Word from the Gallery
The FOFA Gallery condemns blatant and systemic racism experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. We denounce racial profiling and police brutality in Montreal, Canada and around the world. In all honesty, the gallery team is Black and tired. We have decided to take some time to heal before writing our message, putting our physical and mental wellbeing first, while pursuing our goals of a slow artistic programming.
Our activism is informed by our daily experiences and actively listening to communities whose positionalities differ from ours. We not only support the uprisings of the last weeks, but all movements that are actively working towards equity for all. We observe, and keep ourselves informed. As a team, we both consistently work to make the gallery a safe space for marginalised communities in our artistic programming, our management and operation. As a venue dedicated to research and pedagogy, the FOFA gallery aims to be a space for experimentation, discussion and exchange. We will keep advocating for anti-racist and anti-oppressive education, as well as highlighting how White Supremacist systems still permeate the arts and culture in Montreal and the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University.
As such, we want our community of students, faculty and staff to be our allies in the defunding, demilitarization and humanization of the police. Furthermore, we invite you to practice intersectional micro-activism, small daily gestures, which at the end, allow for lasting multi-level societal changes . Your current support is important but what are you going to do next? Will you continue to having difficult conversations with your relatives and peers? Will you reflect on the ways in which you relate to individuals whose life experiences differ from yours? Will you continue the arduous introspective work, such as asking yourself have I ever silenced someone? Will you recognize past and present microaggressions that were directed toward friends or acquaintances ? To be a good ally is to recognize from which position of privilege you are starting the work, to understand that allyship is not something that happens overnight, and to not throw the towel when things are rough. Be conscientious, present, sincere, sensitive, receptive in your interactions, and above all, listen actively. We all have blind spots but we should never be complacent, and hide in the comfort of the status quo. To all Black faculty, staff, students and graduates, we want to remind you that you are important and appreciated, we support you, we are here.