Thursday, June 19, 2014

Decolonizing Street Art!

Here at the Wall of Femmes, we take a keen interest in what types of images install themselves into our consciousness by virtue of being present in our public space. Seemingly innocuous visuals are in fact loaded with meaning and they contribute to shaping our attitudes, opinions, and beliefs about the world around us and about ourselves as we internalize the messages that these images carry. 

We are committed to the elimination of all manifestations of oppressive habits and attitudes, and support projects that work towards achieving this goal. In this spirit, we would like to shine a light on a project that’s underway in Montreal right now:

Decolonizing Street Art is a convergence of local and international street artists scheduled to take place in Montreal in August, 2014. The organizers, a collective of Montreal street artists including Cam, Zola, and Swarm, are presently running an Indiegogo campaign (ending on June 26) to raise funds to assist with putting on the convergence. Costs involve purchasing supplies like paint and scaffolding, and travel costs for artists from outside the region. The Wall of Femmes is proud to support this project!

The organizers of the convergence describe the project in these terms:

“This project fosters the idea of bringing together street artists of indigenous and settler origins and build an artistic community of shared anticolonial values. The convergence will promote a type of street art that advocates the decolonization of Turtle Island and will remind the montrealers of the city's colonial history. The artists, living across Canada and the USA, already focus part of their work on issues related to indigenous resistance such as environmental struggles against pipelines and mining and justice for missing and murdered native women.  
Decolonizing street art : Anti-colonial street artists convergence will organize its activities around two different axes. The first artistic axe will bring together the street artists to create art pieces in the streets of Montreal. The works will differ in medium, subject and relationship to the public sphere. The second community axe will foster the idea of creating spaces to discuss political issues related to colonialism between the participants and organisms devoted to the urban native community of Montreal. There should also be activities specifically designed to involve the indigenous youth. 
Decolonizing street art : Anti-colonial street artists convergence establish solidarity and eradicate prejudices and stereotypes about Aboriginal people who are still struggling today to take their place in the visual arts.  The project will enable a better understanding of the historical, social and cultural realities of Indigenous world by promoting the exchange of knowledge between nations. 
The fact that it is included in the public space will initiate a dialogue on decolonization with public. It is imperative to develop a collective discussion on colonialism to better identify opportunities for collective decolonization.”

1 comment:

  1. Some of the most renowned pieces of Aboriginal Art were the sculptures they made. That included grave posts that were believed to have been used in funeral processions when a person of importance died.