postcards for a better budget: reimagining the cut
[a participatory project]
Release of the Alberta government’s recent austerity budget has raised a lot of concern, anger and frustration among artists within Edmonton who are left wondering how to support one another and take action. Such times call for a re-centering of the role of the artist and a reminder of the myriad of the ways that artists contribute to shaping and facilitating community. I see the role of the artist as one who not only reflects the world back to us, but also helps us to imagine alternative ways forward—one who can help usher us into a world that is healthier, more caring and more just.
postcards for a better budget: reimagining the cut was originally made for Has the Community Been Fed, curated by Noor Bhangu at Latitude 53, December 11, 2019. The evening began with a screening of short videos made by contemporary artists whose works remind us that formal investigations can also contribute to the recognition and dismantling of unjust systems. Following the short screening, a new mail-art project was revealed, offering participants a chance to take part in the spreading of ideas as to how our province might look otherwise into the public sphere. Treats and desserts were served as we thought through these complex issues together in a space of comfort and care. Featured work by Christopher Harris and Lydia Moyer.
In January 2020, the project was remade into a sort of take home tool-kit for an exhibition at Latitude 53 (Edmonton): even the birds are walking, curated by Noor Bhangu. Complete with an instruction set, pages from Alberta's austerity budget, images to collage, blank postcards and postage, the project invited gallery visitors to work together at home and then send their messages for a better budget out across the province.