Getting involved in radical & grassroots art movements

photo Martin Lachapelle

A lot has been stirring in the underground art community in Montreal lately. Here is a recapitulation of different agendas and ways to communicate with the activists and getting involved. We have been waiting for you!

Disclaimer: Allthough a lot of these groups and activities are Montreal-francophone, I took the liberty to write everything in English. But I do not intend to make a political statement through this simply technical procedure. The blog has been created in english, so it will continue to be a communication tool in english. Make notice that some of these activities will take place in French. This being said, we (francophones) will always be opened to integrating anglophones and vice/versa from anglo to franco. Don’t let language be a barrier!

The students strike and the arts:

P!NK BLOCK
Inspired from the anarchists’ black block concept, the Pink Block aims at representing the queer community through festive and artistic performance during protests. There will be a ARTUNGERIES creative workshop on January 31th from 5 to 9, place yet to be confirmed. Their detailed agenda and contact info can be found here.

R.A.T.S. – Le Rassemblement des Artistes Très Sensibilisé-e-s 
A collective born from associatied UQAM arts students, mainly active during strikes, is hosting a 5 @ 7 at the Café des arts de l’UQAM, 6th floor of the Judith Jasmin pavillion. January 25th. Contact here or email here.

Student’s Strike Brass Band & Mouvement de Mobilisation des Étudiants en Musique
Call for participation/creation of a collective here and MMEM page here.

The students strike and textile arts more specifically:

Maille à Part Collective
This group of yarnbombers (responsible for the Occupy Montreal knitted pole) is invested in opening a public debate on education, democratising the arts, and reinforcing social links between different Montreal campuses. Their next two meetings are at the ARTUNGERIES workshop on January 31th from 5PM to 9PM, UQAM, room J-7170 and after the intercollegial demonstration on Febuary 2 (meeting point will vary depending on the protest’s ending time and spot). They also meet at the weekly UQAM Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. More info and contact here.

UQAM Stitch ‘n’ Bitch 
It’s a weekly invitation for the rest of the semester, every Wednesday at Café des Arts. Info is here

Concordia Stitch ‘n’ Bitch
A biweekly event at the Graduate Student’s Association’s Lounge at Concordia. Info here.

McGill Stitch ‘n’ Bitch
Mondays are stitch ‘n bitch day at Thomson House! We will be knitting up a storm from 3-7p.m. so drop by and join us! Come for knitting, hangouts and to ask any questions you may have about the tuition hikes, or just to rant about anything at all. Don’t know how to knit? No skills, needles or yarn necessary, just come down and we’ll hook you up!
*We’re stitching ‘n bitching tomorrow, Monday Jan. 29th at Thomson House (3650 McTavish, North of Dr. Penfield) 3-7p.m.
AND
Friday Feb. 3rd noon-3p.m. in the lobby of the Education Building (3700 McTavish)
More info here

Other knitting-related activism:

Les Zartivistes
Semi-secret Occupy Montreal art-activist group is preparing a yarnbombing hit. they are looking for volunteers and cheap or free yarn! Give them a heads-up here.

Tricotons solidaire!
Organised by Knit for Peace, an invitation to a stitch ‘n’ bitch to knit for Montreal homeless people On Saturday Jan 28. Info here

Other streetart/grassroots arts groups:

QPIRG-Concordia
Working Groups “Meet & Greet” / Launch of “At The Heart of Resistance” at the QPIRG-Concordia, January 26th, from 6PM to 9PM.
WORKING GROUPS are the heart of QPIRG Concordia. They are groups, collectives, networks, projects, and campaigns that organize together in the Montreal community, and beyond, on a wide variety of issues directly related to social and environmental justice. Together, QPIRG Concordia’s twenty-eight working groups share skills and knowledge, engage in popular education and art, organize events and protests, provide direct support and solidarity, publish alternative research and analysis, and, in general, contribute, encourage, and maintain resistance in diverse and creative ways. Read more about this year’s working groups here

Art + Activism panel presented by Howl Arts Collective
Join us for a community discussion on building bridges between art and social activism organized by the Howl! arts collective. The event will feature presentations by accomplished grassroots artists that are working to explore links between their artistic practice and struggles for social justice, followed by an open discussion. Howl! is presenting this event within the context of a Conservative majority government that is enacting economic austerity policies that undercut support for the arts and threaten the social fabric of our communities. Thursday January 26th at café Le Cagibi form 6PM to 10PM. All info on the agenda here.

Do you have anything else to share?

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