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Montreal

AGIR ART DES FEMMES EN PRISON

An exhibition of artworks created in women's detention facilities


6:00pm
Thursday May 26 2011

Venue: Eastern Bloc
Address: 7240 Clark Street, Montreal
Cost: Free

AGIR ART DES FEMMES EN PRISON
For the first time in Canada
An exhibition of artworks created in women's detention facilities

Invitation - Opening
 Thursday, 26 Mai, 2011 at 6 p.m.

La Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and Engrenage Noir / LEVIER
are pleased to invite you to the
AGIR exhibition OPENING,
Thursday, 26 May, 2011 at 6 pm, at the Eastern Bloc Gallery
7240 Clark Street (Montreal).

R.S.V.P. + interviews: Marie Marais, press officer
514-845-2821 – marais@cooptel.qc.ca

Presentations by:
Aleksandra Zajko, Coordinator of the Agir par l'imaginaire project and the AGIR exhibition
Ruth Gagnon, General Director of the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec
Jo-Anne Wemmers, Board of Directors' President of the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec
Carole Laure, Filmmaker, actress and spokeswoman of the AGIR Exhibition
Devora Neumark, Codirector of Engrenage Noir / LEVIER and spokeswoman of the AGIR Exhibition
Geneviève Fortin, Exhibitor
Émilie Monnet, Exhibitor
 
Sensitive and full of humanity, the audiovisual artworks - sound installations, videos, animation films, photographs, posters, music, songs, slam poetry and dance – presented at AGIR / ART OF WOMEN IN PRISON are the result of a collaboration process between 49 incarcerated women and 8 professional artists who were invited into the carceral facilities, over the course of two years (2008 – 2010), at the provincial prison Maison Tanguay, Joliette Institution, Institut Philippe-Pinel psychiatric facility and the Thérèse Casgrain Halfway House.

Thirty-five artworks that explore the link between incarceration and poverty – economic, social, familial, cultural or emotional – emerged from their exchange of knowledge and experience. Presented by the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and Engrenage Noir / LEVIER, this exhibition reveals the individual struggles of women in conflict with the law and acknowledges them in an artistic context – beyond a crime, a prison sentence or a set of stereotypes. This community art event, the first of its kind in Canada, offers a forum for the voices of criminalized women, usually left unheard.
 
AGIR / ART DES FEMMES EN PRISON, held from 27 May to 16 June, 2011 at the Eastern Bloc Gallery in Montreal. Free admission

Three roundtable presentations:

Thursday, 2 June, 2011 - 7 pm - Art in prison
Thursday, 9 June, 2011 - 7 pm - The condition of incarcerated women and their transition into the community
Thursday, 16 June, 2011 - 7 pm - The role of prisons and possible alternatives

Guided tours: Thursdays, 2, 9 & 16 June at 5:30 pm

For more information, visit the website : www.expoagir.com

ORIGIN OF THE PROJECT
In the spring of 2007, two non-profit organizations pooled their collective expertise to create a community art project: the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec (SEFQ), whose mandate is to promote the social reintegration of criminalized women and create social awareness of these women's reality; and Engrenage Noir / LEVIER, which fights poverty and systemic inequalities through the use of community art and humanistic activist art. This collaboration resulted in AGIR PAR L'IMAGINAIRE, a collective art project in correctional facilities that aimed to involve incarcerated women and artists in a co-creative process.

Confinement is a painful experience, which intensifies the sense of exclusion. Through artistic co-creation, these criminalized women made a space for speech while exploring better life scenarios for themselves.

Artists Reena Amoneda Chang (afro-contemporary dancer), Paul Litherland (photographer), Meena Murugesan (interdisciplinary artist), Jessica MacCormack (interdisciplinary artist), Hélène Engel (singer), Émilie Monnet (interdisciplinary artist), D. Kimm (interdisciplinary artist) and Andrew Harder (musician and sound technician) worked alongside the women during this process. These artists followed a training and exchange program prior to the beginning of the project in order to prepare them for the numerous challenges encountered within the detention institutions.

This artistic endeavour behind prison walls finally emerges in the world outside with a visual and sound art exhibition, AGIR / ART DES FEMMES EN PRISON, and a CD book, TEMPS D'AGIR, creating a new dialogue between the general population and criminalized women, one that offers a new perspective.

Organizer:marais@cooptel.qc.ca

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