A note from ve-Lyne Cayouette Ashby

Montreal Life Stories project coordinator and curator of the We Are Here exhibition

Eve-Lyne Cayouette Ashby

The We Are Here exhibit, just as the project that it showcases, is the product of a process of coordination and co-creation.

As the curator, I worked in collaboration with designer Jorge Garcia, museologist Marie- Hlne Sauv and filmmaker Paul Tom. Each of them has made a huge contribution. Together, along with the valuable help of the rest of the team, we chose the angle of approach, identified the main subject areas, envisioned the process, selected the interview excerpts, and thought out the design. From beginning to end we sought the same objective: to create a unique visiting experience that will bring the visitor to view the world differently, to feel concerned, and perhaps to take concrete action towards a better world. In short, a very idealistic ambition, but one rooted in the hundreds of individual experiences that have deeply marked and inspired us.

To put a face on history with a capital H. To understand that todays Montreal is inhabited by people of diverse origins, with stories whose roots extend throughout the globe. To understand that each persons story is that of all of us.

Montreal Life Stories was more than a research project. For many of us, it has been a pivotal moment, a transforming experience. The challenge was considerable: how to put into the form of an exhibition the immensely rich, complex and diverse human adventure, involving more than 800 people, including members of the research team, interviewees and various collaborators? How to showcase all the subtlety that we discovered and that enriched our thought processes and our own lives, over all of these years? How to allow the visitors to experience part of this adventure, to go beyond clichs and preconceptions?

So, it is with immense pleasure that I invite you to visit this exhibition: Come aboard this flight whose destination is a little known Montreal and open wide your ears and your hearts!