For the past twelve months an eclectic community of individuals have gathered with one goal in mind, to share and be creative in the most pure and universal form of action: creation. Through the dedicated participation of artists, djs, volunteers and the public at large the Beaux Degats Art Mash UP were born.
An incredibly motivated team of volunteer who came up with this crazy concept without thinking a second that it would be successful.
Beaux Degats exists for the simple reason of bringing back what has been too long forgotten or ignored by commercial and private art institutions. These battles bring us back to the reality of the artists and street artists which is that of community, accessibility, sharing and the acceptance that, by nature, everything which is created is ephemeral.
As long as this event stay grounded, open and true to the nature of creation it will last long! So we hope to see you on May 29th for a unbeleivable party at Foufounes Electriques.
To have a great idea is one thing but to put it all together is another. Sometimes it takes years to put that great idea all together and have everything fall into place. Filmmaker Idalina Leandro has certainly been aggressively persistent to put her brainchild “All She Wrote” together. The subject of female graffiti artists empowering themselves through this art is quite the topic but putting the pieces together for the silver screen is an art itself. FERNTV spoke with filmmaker Idalina Leandro to discuss about the writing that is on the wall…
FERNTV: Tell us here at FERNTV how you first started out in the film industry?
Idalina: I was always into acting and writing from a young age. I went to Etobicoke School of the arts and majored in drama in high school. I left Canada in 1998 to live in Europe and I was doing photography at the time. In 2003 I lived in Paris assisting fashion photographers and started to miss writing and I wanted to direct films. I found an English speaking acting class called film acting Paris run by Charles Weinstein and I started writing and acting again. I moved back to London in 2005 and studied at the Impulse Company with Scott Williams and I got an acting agent. I was tired of waiting for an audition so I started writing, directing and producing my own stuff and opened a company called Nightshade Productions. We focused on making thought provoking films that would raise awareness to social and political issues. In 2010, I left London and continued the company under ‘a film company’ keeping with the ethic. All She Wrote is the first film under the new company and also our first documentary.
FERNTV: Where did you get the inspiration to make this documentary All She Wrote?
Idalina: I have been photographing graffiti for years. It has always been a favourite subject. In 2002, when I was living in Portugal, I thought to myself ‘there must be women doing this’ so I became curious to know who they were. It was then that I had the idea to make a documentary about the women of graffiti. I wanted to know who the women were who were doing my favourite kind of art.
FERNTV: From your perspective what is the main difference between male and female graffiti artists?
Idalina: In regards to the art itself, I don’t see a difference. Women are ‘rocking’ walls just as good as or better than some guys out there. However, it can be quite dangerous for a woman to go out at night ‘bombing’ walls, especially if you are alone. Rush from India, for example, tells me that going by herself attracts the wrong kind of crowd and can be very scary. She recently did a graffiti protest about the tragic rape that happened in New Delhi and she had to bring a guy friend along. Any illegal walls will run that risk anywhere but even when women do legal walls, they are usually outnumbered.
FERNTV: What did you learn most about these female graffiti artists?
Idalina: The thing I learned the most about all these women is that all of them are fighters and survivors. They all have something to say and aren’t afraid to say it. They use graffiti as their voice. Together, they represent every woman who has ever struggled to achieve their goals and dreams, regardless if they enjoy the basic freedoms that every woman should have, but, unfortunately, many do not.
FERNTV: What was the most challenging aspect of this project?
Idalina: Actually getting the film off the ground; I had the idea to make this documentary in 2002 when I lived in Lisbon, Portugal for a while. The original idea was to make the film just of Portuguese female graffiti artists as the graffiti scene there is massive. Unfortunately, My job at the time took me to other places around the world so I never got the project off the ground. When I moved to Portugal again in 2011, I finally was able to get the wheels in motion on pre production. It was hard to get started and get the trust of some the people in the scene there. I was finally starting to gain the trust of these graffiti girls who didn’t want to do the film because they didn’t want to be recognized. The word had spread and I was getting graff girls from all over Portugal starting to contact me to be in the film. During filming I got pregnant so we had to stop production. I couldn’t run around jumping fences to film them ‘tagging’ trains and illegal walls anymore. I almost decided to quit the film all together but after my daughter was born in Toronto, I decided to restart the project and make it about women worldwide. I found great talented people to work with me including Heratics who are helping produce the film and everything just seemed to fall into place. My daughter’s birth actually helped me press on for what I believed in and not to give up my dream and what I wanted to achieve, which was to make this film.
FERNTV: A lot of people think that graffiti is a negative art form and of course its associations with it, how does this film make people look at graffiti in a more positive light?
Idalina: This film shows how passionate each woman is about their art and how they all use it to help others and their community. Toofly, for example, co-founded a program called younity which helps young female artists find their way through mentorship and exhibitions, Bomba is a youth counsellor and is involved in the native community in Toronto, Shamsia travels the world speaking about women’s rights and her paintings aim to try to change the image of women in her country, she is also a teacher at the university of Kabul, Rush did a graffiti protest against the horrible rape that happened a few months ago in the city of New Delhi, avdotya protests about the political regime in Russia, and Rafi is also an animal rights activis, Shiro is a nurse in Japan and Shalak also is involved with youth and community programs. There is more about each woman on afilmcompany.wordpress.com. Ultimately, I want my audience to feel inspired by each of these extraordinary women and to understand that female empowerment comes in many different forms. Around the globe, more and more women are turning to graffiti each year. Women who are nurses, mothers, students, mentors, wives, entrepreneurs, teachers and artists—they represent every woman out there struggling to have their voices heard.
FERNTV: Tell us a little bit about A Film Company?
Idalina: A film company was created in Portugal in 2010 by Idalina Leandro, the co-founder and artistic director of Nightshade Productions. After the departure of her partner Alexis Barker in 2009 from Nightshade, Idalina closed the company they had created together to start another venture that was a truer reflection of her individual determination and passion for film, art and music.
A film company aims to produce thought-provoking, quality films, support performing and visual artists and provide a platform for their work such as screenings, exhibits and street performances. In addition, a film company’s mandate involves raising awareness around social and political issues and creating programs that connect with the community. ‘An art project’ is a graffiti art youth program that will transform abandoned buildings into outdoor galleries throughout the province of Ontario. Commencing in late 2013, this program will provide young people with a venue to release their inner artist and help them learn skills that will empower them in the future.
FERNTV: When can we expect this documentary to be released and what festivals to be plan to submit this film to?
Idalina: We are currently looking for funding to finish the film and we have an indiegogo campaign that has just launched. Anyone who would like to contribute can go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/226365/x/1221810 . Support would be much appreciated and there are special perks for our contributors such as stickers, t shirts, spray cans, sweatshirts and even a graffiti canvas made by one of the artists of the film.
ASW will be released early 2014 and ready for the film festival season of that year. We will be submitting to all the major film festivals like TIFF, Cannes, Venice, Tribeca and Sundance and other documentary festivals like Hotdocs.
Oubliez les vernissages embourgeoisés, les attitudes, l’élitisme et les égos ! Beaux Dégâts est là pour ramener ce qui a été trop longtemps oublié par les institutions d’arts et ramener une réalité, celle de nos artistes de rue: l’importance de la communauté, le partage, l’accessibilité, l’inusité.
Des équipes d’artistes sous pression pendant près de 3heures pour improviser sur une thématique dans le but de produire la meilleure murale possible. Tandis que plus de 20 artistes se démènent pour leur création, le public joue quant à lui le rôle de juge ! Voyageant d’un univers esthétique à un autre les spectateurs élisent leur œuvre favorite grâce à leurs canettes de bière vides. Ainsi, l’équipe qui collecte le plus de cannettes de bière Pabst gagne le droit de peindre sur les œuvres des autres compétiteurs et devra défendre son titre lors de l’édition suivante!
Le prochain MASH UP, se tiendra le mercredi 24 Avril aux Foufounes Electriques SANS l’équipe vainqueur de IRON AXE ! On peut également vous annoncer un événement spécial pour le 10ème BDG qui se tiendra le 29 Mai !
Ok so my curiosity has been peeked in anticipation of Masta Ace’s upcoming show this Wednesday, March 27th at Foufs. So I caught up with Ace, Stricklin and Wordsworth about the industry, their Canadian tour, food and of course, Ace’s latest album, Son of Yvonne.
How long have you all been performing together?
Ace: “We’ve been performing together since 2001. I was promoting my album ‘Disposable Arts’ and decided to bring Strick, Words, and Punch on the road with me in Europe and we pretty much been rockin’ ever since.”
The album is a worthy tribute to the past and fabulously cohesive. Is it a safe assumption that this is has always been a project in waiting? Have these tracks been written over the years or was time dedicated to get them all out at once?
Words: “The album turned out so cohesive because we were used to each other having toured for so long together. We’re all pretty much like brothers, so the album process was a natural progression. And yes, we came together to write the songs over like a year’s time I believe.”
What are some of the major changes you love and hate about the industry?
Strick: “Well what I love about the industry today is social media and its effects. Nowadays, you are able to reach out easier to artists you admire and also it’s easier to connect with the people who like your music. That’s a plus! What I don’t love is the trendiness of some of today’s music. Everyone seems to be doing the same type of flow because its ‘trendy’! I like the originality of the music that came from earlier eras.”
In your opinion what are some industry misconceptions of new and up and coming artists? Where should their focus be?
Strick: “I feel because of social media and technology today, some of the newer artists are in too much of a rush. They think they deserve the ultimate success right away and that’s not how it works.”
Words: “Yeah I agree with Strick. The new artists today should be more focused on building a career organically. Because of Twitter and Facebook, the game is so fast right now. You put an album out and people are sick of it after only a month! So more time should be spent on slow cooking your career instead of giving people the fast food.”
Most Canadians would love to travel across this great country, how does it feel to make that journey and doing what you love?
Ace: “This is my 5th time touring Canada I believe and each time has been amazing! The country is beautiful from the small ski towns like Banff and Revelstoke to the bigger cities like Vancouver and Montreal. The people give a lot of energy, and Im always excited to be able to see all these things doing something I love. I’m blessed!
Have you been eating well? (very important you know…)
Strick: *laughs* “I’m gonna let Ace take this one!”
Ace: “Well, he’s laughing because I’m kinda like the health nut of the crew. I’m very aware of the things I eat so a lot of times healthy options aren’t available. Touring can be very brutal for healthy eating because you tend to eat late at times because of the travel. I sometimes have to break down and have fast food because thats the only way I can eat that day. I don’t think I ever want to see another Tim Horton’s in my life!” *laughs*
We love you here in Montreal, we can’t wait to see you all on March 27th, how will you be making your visit a pleasant one?
Words: “First off, thanks for the love! Umm, if I have time, I would like to go sneaker shopping. I always like to see what kicks are popular in foreign places.”
Strick: “Also wanna thank Montreal for the love and I would like to just chill and enjoy the city. Maybe walk around and sightsee and end it with a nice dinner.”
Ace: “I’m with Strick, see some sights and have a real nice dinner. Then put on a great show for a packed house! That would be the perfect day!”
Men who like to eat and shop are alright in my books.
There’s more…If you have yet to buy the album get on it and click here. Far from disappointing, the album includes features by the great Big Daddy Kane, the fabulous Pav Bundy, Reggie B, Milani the Artis and MF Doom. I mean honestly, can you ask for more than that?
Masta Ace and his camp will be performing live, March 27, at Les Foufounes Éléctriques, 87 Ste-Catherine East. $10 before 9pm/$15 after 9pm.
Here is the latest video of the experimental installation and work of Canadian Graffiti Writer and Street Artist GAWD that was executed in 2012 at the FRESH PAINT gallery in Montreal, Qc!
Gawd is an important part of Montréal’s street art community since the nineties. His signature use of lines and friendly, rounded spaces are reminiscent of early graffiti faces. He partook in New York art shows in early 2011 and continues to expose his work at different venues around the world.
Learn more about our featured artists and upcoming events at the Fresh Paint Gallery.
Support Under Pressure!
Every year volunteers give their time to make this event happen. Under Pressure is completely self-run and funded only through donations and fundraisers. Big thanks to Milk E. Fresh and Nation Ruckus for having our back and for the love!