Press Release

Montréal Pride Festival’s 360 Edition Programming
Over an Hour of Daily Afro Pride Programming in Collaboration with Uwayo Dushime

Montréal, July 15, 2020 – The Montréal Pride Festival, presented by TD, whose complete programming is scheduled to be unveiled this Friday, July 17, announced this morning that one hour of its daily programming will be dedicated to the Black Queer Trans Lives Matter movement. Every day, from August 10 to 16, under the curatorship of Uwayo Dushime, one hour of Afro Pride content will be adapted to the different realities experienced by black people of the sexual and gender diversity. Closed Circles will also be organized and facilitated by Kama La Mackerel and Vincent Mousseau.

Montréal Pride, which broadcast a position statement in solidarity with the Black Queer Trans Lives Matter movement, is taking advantage of its festival’s visibility to reiterate that many of us were born privileged in a society whose history is rooted in colonialism, racism, oppression, that good intentions aren’t enough, and that apologies are worthless without change and restorative justice. That is why they have given the reins to Uwayo Dushime in organizing hour-long daily activities in order to ensure that the curatorship of these moments is by and for black voices.

Additionally, in response to the demand expressed by queer, trans, black, indigenous and racialized communities to have access to safe spaces in which to exchange without colonial constraints – and thus promote healing – Montréal Pride will grant private platforms to events that are closed and exclusive to these communities.

A Closed Circle is an event that brings together a group of different people with a common focal point in a safe and more secure environment thus promoting healing by sharing similar but unique experiences. The Closed Circles organized by Félicia Tremblay, Director – Diversity and Community Relations at Montréal Pride, will be facilitated by Kama La Mackerel and Vincent Mousseau, and a targeted ad will soon be launched among the concerned groups.

“The Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) communities have been asking for a long time that we should pass them the mic and it’s high time we listen to them. I am very proud to be able to participate in these new initiatives in collaboration with the communities, which I believe is a testament to the internal accomplishments of our organization and to our need to heed constant action as our ideas and policies of inclusion grow. It is a turning point focused on listening, inclusion and reparation for Montréal Pride. I would like to thank our founding president Éric Pineault, as well as all members of the community who participated in the development of these initiatives for your trust. This 360 Edition marks a turning point and I have great hope for the future.” said Félicia Tremblay.

Afro Pride Content
Curated by Uwayo Dushime

 

August 10: Identity and Gender, Sexuality and Voodoo

Interview with people from the Haitian community who will share lessons learned from the inclusive voodoo spirituality of gender identities and diverse sexualities.

 

August 11: Video Capsule – Elle Barbara

A singer-songwriter, song selector (TS Ellise), pin-up, writer, speaker, director, performance artist and avant-garde curator based in Montréal, Elle Barbara explains how discrimination also exists in our communities.

 

August 12: Poetry, Open Mic and Guided Meditation, Healing Circle for Black Queer, Trans and/or Non-binary Folks:

An intimate sharing moment, where people will be able to share their writings and participate in discussions about the experiences of the community, which will end with a guided meditation. 

*This is an activity for queer, trans and/or non-binary folks who identify as Afro descendants only.

 

August 13: Resilience in Dance and Performance

To share how dance and stage performance have acted as tools of resilience and contributed to the creation of an alternative culture. Discussion on decolonization, based on the perception of certain black dances (dombolo, back it up, mapuka).

 

August 14: Queerness and Fashion – How Some People Incorporate Their African Identity and Queerness into Trademarks and Clothing Design

A discussion regarding the ways fashion is influenced by the intersections associated with queerness and cultural background.

 

August 15: Gender Transition as a Black Person – Myths, Realities and Lessons Learned

A friendly and intimate discussion to address the in-depth emotional and personal impacts of deciding to undergo a gender transition.

 

August 16: No Liberation Without Black Trans Lives Matter – Black Trans Lives Matter 

Historical contribution discussion and introducing black trans people, specifically black trans women with dark skin. Identifying possible solutions and ally support. Review of the week and interview with Uwayo Dushime, hosted by Félicia Tremblay.

 

Uwayo Dushime, Former President of Arc-en-Ciel d’Afrique’s Board of Directors – Curator of Black Lives Matter Daily Activities

Uwayo Dushime has been a Montréaler for 8 years now. She is of Rwandan origin and completed a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics in 2016. The same year she was elected president of Arc-en-Ciel d’Afrique’s Board of Directors, a Montréal-based community organization whose main goal is the integration and socio-cultural well-being of TLGBQ+ immigrants and asylum seekers of African and Caribbean origin. Uwayo is an active member of Montréal’s Black Lives Matter movement as well as an independent consultant of diversity and inclusion. She is particularly interested in the decolonization of gender identities and sexualities and the intersectionality of racialization and gender identities.

 

Kama La Mackerel, Multidisciplinary Artist, Educator, Writer, Community-Arts Facilitator and Literary Translator of Mauritian descent based in Montréal – Sisters Circle and Brothers Circle Facilitator

Kama La Mackerel works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. Their practice is rooted in the exploration of justice, love, ancestral healing, decoloniality, hybridity, cosmopolitanism, and individual and collective empowerment. They believe that aesthetic practices have the power to build resilience and act as resistance pieces to the status quo, thus promulgating an anti-colonial praxis through cultural production.

Kama has exhibited and performed their work internationally and has published their writings in English, French and Kreol Morisyen. They have lived in various cities such as Pune, India and Peterborough, Ontario. ZOM FAM, their first poetry book, will be published by Metonymy Press on September 10, 2020.

 

Vincent Mousseau, Social Worker, Conference Speaker and Community Organizer

Based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal, QC) and a master’s student at the School of Social Work at Université de Montréal, Vincent also holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from McGill University. As an activist and speaker, their areas of expertise are anti-oppressive structures, community outreach strategies with queer and trans racialized communities, intersectional analysis, Black Lives Matter activism, and contemporary queer anti-assimilationist activism. Academically, they are interested in the creation of intergenerational and intersectional 2SLGBTQ+ spaces and barriers to access to Canadian and Québec blood donation societies for men of African, Caribbean, and Black descent who have sex with other men.

Montréal Pride Festival’s 360 Edition complete programming will be unveiled this Friday, July 17.

 

About the Montréal Pride Festival
Since 2007, at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Montréal Pride Festival has been promoting their rights and celebrating their cultural richness and social advances. The largest gathering of the communities of sexual and gender diversity (SGD) in the Francophone world works locally on a daily basis while serving as a beacon of hope for people living in LGBTQ+ hostile regions of the globe. In 2019, the festival generated a total attendance of 3.4 million admissions. In 2020, the festivities will be held from August 10 to 16. More information is available on the web page, the Facebook page, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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François Laberge
Communications Director
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Telephone: 514 779-6134

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For all media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

François Laberge
Communications Director
[email protected]
Phone : 514 903-6193, ext. 3523

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