Pointe-à-Callière News
June 14th, 2024

Nous sommes Montréal, fleuve d’histoires

Nous sommes Montréal, fleuve d’histoires
Layout: © Roméo Celli

Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s archaeology and history complex, has completed a 4th edition of the Nous sommes Montréal project, which was carried out in collaboration with two exceptional artist-mediator partners—poet Lula Carballo and artist Élaine Fafard-Marconi—and committed teachers from three high schools: École Marguerite-De-Lajemmerais, École secondaire d’Anjou, and École Paul-Gérin-Lajoie-D’Outremont. Lastly, the project would not be possible without the talent and creativity of the 97 young participants of ages 12 to 16.

A River of Creativity

Nous sommes Montréal, fleuve d’histoires is an inspiring project that holds great promise. Combining history, poetry, visual arts, and spoken word, the works produced for the project showcase the participants’ creativity and resilience. For this 4th edition, we chose to explore the history, landscapes, and fauna of the St. Lawrence River, an inexhaustible source of historical, artistic, and poetic inspiration. The bearer of many stories, the river has shaped the evolution of Montréal, Québec, and Canada, and inspired a multitude of personal stories. The young poets embarked on an artistic exploration of the river’s various facets, producing works that reveal their strength of character and sensitivity. The result is a collection of 97 individual poems, 4 group poems, 95 individual works of art, and 4 group works of art inspired by the St. Lawrence River.

A Long and Not-Always-Lazy River

The Nous sommes Montréal – Book 4 adventure took place between the period of October 2023 and June 2024, during which the students took part in 19 creative workshops. Their journey began with poet Lula Carballo, in 15 poetry workshops focused on sources of inspiration about the river. By delving into the world of words, the participants created works that were mindful of their images. Together with artist Élaine Fafard-Marconi, they navigated their way through the rich imagery of the St. Lawrence in five visual arts workshops. For inspiration, the students visited the Museum on three occasions, notably to see the temporary exhibition The St. Lawrence River, Echoes from the Shores and learn about the river’s historical importance to the founding and development of Montréal. Once their works were complete, the participants moved on to the editing and publishing of their collection in two publishing workshops with our artist- mediators.

Ahead of the book launch, actress Aouatef Krikrou prepared the participants in two spoken word poetry workshops, helping them find their voices for the poetry reading. At the launch event, held at Pointe-à-Callière on June 12, their poems resonated throughout the Museum to the great delight of all in attendance. Each of the participants received a few copies of the poetry collection they created, which they can share with their family, friends, and schools. It was a magical evening, rewarding the academic perseverance, creativity, and sensibilities of our budding young artists.

Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal’s archaeology and history complex, is proud to have lent its guidance and support to the almost one hundred young people involved in the project, giving them the opportunity to undergo a creative experience and publish a 4th edition of this collection.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial contribution of the Pointe-à-Callière Foundation and its unwavering support for this very promising project for our youth.

Bon voyage and happy reading!