Debate Series: Arts, Resistance and Recognition – 2019

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After a year of thrilling discussions about racialization, biases, and cultural appropriation, along with a consultation on systemic racism, DAM eagerly announce the second Réflexion en trois temps.

The year 2019 started with this assessment: Our plural identity is old, but the process of cultural equity is just beginning. Historically enslaved communities are increasingly using the arts as a means of resistance to being marginalized, forgotten, and held in contempt. Yet their multiple contributions to Quebec culture have not been given the recognition they deserve.

The new discussions focus specifically on black and indigenous communities, their views on present-day realities, and their various outlooks. Each participatory and interactive evening begins with an ice-breaker activity, followed by a public discussion fuelled by considerations from a panel of artists and university students.

You can watch the past debates on the DAM Facebook page: follow this link!


Monday, March 25, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Maison de l’Afrique

From minstrels shows, the adulation of jazz parties from the 1920s to 1970s, to blackface and other examples of cultural appropriation, the art scene in Montreal and Quebec, marked by love, deception, and repudiation, has not always welcomed black communities with open arms.

We are at the halfway mark of the 2015–2024 International Decade for People of African Descent. What concrete actions have been taken to advance cultural rights for Black people in Montreal and across Quebec? What steps must be followed to guarantee true recognition of black artists and their cultural heritage? Where can we find their stories, and how do we incorporate them in the narrative?

Speakers :

  • James Oscar, critic and historian in dance and visual arts
  • Stanley Février, visual artist
  • Vanessa Kanga, musician artist and founder of Afropolitan Nomad Festival

Moderator : Rhodnie Désir, Cultural businesswoman and choreographer

Illustration : Kando


Monday, April 29, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Ashukan Cultural Space

Colonial history has banished the history of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples—the same history that continues to highlight their collective struggles and resistance. Recognition has all too often been limited to invitations where First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people present ritual artistic performances as part of official opening ceremonies, paying no consideration for their history and their cultural realities.

Associations have been working hard to share artistic and cultural practices, and to raise awareness of indigenous rights for a long time. In this digital age, the Idle No More movement encouraged protests from Indigenous peoples to be united and seen by way of engaged art. We will ask the same question Nadine St-Louis, Aboriginal social entrepreneur and founder and executive director of Sacred Fire Productions, asked: “How do we create a visible space for invisible artists and an essential space for deconstructing history?”


  • Alexandra Lorange
  • André Dudemaine
  • Isabelle Picard

Moderator: Nadine St-Louis

Limited places.

Illustration : Jacques Newashish


Monday, June 17, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Théâtre Aux Écuries

Engaged art and censorship date back thousands of years. Decrying and demanding something through art might often be a subversive act subject to punishment. In a democratic context, it would be expected that this form of political art has earned its rightful place alongside “purely” aesthetic art. Considering the difficulties racialized artists face to make their mark in Quebec’s art industry, their dedication could only lead to more difficulties.

Whenever racialized artists’ works are circulated, where can we find them in an activist context? Does engaged art hurt their career and exposure across Quebec? What are the impacts on artists’ health and economic circumstances?

Speakers :

  • Claire obscure
  • Yara El Ghadban
  • Lydie Dubuisson

Moderator : Amel Zaazaa

Illustration : Farzaneh Rezaei

This space is accessible to people who are differently-abled. Your children are welcome!

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