INQUIRY Art Exhibition, an insight into a people’s movement

Salmon in British Columbia is not only keystone species to our ECO System, but one that links us economically and culturally.  It is part of our West Coast identity.  Now imagine the real possibility of that species not being part of our communities.  Through almost the past 20 years the Wild Salmon stocks on BC’s West Coast have been in steady decline. In 2009 a massive collapse of the Fraser River Sockeye catalyzed a federal inquiry (cohencommission.ca).  The people in affected communities are standing up to the industrial and political forces that have put duress on Wild Salmon Stocks and those that depend on them.  The First Nations in BC depend on this resource as a food supply and a critical element to their culture.  The breakdown of First Nations social systems weakens the ecological awareness in the most remote places and the resistance to aggressive industrial development (ie. Damming of Rivers, Open Net Fish Farms and Oil Pipelines)

In May 2010, 7,000 people, led by Biologist Dr. Alexandra Morton walked to the lawns of the BC’s Government buildings in the largest environmental rally in the province’s history in order to stand up for Wild Salmon and against the damaging practices of industrial fish farming in BC’s open waters.  However, even with that massive peoples movement, little change has been made.  Even against multi-million dollar ad campaigns, lawsuits against activists, the suppression of scientific research, co-opting of NGO’s by industry, the Wild Salmon Warriors see the truth of what is happening in their waters, they are resilient, passionate and continue with creative actions to highlight the issue and sustain the movement.

The INQUIRY Arts Exhibition and Action Forum is an artist response to showcase the tragic absurdity, create dialogue and to inspire action.  Whether you are passionate about Salmon or not, it is important to know what is happening within the systems that are meant to protect the people’s resources.  But more importantly, how everyday people of all cultures are responding through every creative means they can.  This two day art show will feature creative works from artists who submitted works in an open call out.  It will also include a day of workshops and presentations from those within the movement.

Co-curated by Gallery Gachet Collective Members Pierre Leichner and J Peachy.

Participating Artists include: Leanne Hodges, Carl Chaplin, Anissa Reid, Joanne Probyn, 10 yr old Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Gunargie O’Sullivan, Pierre Leichner, J Peachy, Naomi Steinberg, Eddie Gardner, David Campbell and others.

Activist Forum presentations by: Jeremy Williams, Michelle Nickerson, Ivan Doumenc, Don Staniford, Damien Gillis and others.

For more information on the show, please also go to www.gachet.org

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