This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the archival records related to the 1969 student protests at Sir George Williams University. Between January 29 and February 11, 1969, Canada’s largest student occupation took place in the Henry F. Hall (H) Building, when students took over the seventh and ninth floor computer centre to protest anti-black racism in the classroom.
Many of the existing accounts of the Sir George Williams Affair have focused on violence by labeling the protest as a riot, emphasizing material damages or tying the occupation to discourses of revolution. This exhibition highlights and brings together lesser-known narratives through images, sounds, newspaper accounts and official documents. These artifacts take us on a journey to 1969, where we experience the tensions of the period playing out in black and white.
This exhibition offers a view of the prolific role of the student press in the affair. More importantly, it points to its important communication and mediating role among the various parties. It forces us to reflect upon the unfinished business of decolonization and its relationship to teaching and learning.
By bringing together past and present, Protests and Pedagogy: Representations, Memories, Meanings offers a new vision of these events that allows us to reflect on our desires for the future! The original exhibition took place at Concordia's 4TH SPACE from January 29 to February 11, marking the protest's 50th anniversary. This pop-up exhibition at the Loyola Campus is a smaller version.
Christiana Abraham, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, curated the exhibition.