Panel Discussion: Anatomy of a Protest



Details: “Anatomy of a Protest: The Art of Infiltration”: an interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring Wendy Coburn, Lisa Steele, Gary Kinsman, Lesley Wood, and other guests to be announced.
When: Wed., Nov. 12, 7–9 pm
Where: University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle
Cost: Free

Wendy Coburn’s first major solo exhibition in Toronto centres on her recently completed video Slut Nation: Anatomy of a Protest, which revisits the world’s first Slutwalk protest. Grass-roots and spontaneous, the 2011 protest offered an important rebuttal of a Toronto Police officer’s comments at a safety and security panel at York University, drawing attention to the ways in which gender stereotyping diverts the focus from the perpetrators of violence, and blames survivors of sexual assault instead. The protest’s critique of the persistence of rape culture inspired countless satellite protests across the globe. Coburn’s reconstruction of the 2011 protest highlights the movement of an organized group of provocateurs, including their representation in the media, as they march three blocks from Queen’s Park to the Toronto Police Headquarters. Bringing together footage and photographs taken by citizen journalists, the media, and the artist’s friends, Coburn’s work draws parallels to the haunting history of the infiltration of protests in Toronto, including those following the gay bath-house raids in 1981 through to the largest mass arrests of citizens in Canada at the G20 in 2010.


Ultimately, Coburn’s expansive body of work poses a series of questions related to freedom of assembly, the critical role of protest, and tactics used to undermine social justice organizing and positive social change.


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