The Right to Remain

Exhibition runs: March 6th – April 12th, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, March 6th 7.00-10.00pm

The Right to Remain has been enacted by over a century of this community’s resilience and resistance to the forces of colonization, racism, violence and unrestrained urban capitalism. Gallery Gachet, along with community and academic allies, asserts the Right to Remain for the people of the Downtown Eastside, a place held sacred by many that carries one of this country’s richest legacies of Human Rights struggle and achievement.

For many millennia Indigenous peoples have lived in on this land, despite continued colonization and dispossession under the auspices of nation building. Today this neighbourhood remains home to many Indigenous people displaced from across Turtle Island and beyond.

For nearly half of the twentieth century a community of over eight thousand Japanese Canadians was foundational to building the neighbourhood we see today. During the Second World War these Canadians were uprooted and dispossessed of their properties and belongings through trumped up national security measures enforcing the racist ideals of White British Society.

In proceeding decades low-income people have found the means to survive and form community, taking refuge in this neighbourhood from an uncaring society. However today, marginalized residents are increasingly being renovicted and dispossessed of their belongings and homes through rampant development, criminalization, stigmatization, institutionalization, and policing. This push is fuelled by efforts to “revitalize” buildings, services and streetscapes to capitalize on the desires of affluent consumers ultimately furthering displacement and the project of colonization.

This exhibition enlivens Human Rights stories of ancestors who once dwelled here and places them in conversation with current residents. Spoken through people’s histories, voices, and artwork, this exhibition weaves together stories of the Downtown Eastside, told through the Right to Remain Community Fair workshops, held between July 2014 and January 2015. These stories are presented as a visually provocative dialogue about the Right of all people to Remain in the places they call home and form community.

The Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre will present a sister exhibition, Revitalizing Japantown? October 24, 2015 – January 31, 2016, 6688 Southoaks Crecent, Burnaby, BC www.nikkeiplace.org

2015_4x3

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