|Posted by winnipeg chapter on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM|
Activism and art go together. In this past year of increased civil unrest and economic instability, the call for change grew louder and the need to express intensified for artists and non-artists alike. As the messages of change reached farther and more deeply, drawing in many who had never protested or felt the need to protest, connections were made, friendships developed and communities formed - each one creating a small moment of change in the world.
On July 1st at St Norbert Arts Centre (SNAC), Council of Canadians - Winnipeg Chapter and the canoe armada band TWIN marked Canada Day (Stop Harper Day!) with a retrospective art exhibit of Occupy and social justice in Winnipeg and beyond. With commentary on environmental, social and trade justice (what is a CETA, anyway?) this exhibit told a story of Winnipeg - and Canada - that is finally being heard by more than the front line activists and slowly making its way into the mainstream.
Anchored by three photographs of Occupy Winnipeg and two message covered Occupy tents, the exhibit addressed tar sands, war, indigenous rights, the disproportionate suffering of children and women, and the Harper government attack on our democracy through the destruction of the CWB and promotion of "free" trade agreements.
TWIN is the ongoing music project of Absent Sound's David Fort. This incredibly unique singer songwriter has created many different incarnations of TWIN's signature Hypno-Folk sound featuring some of the most eclectic musicians around. With their Canoe Armada project, TWIN are also creating a river tour network across North America and beyond bringing people back to the water to celebrate and heal .
Many visitors to SNAC were initially shocked by the STOP HARPER sign at the entrance and a perceived disrespect towards what they imagined to be a benevolent family values old fashioned conservative government. After spending time and thought with the exhibit many came away with a better understanding of why Occupy happened, why protests continue around the world, why even scientists are driven to demonstrate on Parliament Hill, why "Stop Harper" is the message of the day - and why we care.