Friday, Jan. 27th, 2017
We’re just days away from February which means Black History Month is soon approaching. But this past week was already in full swing with numerous projects and major events. From the musical jams in the North End to the march for women’s rights at Portage Place Shopping Centre, POC took center stage all across the city of Winnipeg. More importantly was that women of colour lead much of the movement this past weekend.
Alexa, Founder of Black Space (@blackspacewpg) along with many inspiring Manitoba women made Portage Avenue theirs on Saturday. The US inauguration of President Donald Trump was on Jan. 21st. This lead to the single largest protest in United States history with 2.9 million taking to the streets. Although, the demonstrations didn’t stop at the border. Winnipeg also participated with an estimated 3,000 attendees meeting at Portage Place Shopping Mall and marching down to Portage and Main intersection.
Speakers included, as mentioned, Alexa Potashnik, who kept it all the way real with calling out the initial lack of racial inclusion in the planning of the Women’s March – a march meant for all women in the city. Uzoma Chioma of QPOC Winnipeg (@qpocwinnipeg) also shared some of her thoughts on the recent US election and what this march means. She urged the crowd to not just show up for this march but actively reach out to marginalized groups and provide meaningful support ongoing.
Johise Namwira is a local activist and a representative of Equal Voice Manitoba who was selected to attend at this year’s #DaughterOfTheVote in Ottawa. She took to the stage with a powerful message making the whole crowd erupt into applause.
This January, we started working with Pajaro Dulce (@pajarodulce) and leaders from Winnipeg’s North End Cultural Resource Centre (NECRC). We were asked to document their work with four young musical talents in the north end of Winnipeg as they rehearse and record their songs. The first rehearsal was this past Monday with help from local established artists including Marisolle Negash (@itsmarisolle). To be in the studio space during that creative process was a special experience.
This past Thursday evening, Fool’s & Horses hosted a panel discussion on the work to create safer spaces in the music community. Uzoma and Alexa were both featured on the panel – Uzoma shared her knowledge from her own experiences in event organizing and Alexa with hers in activism and performing as an award-winning vocal percussionist.
There was far more to see than what we saw this week. There will be plenty more to see all of February. Details about events in Winnipeg for Black History Month can be found on:
Black History Month Winnipeg (@bhmwinnipeg)
QPOC Winnipeg (@qpocwinnipeg)
Black Space (@blackspacewpg)
Also, be sure to attend BLT Winnipeg: Black Leaders of Tomorrow on Thurs. Feb. 23rd. Tickets available soon.
Kelechi P. Asagwara
Visual Director, Co-Founder of ÉZÈ Studio