​Manuel Axel Strain is a 2-spirit interdisciplinary artist with Musqueam/Simpcw/Syilx heritage based in the unceded territory of the Katzie/Kwantlen peoples. Although they have attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design they are more appreciative of the knowledge they have gained from their mother, father, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and ancestors. Strain uses their lived experience as a source of agency to investigate different ways of healing and knowing. Invested with personal and political histories, their practice includes painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation, through which mental and spiritual well-being take paramount significance. They have contributed work to Capture Photography Festival through Richmond Public Art, the Vancouver International Airport, and The Musqueam Cultural Centre, and have exhibited work in many places in the land that is now called Canada. They are a guest lecturer at the Vancouver Community College, where they curated the Indigenous Art Symposium “Indigenizing Higher Education.” Some of their most meaningful curatorial and community projects include “My Blood Can’t Feel the Land” with Gallery Gachet and The Talking Stick Festival, “Resistance and Resurgence,” a 2-Spirit exhibition at Interurban Art Gallery, “Destigmatization and Harm Reduction” at the Musqueam Cultural Pavilion, “Transcendence” at the Rising Sun Gallery, “The Land Can’t Hear Your Voices,” created during a residency as the Maple Ridge Artist in Residence, as well as open studio events at Lookout Housing and the Phoenix Society.