As part of the Phil Collins exhibition, the Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art presents four events within the framework of the installation Bring Down The Walls. The public is invited to take part in School Days with informative sessions and workshops on prison abolition and social justice, followed by Club Nights organized by Montreal-based music collectives and international guests.
For the first School Day event of this series, members of the Anti-Carceral Group will discuss the history of the prison system in so-called Canada and initiate a reflection on the principles of prison abolition. Brittany Weisgarber and Nina Segalowitz will present their research on over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous approaches to justice and healing, and their experiences within Quebec’s provincial women’s prison. Reuben Miller will speak on his current research on the intersection of race, poverty, crime control, and social welfare policy in the United States and within the prison industrial complex. Dorothy Williams will discuss issues of systemic oppression of Black people in Canada through the lens of her ongoing research on inequalities fostered by the judicial system and slavery. Will Prosper will address contemporary experiences of inequalities in racialized communities, centered around questions of profiling. The session will end with a discussion involving all of our guests, bringing together their work and engaging the public in a broader discussion on inequalities within political systems.
1 PM – Introductory notes
1:15 PM – Anti-Carceral Group - Prison History and Resistance in so-called Canada
2:15 PM – Brittany Weisgarber and Nina Segalowitz
2:45 PM – Break
3 PM – Reuben Miller
3:45 PM – Dorothy Williams
4:30 PM – Will Prosper
5:15 PM – Collective discussion
Presentations will be offered in English and in French. Whisper translation is available on request in both languages.
At night, the Phi Foundation will transform into a fully functioning night club, taken over by invited collectives and crews whose activities foster the ethos of social engagement shared by Bring Down The Walls.
About Bring Down The Walls
Organised in May 2018 in New York City by artist Phil Collins, Creative Time, The Fortune Society, and over 100 collaborators, Bring Down The Walls was a three-part public art project which turned an unconventional lens on the prison industrial complex through house music and nightlife.
Originating as a public art project, Bring Down The Walls explored the prison-industrial complex in the United States through the lens of house music and nightlife. The project consisted of a communal space that functioned as an open school by day and dance club by night, as well as a benefit album of classic house tracks re-recorded by formerly incarcerated vocalists and electronic musicians. For the exhibition at the Phi Foundation, Collins proposes Bring Down The Walls (2019), an installation version of this project reconfigured specifically for the Montréal context and the space at 465 Saint-Jean Street, with corresponding public programming that will build on the discussions and relationships that began in New York.