Collective 4891 launches their inaugural zine

Making art accessible and inclusive for all

Founded by Concordia Communications students Hannah Jamet-Lange and Shin Ling Low, Collective 4891 aims to foster a safe space for artists to create, regardless of their artistic medium.

“Our goal was always to create a safe space for people to share their art in,” said Jamet-Lange, adding that they wanted to make room for people who perhaps didn’t yet have the confidence to sign up for open-mics or more professional performance settings. “We felt like everyone was doing so many cool things, so many cool art projects, and we really wanted to see it in a context outside of school.”

The group initially organized art events in Jamet-Lange’s apartment. In fact, the collective is named after their old apartment number. In order to provide a platform for emerging artists to expand their practice and experience, the collective often took photos and videos, giving the creators a chance to add to their portfolio. However, despite being titled a collective, the team only consists of Jamet-Lange and Low, both of whom do everything from hosting the events to assembling their zines.

“We would love to make the collective a more literal sense of ‘collective,’” said Low, adding that they are interested in expanding their team in order to continue producing and hosting community projects and events.

“During [the open-mics] people would oftentimes build confidence during the event, after hearing other people perform and then decide on the spot ‘Hey, I’m going to perform something after all,’” said Jamet-Lange. “If people have the confidence and want to perform something they should have the availability to be able to do so.”

However, when the pandemic hit, they had to restructure the format in which their events were delivered, all while staying in line with their mandate of making art accessible to all.

Therefore, they decided to start a zine. The Community Care Edition of the Collective 4891 Zine features the work of over 20 creatives. In addition to serving as an art project to showcase the work of emerging artists, the zine also doubles as a fundraiser for Black Lives Matter.

How so? In order to obtain a copy of the zine, those interested are encouraged to make a donation to the cause of their choice — going local is highly encouraged — and submit proof of their donation. In return, those interested will receive their order by mail.

The zine features everything from paintings to poetry, giving people a chance to display what would have otherwise been placed on a wall or performed at one of the collective’s open-mics.

To accompany the launch of their inaugural zine, the collective will be hosting a virtual artmaking event and launch at the end of April. Here, artists who contributed to the zine will be able to share their work, in an effort to allow people to connect with the art and artists who contributed.

For more information about Collective 4891 and their upcoming launch event, follow them on Instagram or Facebook. Those interested in receiving more details on obtaining a copy of the zine or donating to a cause, visit this website.


Photos by Matilda Cerone.

Student Life

A teacher who never stops learning

How Dan Babineau brings his passion for filmmaking to his courses at Concordia and Champlain College

When Dan Babineau wants to teach his students about filmmaking, he tells them to learn it by themselves.

“I realized that where they really learn is the assignments and when they’re off on their own,” he said. “Standing there with a PowerPoint about all the stuff you know is not going to make them learn it.”

Babineau has been teaching at Champlain College on Montreal’s south shore since 1992, and has been the chairman of the creative arts department since 2008. He is also a part-time faculty member in the communications department at Concordia University. Yet, Babineau never studied to be a teacher. In fact, it wasn’t even his first-choice profession.

Babineau was studying literature and language at Champlain College when he decided to take a film class. He enjoyed the class so much that he realized he wanted a career in the film industry.

Once he graduated from Champlain in 1975, Babineau began studying communications at Concordia, and graduated in 1981. After university, Babineau said many of his peers had trouble finding jobs in the film industry, and some became stock brokers or winemakers instead.

“I did the same year or two of [looking] around, trying to get work and, by accident, ended up in the corporate world basically helping companies lie to their employees with media,” Babineau said.

Babineau (on drums) played in a band called The Alpha Jerks while he was a Concordia student. Here, the band is playing at Reggies Bar in the Hall building in 1982. Photo by Ian Migicovsky.

Nonetheless, in the corporate world, he fulfilled his dream of making movies for a living by creating advertisements and other promotional videos. For 15 years, Babineau freelanced for multiple production companies. He wrote, produced, directed, added voice-overs and supervised entire projects. At times, he worked as a consultant for companies in need of a story idea. According to Babineau, his background in communications and his passion for filmmaking helped him a lot with these various projects.

“A lot of people working in that business were like shoe salesmen; they didn’t know anything,” he said. “They knew this company wanted a video that said, ‘Molson beer is the best.’ They didn’t know anything about video or how to write a proper script or use the right picture. There I was with the communications background and all these ideas, and I did very well in that business.”

Babineau had to travel a lot for his job, and said that, for six years, he commuted between Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. Right before his daughter was born, Babineau’s film teacher from Champlain, John McKay, who was the chairman of the creative arts department at that point, contacted him about teaching a course. Babineau agreed immediately. His daughter was born on Jan. 8, 1992, and he started teaching on Jan. 20.

“I loved it, and I thought: ‘Wow I’m in class on my feet shooting around ideas like I used to, but it’s not for stupid clients and not for stupid products,’” Babineau said.

He balanced work and teaching for a few years, but quickly realized teaching was his calling. “I suspect I was always destined to teach, without knowing it,” Babineau said. “In the corporate world, I was coaching executives on how to give their speech; I was pitching in front of committees and standing up a lot.”

Babineau said that, by his second year of teaching, he had learned the tools of the trade. He also gave himself rules to live by as a professor.

“I promised myself I would never be pretentious, which is something that drove me crazy at university with PhD teachers,” he said. “I’ll try not to be dull. If it isn’t fun and exciting, then it’s probably not worth teaching. And to be myself […] I’m me. I’m not a trained teacher, but I have creativity.”

Champlain College allowed Babineau to continue teaching more courses until he became a full-time professor a few years later. In 2002, Champlain College gave him a permanent position. More than 25 years after he first stepped foot in a classroom to teach, Babineau is still learning. He said a few years ago, he heard his son playing Led Zeppelin on the guitar, which he’d learned to do by watching videos on YouTube. It was then that Babineau realized that, when students are passionate about something, they will learn it themselves.

“As a teacher, what’s the best thing you could do? Make them interested enough so they can learn it, then just get out of the way,” Babineau said. He applies this when teaching a special effects course at Champlain. He said his class is too big to teach everyone individually, so one assignment involves students sharing with the class what they learned about special effects on their own time.

Little Girl Blue, partially funded by the National Film Board of Canada, was shown on CBC in December 2016. Babineau is in the middle. Photo by Bruno Parent.

In 1999, the year his son was born, Babineau returned to his alma mater to teach a filmmaking class for Concordia’s communications department. Little did he know, his former teacher-turned-colleague, McKay, was teaching the other sections of that course. Together, they taught the course until it was cut from the curriculum in 2008. Babineau didn’t teach at Concordia for two years after that, until the university offered him film studies classes, which he has been teaching ever since.

Babineau has noticed a big difference in the way he approaches a course at Concordia compared to Champlain. He said students in CEGEP, unlike university students, don’t know what they want to do as a career.

“The thing at CEGEP that you’re looking for is to help [the students] figure out what they’re going to do next, and what they’re good at,” Babineau said. “At university, they’ve already figured it out, and they’re intellectually way more challenging. […] People are going to ask you challenging questions because they’re way more smart, they know what field they’re going into and who they are. University, for me, is an intellectual reward.”

Babineau’s film, Little Girl Blue, is a Christmas movie, but it’s set in a hospital. Photo by Thilelli Chouikrat.

However, Babineau said he feels rewarded when he notices his CEGEP students finding their passion. Champlain’s creative arts department makes their students produce a short film in their fourth semester. Babineau said the production is similar to making a real movie, with everyone being assigned a different role, including sound, camera and makeup.

“They feel like they’re working on a real film, and they go, ‘Oh my God, this is what I want to do as my real job.’ Three weeks before they graduate, they figure it out,” Babineau said with a laugh. He added that the best moments as a teacher happen outside of the classroom.

“I bend over backwards to make the class exciting and good,” Babineau said. “But I know having drinks at Brutopia the night after they finished screening their film will be what they remember from that class.”

Babineau and other faculty members often help students out with their film projects. One year, the students wanted to produce a zombie film, and Babineau happily got involved to help them in any way he could. That involvement included lying on the floor and pretending to be a zombie at 8 a.m. on a Sunday.

“We’re lying on the floor, and I look at [another teacher] and say, ‘What a great job we have, eh?’ Can you picture other people whose job is to lie on the floor and wear zombie makeup?” Babineau said.

Babineau (left) said medical experts helped in making Little Girl Blue. Photo by Thilelli Chouikrat.

In 2015, Babineau had the opportunity to bring his students from Champlain and Concordia together to produce a movie.

During a Christmas lunch at Champlain one year, staff members from different departments screened homemade Christmas movies. “My department is notoriously not involved in school stuff, so we didn’t do anything,” Babineau said.

That’s when a colleague from the nursing department suggested Babineau write a Christmas film for the following year. So he went home, thinking he would write a silly video involving the nursing department and Christmas. But after listening to “Little Girl Blue” by Nina Simone, a sad Christmas song, Babineau’s focus changed.

“Nurse. Christmas. Sad,” Babineau said. “So I ended up writing a story about a nurse who has a bad day and ends up quitting her job, but on the way home, has to deliver a baby for a homeless woman […] I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s baby Jesus.’”

The idea for the film quickly escalated from a video for a Christmas lunch into a bigger production. He started to get former students from Champlain and Concordia to volunteer their time to produce the film. Without much of an initial budget, Babineau got a whole cast and crew together to shoot for five days. He said seeing his former students work together made him proud.

Babineau (left) talking with the lead actress of Little Girl Blue, Iris Lapid. Photo by Alex Turcot.

“Can you imagine, you taught a student 10 years ago and he becomes a professional cameraman, and then comes back to work with you on this project? I have all this talent around me, and I taught them when they were 17,” Babineau said.

After receiving a professional development grant from Concordia’s Part-Time Faculty Association, and with post-production help from the National Film Board of Canada, Little Girl Blue, a 20-minute film, was shown on CBC during the 2016 holidays. Babineau said he had fun making the film, and didn’t expect it to get so big.

“I had my Oscar speech prepared, but I didn’t expect it to go that far,” Babineau said with a laugh. “All the students came on board and raised the [quality of the project].”

After nearly three decades in the profession, Babineau knows his time as a teacher is coming to an end. He made a promise to himself that, as long he enjoys teaching, he will continue doing it.

“If you can’t bring the real fire and passion, why would you inflict it on these kids? They don’t need to see someone whose fire has burned out and [doesn’t] think anything is interesting,” he said.

Babineau already knows what he will do once he retires: “When I leave teaching, it won’t be to go to another job.”

Main photo by Thilelli Chouikrat.

A previous version of this article said Babineau started teaching at Champlain College in 1991, and that his daughter was born the same year. A photo caption also said his band was called The Alpha. The errors were fixed and The Concordian regrets them. 


ASFA passes anti-racism motion, appoints new member

ASFA hires new vice president of communications and promotions and presents two motions

The Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations (ASFA) hired a new vice-president of communications and promotions during their first council meeting of the winter semester. The council also passed an anti-racism position motion and a motion to support those who menstruate.

The council meeting took place in the Hall building on Jan. 12. The ASFA vice-president of internal affairs, Julia Sutera Sardo, submitted and presented the anti-racism motion. It passed with supporting votes from all member associations (MAs).

“The anti-racist position motion requires ASFA to recognize the influence of colonialism, discrimination and systemic racism that has and continues to happen to this day to black, [and] indigenous people of color (POC),” said Sutera Sardo.

ASFA president Andrea Krasznai photographed on left. Photo by Ana Hernandez

In addition, the motion calls for ASFA to value the outlooks, experiences and identities of black and indigenous POC. “Be it further resolved that the ASFA condemn any and all forms of oppression, and be a voice for and an ally to individuals who experience marginalization,” said Sutera Sardo during council. The motion would require the association to support a safer, all-inclusive campus for those of any religion or culture—while holding Concordia administration to an equal standard, as written in the motion.

Furthermore, the motion acknowledges that ASFA currently commences council meetings by acknowledging Concordia University is located on Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) land. The motion encourages the association to continue this formal land recognition at the beginning of each meeting.

The second motion, the Support for Individuals that Menstruate Position Motion, was also submitted and presented by Sutera Sardo. It requests that ASFA finance and supply feminine products in all MA offices for students in need. Sutera Sardo said that ASFA, an organization which represents more than 20,000 students, many of whom experience menstruation, may not have the funds or means to acquire feminine hygiene products. She said this is especially prominent at the Loyola Campus, which is located in an area where it is not as easy to acquire these products, as pharmacies are not close by.

“Be it resolved that the ASFA recognize the experiences of individuals who menstruate and actively take actions to alleviate the barriers that they face,” said Sutera Sardo.

In Sutera Sardo’s motion, she requested that ASFA create a permanent “Feminine Hygiene Products” budget line within the Advocacy Committee budget, allocating $2,000 to the purchasing of a variety of feminine hygiene products for each school year.

“ASFA Advocacy Committee [would] be responsible for making a variety of feminine hygiene products available for free in continuity to its members on both campuses through its downtown and Loyola offices, as well as the offices of its member associations,” said Sutera Sardo.

Christina Massaro, the ASFA vice-president of finance, spoke against the motion. “If you go to Health Services, you can easily get a pack that comes with two tampons and a pad,” Massaro said during council. Those in need of feminine products will think of Health Services before they think to come to ASFA, said Massaro.

In response, Sutera Sardo said she has been approached by some students who said it was easier and more accessible to go to a MA office, rather than Health Services. “If you’re on the 12th floor of [the Hall building], it’s easier to go to either the Geography Undergraduate Student Society or the Political Science Students’ Association and get yourself a pad and tampon,” said Sutera Sardo. “You can’t necessarily run to Health Services.”

Sutera Sardo said Health Services has run out of these supplies before and for someone in need on the Loyola campus, it is harder to find feminine products close by.

The motion was not fully passed, but the motion was tweaked so that MAs, councillors and executives would agree that ASFA should recognize the barriers people who menstruate may face.

Sutera Sardo told The Concordian the $2,000 ASFA would be budgeting towards the initiative discussed will be on hold until the next ASFA council meeting in February. By then, a plan for how to distribute the supplies from MA offices will be determined.

Sutera Sardo told The Concordian ASFA appointed Georgios Simeonidis as an independant councillor during council.

ASFA went into closed session for the hiring of ASFA vice-president of communications and promotions, and the details of the deliberations were not disclosed. However, ASFA president Andrea Krasznai told The Concordian the position will be filled by Paula Monroy, an undergraduate from the urban studies program.

Krasznai mentioned that, during the closed session, there was a motion passed concerning the general elections. “All I know right now is that we’re going to have the general elections between March 1 and 31,” she said. The general elections will be held to choose the incoming ASFA executives and independent councillors for the 2017-2018 school year.

ASFA’s next council meeting will be held on Feb. 9 held in Hingston Hall, Wing HC, Room 155 on Loyola campus.

The Concordian has updated this article for accuracy purposes. We apologize and deeply regret the error.

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