MOV Explores City’s Turbulent History of Protests with City on Edge
Museum of Vancouver28 Sep '17 to 18 Feb '18 @ 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) examines our city’s rich history of protest demonstrations with City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism, a compelling, new photo-based exhibition on display from September 28, 2017 to February 18, 2018. The collection features 650 photographs of demonstrations, occupations, riots, blockades, and strikes from the early 1900s to the present day, capturing those transformative moments when the city showed up, stood up, and rallied for change—or exploded in anger. Visitors will find themselves in a dynamic and interactive environment of large digital projections, short films, and animated sounds of protest rallies and choirs, inviting the public to engage with and think about the impact of grassroots activism in their lives.
“Images of street demonstrations are uniquely gripping and beautiful. They highlight the agency of people in challenging the status quo and effecting social change,” explains Viviane Gosselin, City on Edge Co-Curator and Director of Collections & Exhibitions at MOV. “Several events depicted in the exhibition remind us that laws and policies that we often overlook today are the result of citizens taking their concerns to the street.”
One of the earliest events documented in City on Edge is the anti-Asian race riot of 1907, when an anti-immigration rally exploded into violence and destruction in Chinatown and Japantown. Other iconic events include the Komagata Maru incident, the 1946 Daily Province strike, the Gastown riot, the 1993 Clayoquot Sound anti-logging protests, Occupy Vancouver, and last year’s Kinder Morgan demonstrations.
In addition to co-curating the exhibition, Kate Bird will draw on her experience as a retired Pacific Newspaper Group librarian to present a collection of protest images in City on Edge: A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots, and Strikes, a new book that will be published this fall by Greystone Books (details at greystonebooks.com). Bird is the author of the bestselling 2016 book Vancouver in the Seventies, which inspired a companion exhibition at MOV. City on Edge marks her second collaboration as a MOV co-curator.
To complement the exhibition, MOV is pleased to offer the following public program:
Archiving Activism, presented by Kate Bird, Co-Curator and Panel of Experts
November 30, 2017 at 7pm at the Museum of Vancouver
This public program will feature a discussion by a panel of experts representing a variety of local archival collections. The group will share what goes into the collection, preservation, and dissemination of primary documentary records of activism from ephemeral material such as posters and flyers to photographs, video and oral histories. The panel will also discuss how archivists, artists, filmmakers, and playwrights use documentary evidence to reconstruct the history of activism and tell the stories of subcultural and marginalized groups.
MOV presents City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism
Dates: September 28, 2017 to February 18, 2018
Address: Museum of Vancouver 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC