Feminist festival takes look at crowd control

Knowing all that we know about the oppression of women in our history, can anybody answer why feminism – to a large extent – is still a taboo topic? Granted feminism is one of the harder ideologies to grasp and understand, it is, however, difficult not to sympathize.

Knowing all that we know about the oppression of women in our history, can anybody answer why feminism – to a large extent – is still a taboo topic? Granted feminism is one of the harder ideologies to grasp and understand, it is, however, difficult not to sympathize.
Last week, Studio XX, Montreal’s first not-for-profit feminist center for creative technologies ganged up with several of the city’s cultural hot spots to kick-off the eighth edition of the HTMlles festival. The venues included the Metropolis’s Savoy, le Monument National, OBORO, la Centrale and galerie Yergeau.
The biennial festival comes to life in Montreal every two years, and on its off years, exports Canadian artists to other countries around the world.
What’s great about this festival is the political tone, if you’re looking for something closer to the realm of Yoko Ono, this is a place worth checking out.
For every edition there has been a new theme. This time around it was crowd control. To reflect the theme they have invited artists from all over, some as far as Turkey and Switzerland, to each demonstrate in their own way their interpretation of the theme, from illegal border crossing, to migration caused by climate change, to control of information. The media used sound, video, performance as well as web-based work.
“I think a lot of the people coming here are politically aware,” said Annie Briard, the Director of Communications. “So far we’re quite surprised at the turnout, especially at the evening shows.”
This small festival does have aspirations to grow out of the underground environment it has built for itself, but like many low-key events, funding and organization is a must.
“Because we’re a small fest, organization time and available funding limits our capacity to make the festival grow rapidly.”
Briard elaborated further: “The themes we are dealing with are important and it would be nice to have a larger audience to engage with them.”
Every show at the festival was free of charge save for the closing party and a few workshops.
The festival ended Sunday, but you can check out the web site to see public documentation of the events and discover some of the online works at www.htmlles.net.

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