February 11, 2017
Prisons are a complicated and controversial aspect of our society. Let's learn more about what goes on inside.
"Trans Behind Bars"
Trans people living at the crux of HIV, sex work, drug use, and racialized over-policing find themselves in Canada's jails, prisons, and detention centres at disproportionate rates. Trans people continue to be denied necessary medical treatment behind bars, while segregated into prisons based on their birth sex. Trudeau's government plans to reform guidelines for trans prisoners, including possible establishment of a trans unit at Vanier - but will a trans-only unit help, or does opening more beds require filling them? In this fiery presentation, trans activist and prison abolitionist Morgan M Page will discuss the factors feeding trans people into the system, the conditions they face inside, and strategies for moving beyond reform towards abolition.
Morgan M Page is a trans writer, activist, and artist in Montréal. She has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for trans sex workers' rights. Her writings have been published in GUTS, Plenitude, Feministing, and numerous literary and academic anthologies. She currently hosts the trans history podcast One From the Vaults. Her website is Odofemi.com.
Members of the Prisoner Correspondence Project will outline the specific issues facing queer and trans people in prison, highlight the widespread difficulties of isolation, mailroom censorship, and sexual surveillance they face, and share strategies and experiences from inside and outside members organizing in solidarity and toward prison abolition.
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a solidarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the United States, linking them with people a part of these same communities outside of prison.
"35 Prisons in Quebec" will examine incarceration in Quebec though the lenses of art, pop culture, and prison abolition organizing work.
Sheena Hoszko is a sculptor, anti-prison organizer, and settler living and working in Tio'tia:ke, Kanien'kehá:ka territory. Her art practice examines the power dynamics of geographic and architectural sites, and is informed by her family's experiences with incarceration and the military. Selected solo exhibitions include Centre Clark and La Centrale (Montreal), A Space (Toronto), Artspace (Peterborough) The New Gallery (Calgary). She is also an avid sci-fi fan.
What is known in this moment? What is your attitude towards what is known? Is there room for more curiosity and less judgement? If the ground is shifting and the horizon darkening all while icecaps are melting, is there a legitimate refuge to be found? What is the experience of sitting in meditation with men who find themselves in varying phases of federal incarceration? What questions do we ask of ourselves, of one another and what are the possibilities of such a space? And what of freedom?
Patricia Boushel is a cultural producer, researcher and activist translator from Montréal. A producer at the Pop Montreal International Music Festival from 2006 through 2011, she has since landed at Constellation Records. She has questioned the role of translation in the anti-austerity movement through the Translating the Printemps érable & Language and Dissent projects while running an informal French language program for Anglo artists in her home. She coordinates a meditation program for men in federal incarceration with True North Insight/Voie Boréale. Another form of volunteering finds her sitting on the boards of Artexte and Innovations en concert. And because life is a peripatetic marvel, she is principal researcher and associate producer on Astra Taylor’s upcoming documentary project, What Is Democracy?
Nika Khanjani will be presenting her recent short film FREE WORLD PENS, a personal narrative made in collaboration with her incarcerated brother. The film takes shape through letters written to her by her brother from a Texas prison, the words of which echo in her mind as she walks through the days, months, years of her life in Montreal.
FREE WORLD PENS has been screened around the world in international festival competitions.
Nika is a film and video artist, writer, and activist. She combines landscape photography, subtle sound design, and portraiture to invoke internal states responsive to political and historical forces. She is an Iranian-American currently living in Montreal.
We will be screening the 20 minute episode "Restoring Justice through Healing", from APTN's "Working it Out Together" show.
Elijah Decoursay– and Sheri Pranteau are among the thousands of indigenous inmates caught in the Canadian justice system, a system brazenly set against indigenous people. Sheri is serving a life sentence, trying to get back on track and maintain custody of her young son. Elijah is making amends in a different way, reclaiming culture and reconnecting with tradition at Waseskun Healing Centre. Waseskun is providing a way forward for indigenous offenders and challenging the punitive nature of the colonial justice system