Human Flourishing

Human beings are fragile. All human beings. Because we are fragile, sometimes we suffer.

Because we are human, we are fragile, we can suffer, AND we can flourish.

The Human Flourishing Project began in 2017 when the Canadian Association for Community Living joined forces with an array of Canadian artists and scholars to challenge perceptions of disability, frailty, and suffering with creative expressions of flourishing. Human Flourishing captures that those who flourish can suffer and, perhaps more importantly, that those who suffer can flourish.

The Human Flourishing Project inspires us to evaluate the ‘good life’. It muddles our collective understanding of the insufferable and helps to deconstruct stereotypes and prejudices. The project shines light on the relationships between adversity, community, and voice. It offers a new way to view our shared humanity.

This kind of exploration could be a matter of life and death when applied to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) policy in Canada. We welcome you to reflect as you browse.

 “The art is a shape that I give my emotions, and feelings, and the forces that run through me… when you give something a shape, you have agency over it.”

Max (Sarah) Ferguson

 “To reimagine human flourishing is not to deny that we suffer, that we are vulnerable, or that we struggle. To reimagine human flourishing begins from the truth of our lives, and the primal claim of a right to dignity, recognition and connection.”

Catherine Frazee

 “So often a person’s sense of worth and belonging comes from what they do, make, earn and contribute. These videos wonder if a more receptive mode of being might also be of value, if there is meaning in simply observing what is around us, taking in and bearing witness to the play of sensation that is right here, right now”

Tangled Art + Disability


Human Flourishing is a project of the Canadian Association for Community Living in partnership with:

Adjacent Possibilities Adjacent Possibilities
Ryerson University Disability Studies Catherine Frazee, Professor Emerita, Ryerson University Disability Studies
Iris, Institute for Research and Development on inclusion and Society
Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS)
Tangled Art & Disability Tangled Art +Disability
University of British Columbia (UBC), centre for Inclusion and Citizenship
University of British Columbia (UBC),     Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnership Program

Government of Canada/Government du Canada