Art Entr’Elles, initiated in October 2009 as a community art project, has become a non profit organization gathering criminalized women and professional artists in collaborative art projects.
Art Entr’Elles identifies as a collective of women-artists that say NO to violence, poverty and intolerence. Throught art, the collective supports creative exploration, socio-political expression and critical thinking, among its members and the general public.
The organization, inspired directly from the Agir par l’imaginaire project – that took place in several detention centers between 2008 and 2011 – Agir par l’imaginaire was initiated by the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and the Engrenage Noir / LEVIER. After their release from prison, these women decided to continue the artistic exploration they had started in detention and founded the collective Art Entr’Elles in 2009.
The count is a documentary video installation. Six prison cells line a corridor. Six women are “doing time” there, counting interminable days on the inside. Six open doors lead to their stories, secrets, hopes, regrets. This documentary video installation was made for a community art project by its protagonists, members of the Art Entr’Elles collective, in collaboration with director Émilie B. Guérette and scenographer Hubert Lafore.
This project was made possible thanks to financial support from the Fondation du Grand Montréal, the Caisse d’économie solidaire, the Fondation Thérèse-Casgrain and the Correctional Service of Canada, as well as thanks to the partnerships of Vidéographe, Bande à part, Continuité-famille-auprès-des-détenues (CFAD) and the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec (SEFQ).
You can view the trailer of the project by clicking
Double Sentence is a short film directed by convicted women within a community art project, in collaboration with the filemaker Alexis Fortier-Gauthier.
The directors chose to show one of their personnel stories as an example of the social reintegration process and the challenges that occur after finishing a prison sentence. In fact, it’s just the beginning of a journey filled with difficulties related to their criminal records. Daily, they must deal with prejudice; the main challenge, however, is to forgive themselves. How can they liberate themselves from the past, which got them imprisoned and caused so much pain around them?
This project has been made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Congrégation des filles de la sagesse, de la Caisse Desjardins Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, de donateurs individuels et aux partenariats des Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), de Vidéographe, du Groupe d’intervention vidéo (GIP), de Projet Ose, de Continuité-Famille auprès des détenues (CFAD) et de la Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec.
Unfold Your Identity
This project invites women with a criminal past to assert their identity through the use of arts – photography, writing and audio testimonies. This exploration of the creative process takes place in the form of participative workshops. The outcome of this experience is the completion of collective or individual audio-photographical portraits. The artwork will be presented in a public exhibition.
These workshops are the first step of a two-year media art project. The audio-portraits will drive the second phase of the project, which consists in building an interactive map of the women’s social integration process on the web. This 2.0 cartography aims to become a tool of self-expression, and exchange of information and experiences between the women and the public.
This project has been made possible thanks to the partnership between Art Entr’elles and the Projet Ose organization, and the financial contribution of the Fondation Béati, la Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins, the City of Montreal and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.
Face To Face
The Face To Face is a project based on close collaboration between one community and one professional artist. The objective on this pairing is to allow the participants to explore a medium of their choice (video, photography, painting, sculpture, dance, signing, etc.) and to take a stand on the themes of poverty, family and criminalisation.
The produced artworks were exhibited at the Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from February 28 to April 21, 2013 and at the Cégep Maisonneuve from April 23 to 28, of the same year.
Give It A Second Chance
« Give It A Second Chance » is an art creation project that attempted to provoke a reflection on the relationship between poverty, social exclusion and imprisonment. The participating artists created one or more artworks from used, broken or defective items. The goal was to give a second chance to the used objects in order to symbolically recreate the second chance that criminalized women ask of society as well as the second chance that these women must also give to society. Through art, this project aimed to inspire change in our society in order for these women to no longer feel abandoned by it.
The artworks, accompanied by written thoughts on poverty and social exclusion, were presented at a public exhibition in June 2011.
On vous aime, mais pas tant que ça…
This project made use of beer bottles as a visual support to represent its five characters – homeless women and men – met and interviewed by the creative team downtown Montreal. The objective of this initiative was to portray these individuals through their dreams and personal aspirations.
Creative Team: Devora, Geneviève, Pascale, Caroline.
Métamorphose en quatre temps
This stop motion animation film addresses the obstacles and difficulties met during the social rehabilitation process of four female characters.
Creative Team: Geneviève, Lucie, Julie-Chantale and Carole.
This project was designed to bring a moment of joy to the residents of Montreal. The13 different card models were printed in two thousand copies and were distributed for free all around the city.
Creative Team: Jessica, Émilie, Julie-Chantale, Geneviève, Lucie, Carole.
- Anne-Céline Genevois, Projet Ose (Director)
Board of Directors
- Ruth Gagnon, President
- Devora Neumark, Vice President
- Agnès Billa, Treasurer
- Aleksandra Zajko, Secretary
- Jill S., Administrator
- Geneviève Fortin, Administrator
For further information about the Art Entr’Elles Collective, please get in touch with us by email.