There is always so much going on in Montreal that it’s really easy to miss the events that don’t get huge media coverage – either because it’s assumed that they’re a little too high-brow for most, their lifespan is too short to bother assigning a journalist to cover the story, or they simply slip through the cracks and the endless barrage of emails arriving in an editor’s inbox.
But fear not! I’m always on the hunt for the latest cultural happenings in the city and I’m here to recommend a few that are not just entertaining, but also educational and inspiring.
Imago Theatre’s Intractable Woman
We’ve now entered the world of “alternate facts” and state-sanctioned speech suppression in the US. There has never been a better time for us to be reminded of the importance of journalism, and a local Montreal theatre company has just the ticket for us.
Intractable Woman is a theatrical memorandum on Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya: a person killed for breaking the silence of censorship while reporting on the Second Chechen War. Intractable Woman is a play about a journalist’s fight for freedom from censorship and freedom of the press.
Stitching together fragments of Politkovskaya’s writing and her experiences, playwright Stefano Massini offers poetic insight into the psychology and complexity of war and the dire consequences of propaganda and media censorship. This political exploration of the effects of media censorship on safety and democracy bears frighteningly relevant parallels to present-day society.
The play features an all-female cast, and, aiming to break down barriers of access to theatre, its performances are Pay-What-You-Decide. Intractable Woman runs from Feb. 9-18 at Centaur Theatre at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. For more information visit www.imagotheatre.ca Watch the trailer here.
Here is an interview with journalist Anna Politkovskaja.
Embracing diversity with Montreal in Love
Now and until Feb. 19, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Diversité Artistique Montréal are co-presenting an exhibition of photographs by Mikaël Theimer and Jacques Nadeau, celebrating one of the city’s best attributes; its diversity. It’s an intimate, very sweet look at 30 of Montreal’s intercultural couples and the values of inclusion and acceptance. In different seasons and neighbourhoods, you’ll meet a few of the families that make up Montreal’s celebrated diversity, while video stations provide a more in-depth encounter with some of these couples. Besides satisfying human curiosity, Aime comme Montréal challenges preconceived ideas and invites intercultural dialogue. It’s also a nice and welcome change from all the often-depressing stuff happening around the world and a reminder that our common humanity is what matters most.
For more information on the exhibit, you can go here.
The Nature of Institutionalized Racism in Montreal
If you’re one of those people hearing and reading about demands to the Couillard government to launch a commission on institutionalized racism in Quebec and you’ve been reacting with denial, dismissal, indifference, or ignorance in the shape of “but racism is something the US is experiencing, not us!” I’m here to help you.
You, too, can finally learn what systemic racism is and how it differs from the ordinary racism of a solitary act, and why “reverse racism” can never be a thing, despite what your cousin at Thanksgiving kept insisting.
Concordia undergraduates have organized an informative and interactive evening for the Montreal community to learn about and discuss what the nature of institutional racism is and whether political and judicial institutions are themselves structured in such a way as to perpetuate racism.
Invited panelists represent activists and scholars with a broad range of experience and expertise. The panel will be held on the evening of February 7th, 2017 in conference room H-767 of the Henry F. Hall building on the Sir George Williams Campus in downtown Montreal. Doors open at 5:30 PM, and free finger food, coffee, and tea will be provided.
For more details on the event, the Facebook page event is here.