Just the other day i was talking with a friend who wondered .. if you are hungry, does art really matter? does art have a place in your life if you don’t have a home?
A first, i immediately said… yes! making art is really for everyone – community-based art can be used to shed visibility on issues (like homelessness) but it can also be an individual thing … a space where a person can explore their own voice without always being defined by others with labels (like “homeless”) .. art as a healing process.. art as empowerment .. and damn, you don’t need money or a house to make amazing art! but I am not homeless and I am not hungry.
So, I went searching … At a recent conference, I heard Annie Roy speak about the organization Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable and one of the social-art activist project that stuck in my mind is called –
“État d’Urgence is a big annual happening inspired by the issue of homelessness. It takes place over a period of four days, around the clock, downtown along the Ste-Catherine St. portion of Montreal’s Place Émilie-Gamelin, and brings together the general public and those citizens who experience homelessness on a daily basis: the homeless.
For 12 years now, this ephemeral village has allowed well-known and up-and-coming artists from all disciplines, as well as amateurs, to express their thoughts on homelessness and precarity in aesthetic and human terms, and to present their work in a setting conducive to direct encounter and concrete aid.”
There is also food given away, medical care, supplies, and more …
So, does art have a place when you have no home? It definitely does in Montreal … what about where you live? It has me thinking though …. what about in the place where I live?