MONTREAL | An enormous work against racial discrimination is emerging on the ground of the rue Sainte-Catherine in downtown Montreal, similar to that which is in front of the Trump Tower in the United States.
Images of the iconic slogan “Black Lives Matter” painted in yellow letters on the pavement of 5th Avenue in New York city, have toured the world.
In Montreal, the slogan has been translated in French: it is “the life of The Black.e.s account” that adorns the Sainte-Catherine street between Saint-André and Saint-Hubert, in the heart of the gay Village.
The initiative was launched by the Foundation Dynasty, which is among other things behind the Gala Dynasty, which aims to reward artists of the black community. The body Never Was Average has been mandated to coordinate the work.
Anne Che, co-founder of the organization, hopes that this work on the ground will prolong the movement against racial discrimination, which has occupied a lot of space in the public sphere since the death of George Floyd, an African-American killed by a police officer in the United States last may. “It is there to remind you that the lives of Blacks account for all of the days. […] This is a message of solidarity, of community, of positivity, we use art and creativity, then there is nothing more positive than that,” she says.
A hundred volunteers have contributed to the development of the work on Tuesday. Twenty artists of the black community will work Wednesday to add their own personal touch.
A part of the work is painted in the colors of the rainbow. Anne Che says he has thought it wise to include all minorities, as much cultural as sexual. “With the games of colors, it is still in the Village. With all that is happening to the minorities, it is about the life of Black people, but it is necessary to speak of all the communities”, she argues with conviction.
The mural is associated with the movement Black Lives Matter, whose name is in English since it was started in the United States. The message has been anglicised to add a proximity between desjardins group and Quebec, says Anne Che. “We speak French all day, I am francophone. […] “The life of the Black.e.s”, in French, it really has more impact, because people forget that they are talking about our lives. It is written with the language that people understand, I think it is a good thing”, she explains.