Veronica Mockler

Les Interprètes

A series of voicings and media performances by 16 teenagers newly arrived to Québec.

I did a six-week residency in a Montreal high school in April 2018. During my time there, I created a series of performances with 16 teenagers who had just recently arrived in Montreal, QC, Canada. As new immigrants to Quebec, these teens were learning French in a 'welcome class' which meant they were together all the time, and their class size was smaller (16 students instead of 30). Together, we explored what it means to express oneself as a teenager and the control one has over self-representation at that age. The students and I listened to one another as we investigated different performative exercises and constructs (such as headphone verbatim, voicings, speculations, interviewing, manifestos, declarations, silence, retraction, and more). In Les Interprètes, the aim was to make the audience aware of the actual thoughts and discourses of young people who have immigrated. I was looking at ways to ensure that my collaboration with the group, and its public representation, were co-authored with them, which went against documentary tendencies that gratuitously victimize and exploit the narratives of individuals who have undergone migration. I see Les Interprètes as an experimental moment in which I tried to give the students a bit of control over their own media representation.

Les Interprètes (which consists of both video-performance made back in April 2018, and live public addresses by the students) premiered in Maison de la Culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal in April 2019. Previously, parts of the video series were showed in Cinéma Sous les Étoiles in the summer of 2018 at Parc Pélican and Parc Sainte-Cunégonde. Les Interprètes (video and live performance) was also featured in ATSA's Festival at Place-des-Arts in May 2019.

The artist would like to thank the Centre Turbine, the Fonds dédiés aux écoles publiques provided by the city of Montreal's Plateau-Mont-Royal Arrondissement, Jeanne-Mance High School, the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, the ATSA and the Cinéma Sous les Étoiles de Funambules Média.

Photo credit of documentation in Parc Pélican: Aja Palmer; of documentation in Maison de la Culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal: Dominic Morissette

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