Presenters: Marie-Chantal Scholl, kimura byol-nathalie lemoine
Date/Time: Friday September 26, 2014, 7:30pm (45 minute presentation with 15 minute Q&A)
This presentation will focus on the work that Qouleur has been doing as a Montreal-based grassroots collective of self-identified Two-Spirited, trans* and queer Indigenous people and people of colour (2QTPOC) who are artists and activists. We will address how our work is situated at the intersections of our multiple identities and how we are working in solidarity across our differences. We will share insights and challenges that we have experienced organizing as a collective. We will outline how Qouleur is working with other communities in Montreal to address particular issues affecting 2QTPOCs and address further work that needs to be done to reach out to members of the community. We will show how our community work is grounded in arts-based activism and provide documentation from the Qouleur Festival, which was organized for its 3rd year this August 2014.
Who is Qouleur? (2-3 minutes)
Panelists/Qouleur Qollective members briefly introduce themselves.
Qouleur Mission Statement: Qouleur is a grassroots collective of self-identified Two-Spirited, trans* and queer Indigenous people and people of colour in Montreal on Mohawk territory. We are grounded in creating anti-oppressive spaces, resisting colonial legacies, committing to Indigenous solidarity and creating alliances across our differences. We build community through empowerment, skill-sharing and the creation of support networks. We believe in using art to self-represent, challenge dominant narratives and institutions, and document our identities and experiences.
The Qouleur Qollective organizes the annual Qouleur Festival, which took place for it’s 3rd year August 1-10, 2014.
Theoretical Framework: Legacies: Archiving 2QTPOC Communities (7 minutes)
What We Do as a Collective: History of the Qouleur Festival (2-3 minutes)
- 2QTPOC Montreal, August 2012
- 1st Qouleur Festival, August 2013
- This Year’s Festival: (Photo presentation & highlights - 7 minutes)
Building Solidarity Across our Different Identities and Communities: Strategies and Challenges (7 minutes) ** needs input from other collective members **
- What’s been working for us?
- Qouleur Visioning workshops helped us skillshare strategies for organizing and building community
- Having a social aspect to our organizing meetings (time at the beginning and end of meetings to socialize), building community not just as organizers. We’ve talked about wanting to have more social events so we’re not just seeing each other at meetings (events like the 2QTPOC-nic, having informal conversations that we have in social gatherings also contribute ideas that come into our organizing and the add to the narratives that we share and have access to in our communities)
- Receiving feedback from community and audience members helps us know what areas of our organizing are working or not working/need improvement
- What we learned from this year’s Qouleur Festival and other events
- How we can work towards creating safe(r) and more accessible spaces for all members of our communities?
- Need for more active outreach to Indigenous, new-comer/migrant and refugee communities
· Ask what are the needs of these communities and how can we provide for these needs and make Qouleur spaces more accessible
· Need to address use of academic language and accessibility for newcomers/migrants, non-Anglophones, non-academics. The collective and our events are billingual but predominantly English. Difficulty of translating across languages and cultures.
Qouleur Statement about Brillance (read all or part of statement), need for trigger warnings and active listeners to make the space safe(r) and more accessible
Power dynamics, who is visible and who gets to take up space in activist communities, who is asked to speak on behalf of the 2QTPOC community: during Qouleur presentation for SdBi, Kama mentioned privilege and visibility in activist/artist communities