In the Village…

Skills: community engagement, gentrification, postindustrial architecture, spatial justice

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“In the Village…” was a participatory-art intervention created by myself and artist collaborator Kathleen Vaughan for the Centre d’histoire de Montréal’s exhibition “Quartier disparu” and their walking tour of Goose Village, one of Montreal’s historic working-class neighbourhoods. In the early 1960s, the city of Montreal, under the administration of Jean Drapeau, expropriated the homes of approximately 350 families living in Goose Village (comprised mostly of Irish and Italian immigrants) in preparations for Expo ’67.

The approach to our project was inspired by archival photographs of Goose Village and oral history interviews with former residents of the neighbourhood. We decided to create interactive workbooks to accompany the public on their walking tour of Goose Village. Our goals were to have participants reflect on and interact with the historic traces of the neighbourhood, some of which are more visible and tangible than others. We designed these workbooks to evoke a textural and imaginative experience for participants of the tour, based in visual and sensorial relics, historical fact, and past residents’ memories of Goose Village. Each workbook prompted participants to inscribe a trace of their individual experience of the historic walking tour.

The inaugural Goose Village walking tour happened on July 28th 2012.  Tune in here to our interview about the project with Adam Beema’s City Talks series.