An FTA Podcast in 4 Episodes

What if this downtime allows us to take a fresh look at our surroundings? What if we listened with a more attentive ear to vibrant, pulsating life around us and thus venture deep inside ourselves?

Like offerings to enrich this sudden pause imposed upon us, here are four inspiring conversations with five Quebec scholars and thinkers that present a manner of perceiving the visible and the invisible in new ways: Inhabiting

In a moment when we must learn to breathe and move differently, how can we better appreciate the sky we gaze at from our balconies, our cities in which we must walk at a distance from each other, the songs of all the birds that we now hear even more than before? How can we joyfully embrace a world that is now falling apart?

The shows that were to have taken place at the 14th edition of the FTA often evoked death, destruction and the idea of a certain end to life as we knew it. In 2020 artists are engaging in an essential dialogue that hones in on what is inexorably disappearing around us.

A podcast in four episodes, Inhabiting proposes that we move from a discourse on collapse to an opening to the light, so as to better probe the mysteries and confines of a habitable world: territory, nature, birds, the sky.

In the company of an Abenaki elder and prodigious anthropologist, a Sufi imam, a writer enamoured of Montreal, a philosopher-political scientist and an ornithologist, the FTA will promote ideas that resonate, quietly stimulating and presenting intriguing proposals to attentive listeners.


In French

Directed by Antoine Bédard and Jessie Mill
With Dalie Giroux, Nicole O’Bomsawin, Sheik Omar Koné, Daniel Canty, Olivier Barden, Martin Faucher and Jessie Mill
Music Antoine Bédard


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Episode 1 – Our Ruins

Where do we stand at present? What purpose do we serve? How will we live in the ruins of our civilization, how will we die in them? With a decidedly decolonizing and somewhat anarchistic perspective, the philosopher and political scientist Dalie Giroux stimulates those of us now living with new words that even the most powerful will be unable to confiscate. Our ruins will be joyful! An optimistic take on a thoughtful occupation of land and territory.


Dalie Giroux
Dalie Giroux has been teaching political theory at the University of Ottawa since 2003. Her research makes use of political theory and interdisciplinary experimentation to explore the many ways in which space, language and power interact in the contemporary world. Her recent publications include Le Québec brûle en enfer: Essais politiques (M Éditeur, 2017), La généalogie du déracinement: Enquête sur l’habitation postcoloniale (PUM, 2019) and Parler en Amérique: Oralité, colonialisme, territoire (Mémoire d’encrier, 2019, recipient of the 2018-19 Spirale Eva Le Grand Award).

“Of course when the theme ‘inhabiting ruins’ was decided, we didn’t know about the upcoming global pandemic… So it suddenly took on a whole new dimension to go on and try to think about our world as a collapsing world, and to play with different approaches to think [about] our relation to nature, to values, to alternative forms of collective organization.” Dalie Giroux on CBC

Butler, J. (2014). Qu’est-ce qu’une vie bonne ?(M. Rueff, trad.). Paris : Payot.
Giroux, D. (2017). Le Québec brûle en enfer : essais politiques. Saint-Joseph-du-Lac : M Éditeur.
Giroux, D. (2019). La généalogie du déracinement. Montréal : Presses de l’Université de Montréal.
Giroux, D. (2019). Parler en Amérique : oralité, colonialisme, territoire. Montréal : Mémoire d’encrier.
Macé, M. (2019). Nos cabanes. Paris : Verdier.
Tsing, A. L. (2017). Le champignon de la fin du monde (P. Pignarre, trad.). Paris : La Découverte

Episode 2 – The Sky

What can the sky, the clouds, the canopy of heaven, the cosmos teach us? Do those intangible regions escape the bonds of finitude? Nicole O’Bomsawin, an Abenaki anthropologist, and Sheik Omar Koné, a Sufi lecturer, share their ancestral knowledge and their spiritual visions. In a conversation tinged with wisdom and moderation, the sky opens up before us. An invitation to raise our heads and open our hearts.


Nicole O’Bomsawin
An anthropologist and museologist by training, Nicole O’Bomsawin was director of the Abenaki Museum from 1984 to 2006. In 2005 she received the Dr. Bernard-Chagnan-Assiniwi Award for her commitment to the promotion and dissemination of Indigenous culture. She has visited hundreds of schools and met with thousands of students across Quebec to share a different version of history in order to break down prejudices and stereotypes about First Nations peoples. In 2011 the University of Montreal awarded her an honorary doctorate, the first Native person to receive such an honour from the university.

“People walk and look at their feet, or their phones. They don’t look up at the sky. I tell myself to take the time to gaze upward. My grandfather used to tell me that we have a little wire that connects us to our ancestors. And that little wire makes us lift our heads and look up.” 

Cheik Omar Koné
Born in Mali, Imam Omar Koné is a lecturer and Muslim congregation leader at the Montreal Naqshbandi Sufi Centre who has studied the principles and traditions of Sufi and Islam for over 25 years. As a representative of the Muslim community, he has taken part in numerous conferences on the concept of reasonable accommodation. He presents lectures on Islam, spirituality and the Muslim world to students and academics, and regularly advises public institutions and social services on intercultural awareness. He is often invited by the media to speak about moderate mainstream Islam and current events.

“I raise my eyes to the sky to touch a piece of the infinite, of eternity, to look at the grandeur of nature that surrounds us.”

Betasamosake Simpson, L. (2020). On se perd toujours par accident (N. Kanapé Fontaine et A. Des Rochers, trad.). Montréal : Mémoire d’encrier.

Despret, V. (2015). Au bonheur des morts. Récits de ceux qui restent. Paris : La Découverte.
Kanapé Fontaine, N. (2018). L’âge de la renaissance des Premiers Peuples. La politique organique. Revue Liberté, (321), 27-28.
Revue Liberté. (2020). La disparition du ciel (328). Montréal. À paraître, automne 2020.
Centre soufi de Montréal

Episode 3 – Our Birds

Precious creatures, birds fly, play and sing; high-spirited like no other species. But when they leave, never to return, they are gone forever. Since the age of eight, the ornithologist Olivier Barden and his incredibly sharp ear have been capturing the songs of thousands of birds from here and from all around the world. He shares the sweetness of their songs and tales of their discovery. A delightful peek at the wonders, perils and quirks of the avian world.


Olivier Barden
In the world of amateur and professional ornithology Olivier Barden, 34 years old, is recognized as being exceptionally gifted. Not only can he distinguish one-quarter of the 10,400 of the species of birds described worldwide, he also recognizes almost all the birdsongs of the 760 species that breed in Canada and the United States. He collaborated on the Deuxième atlas des oiseaux nicheurs du Québec méridional. Published in April 2019, this colossal work brings together data gathered by almost 2000 veteran ornithologists.

“After watching and counting the birds in my backyard, I decided to join a birdwatchers’ club, and then when travelling abroad I realized that one lifetime is not enough to fully explore that passion.”

Bilodeau, L. (2019, 16 septembre). Le talent prodigieux de l’ornithologue Olivier Barden. Québec Science. Récupéré de
Carson, R. (1962). Silent Spring. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company.
Chatwin, B. (1987). The Songlines. Franklin : Franklin Press.
Couturier, A. R., Hachey, M.-H., Lepage, D. et Robert, M. (dir.). (2019). Deuxième atlas des oiseaux nicheurs du Québec méridional. Montréal : Regroupement Québec Oiseaux.
Demarcq, J. (2019). Pourquoi des oiseaux. Revue Po&sie – Des oiseaux, (167-168), 35-36.
Despret, V. (2019). Habiter en oiseau. Paris : Actes Sud.
Macé, M. (2019). Écoute ce que te dit l’oiseau. Revue Po&sie – Des oiseaux, (167-168), 230-238.
Revue Po&sie. (2019). Des oiseaux (167-168). Paris : Belin.
Stengers, I. (2009). Au temps des catastrophes. Paris : La Découverte.

Bird Sounds
Sturnus vulgaris + Cardinalis cardinalis + Chaetura pelagica + Mimus polyglottos + Hylocichla mustelina + Bartramia longicauda + Troglodytes hiemalis + Thryophilus rufalbus cumanensis + Tinamus major + Myadestes occidentalis

Source: xeno-canto-org

Episode 4 – A Tally of Lost Steps

Daniel Canty is a writer and walker. His strolls through the city activate words that recreate life. An observer enamoured of fictional ecologies, he ponders the role of language in our lives. In his hands, poetry is an aspect of light, a weather condition and a form of life. Montreal, its flora and fauna, its sights and sounds, its waters. Between the reality of the city and a dreamlike world, a world remembered: a rendezvous with the island!


Daniel Canty
The latest book by the artist and writer Daniel Canty, La société des grands fonds (La Peuplade, 2018), is an exploration of the floating relationships between literature, water and memory. It was a finalist for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal and for the Governor General’s 1919 Literary Award (nonfiction). His poetic prose, where curiosity is combined with a tenderness tinged with humour, probes the sense of time. As a dramaturge, he has also collaborated on the creation and presentation of various theatre and dance works.

“Given that we are denied access to where they rest, I hope that our dearly departed will come to us. And take long walks with us, insinuate themselves into the very breath of the city and visit, with full immunity, the bedsides of the dying in hospital wards, lending them a little of their presence, their breath.”

Canty, D. (2016). Comment je suis devenu un livre. Montréal : Formats X.
Canty, D. (2016). Mappemonde. Montréal : Le Noroît.
Canty, D. (2018). La société des grands fonds. Saguenay : La Peuplade.
Clément, G. (2002). Éloge des vagabondes. Paris : Éditions Nil.
Clément, G. (2004). Manifeste du Tiers-Paysage. Montreuil : Éditions Sujet/Objet. Récupéré de
De Baecque, A. (2016). Une histoire de la marche. Paris : Perrin.
Ducharme, R. (1973). L’hiver de force. Paris : Gallimard.
Gros, F. (2009). Marcher, une philosophie. Paris : Carnets Nord.
Gros, F. (2011). Petite Bibliothèque du marcheur. Paris : Flammarion.
Hénault, G. (2006 [1991]). À l’écoute de l’écoumène. Dans Poèmes 1937-1993 (p. 249-328). Montréal : Les Éditions Sémaphore.
Marie-Victorin, Frère. (1935). Flore laurentienne. Montréal : Imprimerie de La Salle.

Daniel Canty’s Suggestions
Berger, J. (1992 [1984]). And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. New York : Vintage International.
Dillard, A. (2007). Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. New York : Harper Perennial.
Lambert, V. (2019). Mirabilia. Montréal : Le Quartanier.


Produced by Festival TransAmériques
Directed by Antoine Bédard and Jessie Mill
With Dalie Giroux, Nicole O’Bomsawin, Sheik Omar Koné, Daniel Canty, Olivier Barden, Martin Faucher and Jessie Mill
Music Antoine Bédard
Research Assistant Emmanuelle Jetté
Sound Production Assistant Simon R. Tremblay
With the support of the Festival TransAmériques Team