OUR BODIES, OUR STORIES: A CREATION AND PERFORMANCE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Our Bodies, Our Stories was a project developed with Project 10, with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian Heritage Official Languages Support Program, the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Jeunes Queer Youth Program and Fondation Béati.

Our Bodies, Our Stories, created and directed by Kama La Mackerel between May 2017 – December 2018, was a project designed to specifically meet th needs of QTPOC (Queer & Trans People of Colour) youth in and around Montreal. Spaces, programs, and resources that centre the lived experiences and realities of QTPOCs in the city are scarce, which prevent the youth from finding support, community, mentorship, and a sense of history.

Our Bodies, Our Stories, is an inter-generational, youth led, creation- and performance-based program that seeks to empower QTPOC youth by offering:

– training in creative media and performance
– opportunities for performances, exhibits and art showcases
– development of leadership skills
– opportunities for inter-generational conversations
– conections to mentors, art centres and performance spaces
– site visits
– opportunities for arts-based, community-based and archival research

In doing this project, we will document and archive our process and disseminate our art, work and research online and in print. We thus hope to honour the work of our elders, of our communities who have a rich and long history of creative resistance, and to leave a legacy for the future generations.

CORE VALUES:

– Our work is located in local history, in community, in the details and rituals that make up the everyday lives of queer and trans people of the colour in and around Montreal.
– We centre approaches and practices that speak directly to our lived experiences, our struggles, our languages, our bodies, our stories.
– We believe that exploration of the self and a stronger understanding of our own selves within their intersecting identities are crucial to developing our creative and leadership potential.
– We break down barriers between story and history, between art and activism, between high and popular culture, between teaching and learning.
– We believe in the continuum of relationship development, between and among art spaces, community organizations, youth, elders, and other supporters.
– We centre accessibility, anti-oppression and harm-reduction in our work.
– We centre truth, integrity and the imagination in our work. We believe that these values are key to individual and collective emancipation.