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Radical arts, radical memory

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, Stefan Christoff talks about the work with multiple cultural and artistic forms by the Howl! Arts Collective in Montreal as part of broader movements for radical social change.

We want, without question, for our movements to win stuff -- with so much harm and violence organized into so many people's experiences, we absolutely need concrete victories, big and small, that make lives more liveable. Yet with the compulsion of such necessity, it can be easy to fall into a narrow, deadening idea of what movements and communities-in-struggle are and what they have to be. It is easy to forget that movement are also -- inevitably and always -- about knowing, feeling, making meaning, remembering, communicating. And that is always so because because it is just how groups of human beings work. It is precisely those kinds of seemingly effemeral practices that are so important in turning a mass of individuals into a socially meaningful collective, from the scale of the tiniest affinity group to the larger social world that we're trying to intervene in and change.

Stefan Christoff is a member of the Howl! Arts Collective in Montreal. They are firm believers that culture and arts and creativity and creation are always integral to movements. To demonstrate that, not only do they point to pretty much every movement of the past that has had any lasting impact, but they also point out that -- particularly given the scorn and dismissal that movements so often face from mainstream meaning-makers -- that such work is really the only way that movements can know and be known by the world; can remember and help build histories of struggle; can allow us to truly feel, deep in our bones, what it means to dream of and to deserve something better. Christoff talks with me about the collective, and about radical arts, movements, and memory.

To learn more about the work of the Howl! Arts Collective, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit the recently revamped website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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