Quebec: Art, Manifestation, & Protest

Photo via Justin Ling, @justin_ling

Watching the Quebec student protests over the past few weeks has been kind of amazing, especially from the Vancouver viewpoint.  While the protests have been going on for more than three months – today is the 100th day of protests – they have not really been intensely covered in the English media until the Quebec government of Jean Charest passed Law 78, which is an emergency law aimed at preventing the students from protesting by imposing strict limitations on when and where and how protest can be done.  I’ve done some work on drilling down the effects of the law over here.

Now, while the Quebec Minister of Justice is busy declaring that civil disobedience is synonymous with vandalism, it appears that the Quebecoises and Quebecois themselves have decided that they’ve had enough with laws that go too far. The protest held today (22 May 2012) has varying estimates for attendees, but safe to say, it was more than 50.

One impressive thing  that’s emerged is a fantastic amount of engagement through art. There have been songs, pieces of performance art, Anarchopanda, and so much more that have come out of Quebec sharing the amazing power of the struggle.

Art, of course, has the power of being beautiful aesthetically, but art can also be so incredibly powerful as to connect us across millieus and disparate experiences towards a common understanding. Parenthetically, that’s one of the reasons I’m involved in the amazing Art for Impact.

From Quebec, recently, I’ve found some music and music videos that should be shared. First up is the song “jeudi 17 mai” by Ariane Moffat, which we’ve featured before, and there is more after the jump. Be sure to play them all – and if you have more, let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them.

jeudi 17 mai 2012

This song, by Ariane Moffat, is a piece that condemns the Loi Spéciale passed by the Quebec government.

“Charest, Wouhou!”

“Charest, whoo hoo!” is a common chant and rallying call in the nightly protests – and here someone’s turned it into a pretty cool doo-wop.

Speak Red

Inspired by Michèle Lalonde’s “Speak White” poem which was a cris de couer for Francophones in Quebec, this spoken word is a cris de couer for the movement ongoing.

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Kevin is a cooperator, an always-student, and passionate about the arts. As a principal of the Incipe Cooperative, Kevin works with colleagues in a workers' co-op offering services for advocacy and nonprofit organizations. He's passionate about education policy, having been through twenty some-odd years of schooling and still thinking it changes the world. He also thinks that art changes the world, and he works with Art for Impact to celebrate art's power for social change. A Vancouver born and raised resident who is exiled from Toronto, he constantly loses umbrellas and probably rants too much.

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