Parc Extension & Us is a series of poetry, storytelling, creative writing and performance workshops for residents of Parc Extension of all ages, and of all levels of experience, presented in collaboration with Comité Action Parc Extension (CAPE).
This project came about as a direct response to the current process of gentrification occurring in the neighbourhood of Parc Extension, with many long-term residents being pushed out of the neighbourhood to make space for transient students. This project was close to my heart because I am a resident of Parc Ex and this is the low-income and racialized neighbourhood that welcomed me when I first arrived in Montreal a few years ago.
In this workshop series, we studied some basics of storytelling, poetry and different forms of creative writing. We specifically workshopped ways to tell stories about ourselves, stories about our notions and understandings of home, and stories about our neighbourhood, Parc Extension.
The series culminated in an OPEN MIC CONTRE LA GENTRIFICATION at Place de la Gare Jean-Talon on July 20, 2020. This was an opportunity for residents and participants in the workshop series to share their poetry and stories, as well as their dreams for the neighbourhood.
This project was part of Nous ne sommes pas faits de briques et de poussière, a series of community-engaged urban art projects curated by Camille Larivée where artists from Indigenous, People of Colour and LGBTQ+ communities developed a series of work with the residents of different neighbourhoods.
This activity is funded under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, between the Ville de Montréal and the gouvernement du Québec, and was possible thanks to the support of CAPE, Brique x Brique, Vallum Society for Education and the Arts and Maison de la Culture Parc Extension.