Bring Down The Walls: The Carceral Continuum

Free admission, limited places
Date and time
Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 1 PM to 6 PM

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 day" informative sessions and workshops on prison abolition, followed by "club nights" organized by Montreal-based and international music collectives.

For the second School Day event of this series, a conversation between Sheri Pranteau and Vicki Chartrand will explore a world without prisons. Their dialogue, grounded in grassroots knowledge and lived expertise, is envisioned as an opportunity for the audience to ask the questions about prisons that they always wanted to know, but could never find the answers to. Members of the Prisoner Correspondence Project will present their pen pal project, where volunteers are invited to maintain a correspondence with currently incarcerated LGBTQ+ individuals. Jude Claude will introduce the activism of Bar None, an abolitionist group based in Treaty 1 territory/Winnipeg. Members of DESTA Black Youth Network will talk about the history of their organizing and introduce some of the services they offer to Montreal communities.

1 PM – Introduction
1:15 PM – Vicki Chartrand and Sheri Pranteau 2:15 PM – Prisoner Correspondence Project
3 PM – Break
3:30 PM – Jude Claude/Bar None Winnipeg
4:30 PM – DESTA Black Youth Network
5:30 PM – Collective discussion

Presentations will be offered in English. English to French whisper translation is available upon request. The event will be filmed. Active listening will be offered on site.

Club Night
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 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.

Facebook Event


Vicki Chartrand
Dr. Chartrand is Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at Bishop’s University, Québec and has over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit, government and voluntary sectors. This includes advocating for and with women and children, Indigenous communities and people in prison.

Sheri Pranteau
Sheri Pranteau is a Cree and Anishinaabe woman from Manitoba who was incarcerated for over 15 years.

Prisoner Correspondence Project
The Prisoner Correspondence Project is a solidarity project for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, gendervariant, two-spirit, intersex, bisexual and queer prisoners in Canada and the United States, linking them with people who are part of these same communities outside of prison.

Jude Claude
Jude Claude is a white settler living on Treaty 1 territory. They are a more recent organizer with Bar None Winnipeg who is deeply affected by the lives and the work of Bar None members and the abolitionists who have inspired them. Jude is also an academic and a multimedia artist whose creative interests overlap with organizing.

Bar None Winnipeg
Bar None is an abolitionist prisoner solidarity group based out of Treaty 1 territory, on the land of Anishinaabeg (Ojib-way), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We view our commitment to prison abolition as related to the dismantling of the ongoing occupation and theft of these lands.

DESTA Black Youth Network
Based in Little Burgundy and serving participants across Greater Montreal, DESTA supports Black youth aged 18 to 35 in reaching their educational, employability, and entrepreneurial goals through a holistic and individualized approach.

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