In early 2023, 18 members of the PROMIS immigrant community came together in this project initiated by the Musée. During a series of eight workshops designed with and for this group, each participant created a flag representing a dream that must be shared, that which must be said. 

The project uses the potential of contemporary art and art mediation to stimulate development, knowledge, and self-expression. Having a platform for expression is important for everyone, but especially for those whose voices are less often heard. The resulting installation of flags at PROMIS offers a place for gathering, inspiration, and maybe (even) advocacy for members of this community.

Participants: Angélica Gomez, Carlos Chavez, Gladys Elvira Zambrano Lopez, Highshine B., Jatin Katyal, Kaushiki Mahapatra, Ludmilla Yvette Ouedraogo, M.A., Mad Novik, Mahsa Mirzaei, Manel Bourguiba, Marília Vardi, Mirisha Suchde, Pablo Valdés Fiehn, Punit Pandya, Raheleh Ahar, Runyu Gao and Vidya Jadhav.

Photo: Maxime Lefrançois 
Photo: Maxime Lefrançois 

The workshops were inspired by artworks from the MAC collection: Pourquoi devrais-je m’arrêter? (2020) by Leila Zelli, who came to meet the group and talk about her immigration journey from Tehran to Montréal; and Michel Goulet’s Vivre sous plusieurs bannières (2002), which served as a point of departure for creating the flags.

In this video, see what happened backstage as the flags were being made, from the mediums of creation to what group members had to say. Gain deeper insight into the inspiring narratives of four participants, whose stories gave colour and shape to their dreams. 

Co-direction, camera and editing: Vjosana Shkurti

About the program

Ce qui doit être dit is a program created by the MAC with the objective of collaborating with diverse communities on the island of Montréal, using contemporary art as a driving force for transformation. Each program is designed jointly with a community partner to respond to the specific needs and interests of the participants and takes place over several months. The program involves creative workshops that draw inspiration from both exhibitions at the Musée and artworks from its collection.

We would like to extend special thanks to Aïda Berberovic, Jacques Breton, Jennifer Giguère, Julie Corriveau, Leila Zelli, Pat Salvo, and Vjosana Shkurti for their contributions.

PROMIS, situated in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, helps immigrants, refugees, and their families with their cultural, social, and professional integration into Québec society.

This project was made possible thanks to support from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.