Segal Centre’s Global Interdependence Day
By P.A. Sévigny
Last Monday evening, the Segal Centre broke more new ground under its dynamic director Manon Gauthier, when it held the city’s first participation in the now nine-year-old Global Interdependence Day celebrations. As a direct result of the 10- year-old terrorist attacks upon New York’s World
Trade Center, the worldwide project has a mandate to encourage solidarity and recognize the importance of working together to solve common problems.
“We’re thrilled to bring Montreal’s major arts and cultural organizations onto the world stage as part of this important movement,” said Gauthier, Chief Executive Officer of the Segal Centre. “This is an excellent opportunity for our city to come together in recognition of the role we all share in building a better world.”
Following arts executive Patricia Rimok’s brief introduction, Montreal’s well-known Lynda Thalie described how her career as a singer-songwriter has taken her all over the Middle East where her ballads about the importance of truth, justice and equal rights for woman struck a nerve among conservative Muslim audiences. Following Montreal producer and photographer Amanda Tétrault’s brief description of her Living Together project, theatre producer Angèle Séguin charmed her audience when she described how her Cueillette des Mots managed to break the ice among traumatized people living in refugee camps located in both Africa and Haiti.
“They were stunned,” she said. “They never believed anybody would ever listen to them and their stories of what happened to them.”
As the lead researcher for Montreal’s Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Kyle Mathews tried to lead the conversation back to the events of 9/11 when he told his audience how governments no longer own the monopoly on fear. As for the use of art for peace, Mathews said it’s usually created “after the fact” as demonstrated in Israel, Cyprus and in Northern Ireland. After discussing several examples of initiatives in which education encouraged tolerance and mutual cooperation, Mathews also agreed there was always a time when people of good will sometimes had to stand up and fight against a tyrant, whoever they may be.