Taking the metro puts its users in contact with each other, leading to a real collective performance. If public transit meets an individual need (traveling from a point of origin to a destination), the journey itself is a social experience, which is particularly noticeable at peak times, in extreme density. Customers with a variety of socio-economic profiles are thus led, day after day, to negotiate the modalities of their journey, with strangers sharing a wagon, a wharf or a corridor. In this context, the need to take the metro can become a source of frustrations, or even conflicts, as the proximity can be an irritant.
How do we react to the presence of others in this context? Is it possible to improve our public transit experience? What can artists' eyes reveal about what is at stake in this collective performance?
Five panellists are invited to exchange on these issues as part of a discussion moderated by Laurent Vernet (CIRM; Bureau d'art public, Ville de Montréal) :
- Gwenaël Bélanger (artist ; teacher, École des arts visuels et médiatiques, UQAM)
- Annick Germain (teacher, Institut national de la recherche scientifique – Centre Urbanisation Culture Société ; Co-Deputy Director of the "Immigration, living conditions, and religion" axis, CIRM)
- Catherine Lalonde (dance critic and performer; poet; journalist at Le Devoir)
- Alice Michaud-Lapointe (writer)
- Philippe Schnobb (President, Société de transport de Montréal)
The event, opened to the public, will take place at Station F-MR on September 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.