures. With premonitions in mind, the second part of each episode will develop into a conversation between the artist and a city-builder to explore how to bring this desired path into being.


Desire Paths - Midnight Wolverine: Indigiqueer Futures 

streaming February 3rd on your favourite podcast platform




"My queer identity is not a linear spectrum, it's a whole spectrum. It allows movement, and there's space within that circle to exist, and breathe, and shift."

Midnight Wolverine: Indigiqueer Futures - Part 1

Indigenous Queer performer and poet Midnight Wolverine guides us through Humber River, Yonge-Dundas Square, and Glad Day Bookshop to envision futures connected to the history of the land, ceremony, and queerness, in a city that sits in tension with their Indigeneity.  

Midnight Wolverine is Tkaronto's late night tease, trickster and shapeshifter. Originally from Treaty 8 territory in the Northwest Territories, they are a Dene/Métis Indigiqueer drag and burlesque performer, writer, artist, creator, and storyteller working to decolonize performance spaces, challenge common Indigenous and gender narratives, and create much needed two-spirit representation. They have politicized and sexified stages nationally including the Fierce Queer International Burlesque Festival, Bagel Burlesque Expo MontrealAsinabka Festival, Pride Toronto, and Pride Yukon. They have also been featured on CBC Gem's Canada's A Drag Season 3 and CBC's Q with Tom Power.

Midnight Wolverine: Indigiqueer Futures - Part 2 

Midnight Wolverine is joined by Indigenous architect Matthew Hickey. The conversation flows naturally between queerness and Indigeneity, as they go deeper into the role of Indigenous place-keeping for urban futures, carving pockets of belonging and the act of building into their practices, reconnecting with nature, and even co-designing their dream Indigiqueer space in the city.  

Matthew Hickey is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. He has been practicing architecture at Two Row Architect for 14 years, and currently oversees design and development for the firm, which focuses on guiding the realignment of mainstream ways of thinking towards Indigenous ways of knowing and being in design and architecture. 

Matthew's focus for sustainability is on regenerative and restorative design, encompassing ecological, cultural, and economic principles. His work pushes the concepts of Universal Inclusivity through integrated landscapes, food equity, the importance of water and place-keeping for all species, including humans. His research includes Indigenous history in architecture of Northern & Middle America, and the realignment of western ideology towards historic sustainable technologies for the contemporary North American climate.  

Follow Midnight Wolverine on Instagram @midnight.wolverine


Desire Paths is part of Luminato's Illuminating Ideas program, a series of conversations and experiences that creatively explore some of the most important issues and ideas facing our world today.  

Desire Paths is produced by Alex Rand, and co-curated by Hima Batavia and Alex Rand, with Creative Producers Macy Siu, Jeremy Glenn, and Robert Bolton of Toronto-based foresight studio, From Later.  

2021-01-18_Sweet,-sweet-baby-Alex-Rand-Headshot_IDEAS-2.jpgAlex Rand is a producer and cultural programmer, based in Toronto. As the Producer, Artistic Programs at Luminato Festival Toronto he oversees and produces the Creative Current and Illuminating Ideas programs, as well as produces large-scale events in the festival each year. From 2010 to 2016 he was based in London, UK where he worked with institutions such as the National Theatre, Barbican Centre, and the Soho Theatre. In his spare time, he is the co-lead of the Toronto chapter of Sandbox; an international community of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs across the tech, arts, and social innovation sectors.  

2021-01-18-Hima-Batavia-Headshot_IDEAS-1.jpegHima Batavia is a cultural programmer, public art producer, performance artist, writer, and community organizer based in Tkaronto. Her sweet spot is designing containers, creative processes, and social infrastructure that subverts social norms to open up new space for relational and collaborative intersections. Previously, she was the Director of the Creative Placemaking Lab at Artscape, the co-founder of non-profit organization Reset, and the producer of a series of community festivals and conferences. She spent nearly a decade working with global health agencies including, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and United Nations Foundation. You can follow her at @hima_batavia or subscribe to her weekly newsletter, Afternoon Dreams