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Between Memory and History

Someone Else's Treasure


Allan Cedillo Lissner is a freelance documentary photographer specializing in social justice issues. Born in Denmark to a Danish father and a Philippine-Canadian mother, Allan was raised in Ethiopia, Liberia, USA, Nepal, Lithuania, Denmark, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Canada.Allan has completed degrees in Visual Studies, Philosophy, and Sociology from the University of Toronto, and in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). As a dedicated visual activist, some of the organizations Allan has done work with include Amnesty International, Currents of Awareness Independent Media, GlobalAware Independent Media, Make Poverty History, Oxfam Canada, the Sierra Club, the UNDP, and the United Nations Women's Association in Bangladesh.


Someone Else’s Treasure

Home to fifty-seven percent of the world’s mining companies, Canada leads the way in the global mining industry. But people the world over are raising complaints describing the industry as Canada’s number one contribution to global injustice. Complaints include the displacement of indigenous communities, families being torn apart, destroyed livelihoods, ruined ecosystems, and the erosion of ancient indigenous cultures.

Someone Else’s Treasure is an ongoing multimedia documentary project which brings to light some of the experiences of people around the world – including the Philippines, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Chile, and Canada – whose lives have been impacted by the global mining industry.

The companies’ perspectives are easily accessible; the views of NGOs, human rights organizations and environmentalists are easily accessible; the perspectives of economists and academics are easily accessible; the views of the politicians, geologists and engineers are also easily accessible; but the perspectives of the people who actually live there are not.

For this reason, the focus of Someone Else’s Treasure is on the people, the communities, not the companies.Someone Else’s Treasure is not about a handful companies that are breaking the law, because in fact there are no international laws to hold them accountable for what you’re about to see. Someone Else’s Treasure is about one question — what is it that we treasure above all else, our families, communities, livelihoods, culture, health, or is it profit, money, or gold?



2002-2006  Drawing and Painting (Faculty of Art Diploma Program) OCAD
1998-2002  B.A. Hons., Visual Studies and Philosophy University of Toronto


2008            Between Memory and History Leonardo Galleries
                    Photo essay -- Part of CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival
2007            A Potential Toronto The Toronto Free Gallery
                    Photo essay depicting the housing crisis in Toronto
2006            Resistance is Fertile The Rivoli, Toronto
                    Curator and participant in GlobalAware photo exhibit
2006            Struggle Oxfam Canada [Contact Photography Festival]
                    Solo photography exhibit portraying the struggles of
                    daily life in Dhaka, Bangladesh
2006            Because Everything is Political! [Contact] GlobalAware, Toronto
2005            World Without War Arts Festival Artists Against War, Toronto
2004            United Nations Development Program, Dhaka, Bangladesh
                    Photo essay on display in UNDP Country Office in Bangladesh