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No 1 (2018): Abolishing Carceral Society, 10-11

Make Racists Afraid Again

December 1, 2018

Author Biography

Zola is the name for my street art projects that I consider as a part of my contribution to activism for social change. I am a queer settler (French-Canadian descent) working in an anti-oppressive framework. My political upbringing was through the Quebec student movement, and I am now involved in different affinity groups and collectives addressing indigenous solidarity, and art and activism.

The ongoing street art project under the Zola pseudonym focuses on the iconic character of the masked protester as a romantic allegory for street politics. Both demonized by liberals and idealized by insurrectionists, masked protesters are no one and every one at the same time. In this “case study,” I am concerned with representing the diversity of folks who engage in this radical tac- tic, and with shifting the male stereotype of the frontlines fighter. Putting up portraits of anonymous protesters on city walls is also a way to create more space for radical politics, by and for activists, in a way that reminds daily commuters of ongoing social struggles.

One of the things I value most in my art/activism is mutual trust. I am primarily accountable to the communities, groups and people I work with. I have worked with: Tadamon!, Solidarity Across Borders, Non-Status Women’s Collective, Librairie Racines, Missing Justice, Montreal Anarchist Bookfair Collective and Art and Anarchy exhibit, Ni Québec Ni Canada, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines, Unist’ot’en camp, and more. I have been involved in collectives such as ANTI375!, Howl! Arts Collective, Decolonizing Street Art, OFFMurales and Maille à Part. Recently, I’ve been published with Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, AK Press, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, and I’ve participated in a few local zines, etc.