Wednesday, April 04, 2007

People's History of Canada/Kanada Poster Project

I suppose it shouldn't be surprising given the nature of my own work, but getting an email today about this Vancouver-based project really excited me, so I thought I would share it:


No One Is Illegal- Vancouver is excited to announce the People's History of Canada/Kanada Poster Project, a colloborative project between No One Is Illegal-Vancouver and a group of grassroots artists.

The artists working on this Project come from a diversity of communities and almost all carry his/herstories and direct experiences of colonization and displacement that are being engaged within the Project. The artists are: Alex Mah, Ange Sterrit, Annie Banks, Avneet Pannu, Elogyny Tharmendran, Harjap Grewal, Kara Sievewright, Naomi Moyer, Tania Ortiz, Tania Willard, Setareh Mohammadi, Tyler Toews.

A series of pieces will explore various moments in Canadian history such as historic and ongoing occupation of indigenous lands, links between the Indian Act and the Immigration Act, exclusions of racialized migrants from the Komagatamaru to the Fujiyan women, systems of apartheid from reserves to Palestine, environmental racism in Africville to Skwekwek'welt, head tax on Chinese migrants and the current head tax in the form of processing fees, criminalization of resistance, relationships between the US-Mexico and US-Canada border, construction of migrants as terrorists from the Japanese Internment to present day anti-terror laws, social control within institutions from prisons to hospitals, and much more.

Through this project we aim to have art actively become part of building social movements through creative engagement, infuse art into public space as a tool of education, and produce art in more widely accessible formats. Although this Project is being initiated by No One is Illegal-Vancouver, we see it is a larger community-based and community-building effort to articulate and give voice to our anti-colonial histories through art and popular education.

Therefore, the main product of this Project will not be a gallery showing, but mass-produced black & white posters based on the artist’s original art piece to be widely disseminated through postering in diverse communities, having up at community centers and schools, and other public spaces. There will also be a limited number of full colour posters, prints, and silkscreen posters available for sale.

The collective agreements to the Project include commitments to anti-oppression principles, to anti-capitalist and anti-colonial practice, non-hiearchical and collaborative working environments, consensus building, mutual respect, solidarity not charity with those from directly affected histories or communities, working together to ensure the dignity and safety of all participants, and to fulfill our commitments to each other and the project.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! This Project is a relatively large undertaking for us, particularly as a grassroots group with limited resources. Since we are committed to ensuring that the final result is produced in an acessible format (i.e free posters) there are significant costs of production for the posters and prints; for artists supplies and tools; and of course a small honararium for artists in deep appreciation of their work, time, and effort.

If you are able to contribute in-kind donations or share resources (such as artist supplies including digital SLR cameras, canvases etc.), or have access to an art space/dark room space, or are willing to make a small financial donation, please do get in touch. Financial donations in the form of cheques can be mailed to No One is Illegal, Office 714, 207 West Hastings, Vancouver BC V6B 1H7 with "Poster Project" in the memo.

Thank you in advance for all your support and we look forward to any feedback or suggestions you have for us with this Project.

Please donate however and whatever you can!

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