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(en) Communiqué - Red Emma Performed in a Squat in Montreal

Date Wed, 17 May 2006 13:06:30 +0200 (CEST)

Communiqué - May 16, 2006
Red Emma Performed in a Squat in Montreal
* * * * * * * * * *
During the night of May 13th at 10pm, WeNous, a radical theatre troupe,
and an audience of over 100 people, arrived and set up in an abandoned
building on the CN territory. We decided to breathe new life into this
space, and to maintain the usage that could have been, above and beyond
that of recreational tourist centers, condos and other remnants of a
system devoted to ever increasing capitalist expansion. The event came
shortly after the community-led battle against the Casino, which was
victorious in defeating it. We were inspired by this struggle and many
others, and wanted to make the statement that community space should be
used for the community good, even if that means reappropriating it.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Point-St.Charles and emphasize
that popular movements reapropriating territory is not new, nor only a
concept here. Throughout the history of Montreal?s social struggles, it
has always been through direct action that desired changes have been made.
These direct actions have made concrete improvements in peoples lives: the
train blockades by the Irish heritage throughout the 19th century, the
occupation of buildings by WWII veterans, the squats on St-Norbert St,
Overdale in 1988 and 2001, and so on. Today?s Social struggles, mainly
presented as unrealistic, utopian and impossible, actually stem from a
long history. This is one of the reasons why WeNous decided to use Emma
Goldman, the early 20th century anarchist, as a theatrical subject : to
reappropriate history, which has been changed so that entire views are
erased ; and to take back our own history; that of movements of
resistance hidden, diverted and forgotten.

We wanted to confront the social means of expression that are considered
traditional and recognized as the status-quo, which are based on the
capitalist mode of property; to cease existing only in reaction to the
system rather than creating real alternatives, to work out our ways of
life and play and the way we provide for our fundamental needs. By
performing Red Emma in a squat, we wanted to express the idea of a zone of
autonomy, protected from the speculation, which makes possible to exist
differently, out of the paradigm of consumption. Often, the physical space
to experiment and create in such an ideal is unavailable without first
participating in a commercial exchange to obtain such space. The
reappropriation and use of this space, which is more a political action
against property, is an act that gives us time to devote ourselves to our
ideals, in our communities. This will coincide with a practice of culture
of resistance where art cannot be an end product, in and of itself and
separated from the world, but a means of living our ideas and a language
to be used to create such ideas, accessible to all, with our multiple
identities and our multiple skills. To isolate the culture, to put it
under a sphere of glass to admire it, is to uproot and disassociate from
it. Thus, we make a distinction between the capitalist culture and the
culture of resistance. WeNous set out to empower the latter, so that it is
not covered up and swallowed by the former. By applying our artistic work
to reality in forms of local and international struggle, we create an
exchange of ideas, and strengthen resistance by enriching its culture.

WeNous ? May 16th 2006

**Don?t forge tour next two performances!

***********Wednesday may 24 and Thursday May 25**********************

Studio-théâtre Alfred-Laliberté
Pavillon Judith-Jasmin
405, rue Ste-Catherine E.
Room J-M400 (Métro level)
metro Berri-UQAM
Entry by donation (sliding scale 5-20$)
Presented as part of the Festival of Anarchy
Infos: http://anarchistbookfair.taktic.org

(to see photos from the premiere of Red Emma, visit :

Contact : red-emma@riseup.net

Sender: red-emma@riseup.net

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