Street-Involved Youth in Quebec City Proudly Cross the Fourth Wall
In theater, the “fourth wall” is an imaginary screen, which separates the performer from the spectator. By extension, this impalpable wall covers the socially excluded, often making them invisible to the social eye.
The “4th Wall” is a way to open the doors of major cultural institutions to young artists from marginalized backgrounds, allowing the public to discover raw talent and break down the walls of exclusion by establishing dialogue and seeking peaceful, community-driven solutions.
For this reason, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation created the “4th Wall: Make the Invisible Visible” initiative, which has invited museums and art galleries across the country to participate and collaborate in advancing more inclusive and healthier communities for marginalized young Canadians.
The Foundation, which provides support to youth initiatives using the arts to transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities in Canada, and the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City, have joined forces with the Maison Dauphine, which offers street-involved youth aged 12 to 29 the opportunity to rebuild their lives and gain acceptance, as well as Laval University’s School of Architecture, to present the “4th Wall: J’habite la ville” exhibition.
To do this, “4th Wall” offers street-involved youth in Quebec City ways to express artistically their condition and needs, through artwork they have been preparing since January 2016. The culmination of their work will be an exhibition unveiled in September 2016 at the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City. It will serve to kick-off a public forum on the situation of street-involved youth in the city. Currently, the budding artists are meeting on a weekly basis to review progress on their projects, with the logistical support of future architects from Laval University, who enthusiastically joined in to share their knowledge. Watch young artist Samuel Tremblay speak about his work (in French):
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the Co-Chairs of the Foundation, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and Jean-Daniel Lafond, met with the young people involved in the project, with whom they shared two hours of exciting exchanges. Madam Jean was particularly impressed by the solidarity and trust that has developed among the young participants. Mr. Lafond, who had followed the project since its inception, over a year-ago now, clearly appreciated the detailed presentations on the project process as well as the artwork under creation. Those in attendance at the Musée de la Civilisation of Quebec City that day included:
- Michaëlle Jean, Jean-Daniel Lafond, Alice Mutezintare from the Michaëlle Jean Foundation;
- Martin Leblanc and Josée Laurence from the Musée de la Civilization of Quebec City;
- Jacques Carrier as well as the young artists Alexandrine, Roxanne, Jason and Samuel, from the Maison Dauphine; and
- GianPiero Moretti, Director of Laval University’s School of Architecture, and Anne Boisvert, Operations Coordinator, of Laval University’s School of Architecture.
That very evening at 7 pm, at the Museum, following the meeting, Jean-Daniel Lafond’s film “Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose” was screened for the first time in Quebec City.
Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose by Jean Daniel Lafond.