Safety Strategies : Space, Gender and the City


Caroline Alexander and Cynthia Hammond

Saturday, October 22, 2-4pm @ STUDIO XX 

Sunday, October 23, 2-4pm @ Concordia University EV 3.760 (accessible to people with limited mobility)
Engineering-Visual Arts pavilion, 3rd floor
Guy-Concordia metro

*same workshop but in 2 different locations

What are the personal, spatial, and performative strategies of finding safety in the city? In two workshops, participants create “memory maps”: subjective drawings based on personal experience and spatial memory. These maps visualize the embodied knowledge of gendered urban risk and safety, and will be exhibited in spring 2017.

Safety Strategies is a collaborative art project that seeks to critically explore and creatively document how women and self-identified women, trans, members of the LGBTQ community, and women with limited mobility build a sense of safety when negotiating Montreal’s urban environments. While cities are often poorly designed and potentially dangerous, they are not unalterable. Spatial Strategies foregrounds the ways in which users negotiate and challenge the gendered dangers of cities.

The collaborative production of the exhibition will take the form of two workshops in the fall of 2016: one at Studio XX, and the other at a wheelchair-accessible space at Concordia University. Participants will be invited to think about times when they have had to negotiate a specific urban location or itinerary in which they felt at risk. We will then ask participants to create “memory maps” that visualize this embodied knowledge. Memory maps, introduced to us through the practice of artist Marlene Creates,, are subjective drawings based on personal experience and spatial memory. The maps will be the locus for a group discussion, and in personal, written reflections. These outcomes will be the basis of the exhibition.

As an exhibition, Safety Strategies will include the memory maps and written reflections. The installation will also include a drawing station where visitors can add to the collection of stories, maps, and strategies.

No previous technical knowledge required.

20 participants maximum per workshop
The main language of the preliminary presentations will be English, but questions and discussion in French and English will be warmly encouraged.
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