How do you talk about love and intimacy outside the oppressive constructs of colonialism, racism, sexism, and capitalism? What exactly is “decolonial love”—a love of the self and the other with revolutionary potential? Inspired by Émilie Monnet’s Neecheemus and the writings of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Wendat author and journalist Véronik Picard leads a discussion of both personal and political issues with three women artists, activists, and thinkers.
Moderator Véronik Picard
With Carole Karemera + Émilie Monnet + Amel Zaazaa
About the artists
Véronik Picard (Montreal)
Véronik Picard is a Wendake community native who now lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang / Montreal. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in international studies and modern languages, Picard has numerous years of experience in both Canada’s Indigenous sector and in the world of Quebec journalism and media.
She worked for many years at Indigenous Tourism Quebec, then at the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney, where she supported Indigenous entrepreneurs seeking to export their products to Australia. After that, she worked at Radio-Canada for three years as a journalist specializing in Indigenous affairs. Always looking for new projects that inspire her, Picard now works in the Indigenous arts and culture sector as a researcher, writer, correspondent, and consultant.
Emilie Monnet (Montreal)
At the crossroads of theatre, performance, and sound, Émilie Monnet typically presents her work in the form of interdisciplinary stage plays and performative installations.
Monnet favours collaborative and multilingual creative processes that explore themes of memory, history and transformation. As a politically engaged artist, she founded Productions Onishka in 2011, with the aim of bringing together Indigenous artists from all artistic disciplines and all regions of the world.
Monnet is currently artist in residence at Espace GO, where she has just presented her new piece, Marguerite : le feu. She is of Algonquin and French origin, and divides her time between the Outaouais and Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang/Montréal.
Amel Zaazaa (Montreal)
Amel Zaazaa is an author, lecturer, and trainer. Early in her career, she worked for over 15 years in communications and political strategy for various governmental and community cultural institutions.
She is passionate about social justice, especially feminism and anti-racism, and has been active in various community and rights advocacy organizations in Quebec, such as the Ligue des droits et libertés (LDL), the Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ), the Hoodstock collective, the Paroles de Femmes Foundation, the Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome (RQ-ACA), the Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Help Centres (RQ-CALACS), Relais-Femmes, and the Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (CDPJ).
In January 2019, she released 11 brefs essais contre le racisme pour une lutte systémique (“11 Short Essays on Fighting Racism Through Systemic Change,” published by Éditions Somme Toute), a collection co-edited with Christian Nadeau, president of the Ligue des Droits et Libertés. This work led to a popular education tour across Quebec on topics relating to anti-racism.
Her involvement on multiple levels has helped Zaazaa acquire theoretical and experiential knowledge, along with a keen understanding of the challenges faced by various Quebec organizations when it comes to including multiple diversities, equity, and intersectionality. For the past few years, she has been providing support and creating training tools to help organizations and institutions who are committed to the processes of change and inclusion. Her interactive, dynamic approach favours co-creation and reflexivity, enabling organizations and individuals to take ownership of new knowledge and apply it in their practices in a sustainable manner.
Carole Karemera (Kigali)
An activist and advocate of creative freedom of expression in Africa, Carole Karemera is a versatile artist with over 25 years of experience in the fields of performing arts and cinema.
She co-founded and manages the Ishyo Arts Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, an organization that has been involved for 16 years in creating and producing artistic works, training cultural-sector stakeholders to develop and enhance their abilities, and influencing cultural policy in Rwanda and the subregion.
She is a board member of the African World Heritage Fund, the Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy, and the African Cultural Policy Network. Karemera is also the producer of the Festival Kina (an international creative festival targeting a young audience) and the Home Sweet Home festival, devoted to creating and presenting artistic works in people’s homes.
As an actress, she has appeared in many international productions, under the direction of Peter Brook, Jacques Delcuvellerie, Wim Vandekeybus, Raoul Peck, Marion Hänsel, Denis Mpunga, Garret List, and others.
Her activities revolve primarily around the arts, the relationship between art and science, the creation of works for young audiences, art in public spaces, and the production of transdisciplinary and transmedia works presented both in “traditional” cultural sites and more unconventional spaces.