Systemic racism is present in all levels of our society and, as a cultural institution, La Centrale is also responsible for it.
In 2018, a crisis engendered by racism, oppression, discrimination and power dynamics shook La Centrale’s community. This crisis triggered an awareness of the gravity, complexity and depth that systemic racism and white supremacy culture have within our organization.
Since then, in collaboration with the equity-seeking committee, actions have been taken to prevent such situations from happening again and tools have been developed to handle them. However, we are aware that this is not enough and that the work that remains to be done to make La Centrale an inclusive and safer space must be done diligently and continuously.
As a non-hierarchical organization, we work within a model where all the persons involved directly or indirectly in La Centrale must feel respected and heard equally. In order to do this, we are committed to listening to the different realities within our community, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented. We must constantly reflect on and question our own practices and our mandate from a self-critical perspective. We are committed to educating ourselves so that the centre truly embodies its anti-racist, anti-oppressive and decolonial mandate and values in its structure, organizational practices and programming.
La Centrale would like to highlight the work that Indigenous, Black, POC, 2SLGBTQQIPAA+, disabled and neurodivergent people have brought to the Montreal artistic community and to La Centrale in particular. This work has greatly supported the centre and allowed it to evolve for many years. We recognize that we need to do a better job of supporting, raising and amplifying these voices. We thank the other organizations who have taken the necessary steps to help the community to deepen its reflections around inclusivity and oppression; specifically The Centre for community organizations (COCo) and articule for their Open letter to artist-run centres in Quebec: Moving Beyond Statements of Solidarity.
La Centrale’s team is developing an action plan to live up to its commitments and intersectional mandate, not only in terms of its programming, but also in its organizational structure. In the interests of transparency and accountability, La Centrale has created a graphic that describes the past, present and future actions that have been taken and will be taken by the organization to achieve them.
The team and Board of Administrators of La Centrale