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Crossing Communities Art Project (2007-2010)

In 2007, I began working at Crossing Communities Art Project an art center in Winnipeg for marginalized women and youth who are in conflict with the law. Soon thereafter I was working on a project in Montreal’s psychiatric prison, Pinel as part of a project called  Agir par l’Imaginaire (hope through imagination). Although these scenarios were at first quite intimidating, I quickly started appreciating how intelligent, creative, articulate, thoughtful, generous, accepting and empathetic these marginalized people are. For example, when I’d come into Crossing to facilitate workshops a woman (a sex-worker struggling with addiction and childhood trauma) would offer to make me breakfast in the kitchen. Some of these women have become my very close friends and are people I know I can turn to at any time for love, support and encouragement (hopefully they feel the same!). One friend who was serving a life sentence on parole is one of the most kind, hilarious, honest and thoughtful people I know. (When I would do “training” in prisons I would be told never to trust these people, that they weren’t safe or that they might stab me, etc. Basically I was told they were no longer human.)