THREE-RIVERS — the opening of The exhibition of the students of the course of engravings II and silkscreen II at the Galerie r3 of the UQTR, which was held on Wednesday has taken on a particular meaning then that the organisers of the exhibition have the opportunity to show their solidarity with the teachers in a lock-out.
The inscription: “a LOCK-OUT in solidarity with the profs” has been applied in a conspicuous manner on each of the cartels accompanying the works of the 23 students who expose it. The speeches, when such openings were as significant as they have primarily focused on the support and that the various stakeholders have been invited to speak have been unanimous in condemning the gesture of the management of the university.
It should be noted that the initiative comes from the students and teachers present at the event were surprised to see this support seems to be very appreciated.
The students are, in some way, of the collateral victims of the conflict, as the exhibition is an opportunity for teachers to evaluate their work and that this evaluation cannot be done as long as the lock-out will continue.
Christine Ouellet is one of three coorganisatrices of the exhibition. “These are, she says, works on which we have worked throughout the duration of the session. Despite the situation and the fact that we will not be assessed as planned, it was decided to organize the exhibition in spite of everything. And, why not take advantage of the platform to show that we are in solidarity with our teachers and show our dissatisfaction in the face of the lock-out?”
“This discontent is peaceful but we decided to ask an action that looks like us, as students, artists, that is to say, to tamper with our cartels. It is sure that the lockout affects us, because it delays the whole process of assessment and graduation. If I can take myself as example, I have a research grant-first cycle, which is in abeyance until further order because it must be done in collaboration with a professor. It was scheduled to begin may 14, but in the present state of things, it will probably not go as planned.”
If the lock-out had occurred later and that the students were not impacted, as is currently the case, Christine Ouellet says that the support would have been the same. “It is sure that when we hand in the wringer one is more involved, but ultimately, even without any inconveniences, I can say that my personal position would have been the same. We are very close to our professors, and me, I would have offered my support anyway.”
The teachers have obviously loved this position and some of the members of the executive of the union were on the site for the opening. This is the case of France Joyal, vice-president, services to the community within the union of professors and faculty members of the UQTR. “It is an initiative for which we had not been consulted and we are absolutely delighted. It is great to have this support and this solidarity on the part of students. There have been spontaneous gatherings of students which have taken place on campus since the beginning of the lock-out and it is very much appreciated. Obviously, we cannot ask this kind of support but we welcome it with even more of a pleasure.”
Can this have any impact on the direction? “All actions and events have for the purpose of soliciting the awakening and the conscience of the individual, including the members of the management. For what is the use of mediation currently taking place in Quebec city, all I can say about it is that we are positive. We remain supportive and positive.”
For the coordinator of the Gallery a3 Lorraine Beaulieu, who is not a teacher at UQTR, she has expressed her support not only to the students but to the cause of teachers.
“It is a position taken by the gallery because I have accepted the position of students. I was very surprised by the lock-out which does not seem to me justified. When the students have talked about being in solidarity with the teachers, I found that it was very relevant and in addition, I believe that art is closely linked to the social, then it seemed to me, was completely consistent that it is either the vector to this position. Not being a teacher, I am entitled to my opinion as a professional working at UQTR, and I find it normal that students have a place to express their position.”
An exhibition of works by artists serbs scheduled for 21 June at the Galerie r3 may be cancelled if the lockout continues. For the activities of the gallery, they remain the same and the opening hours, from 10 am to 17 pm from Monday to Friday, shall continue to apply.