Friday, December 14, 2007

Kader: Guerilla Art Show at Montreal IRB Offices

704: Still here/ Toujours là - An exhibition of photographs of Abdelkader

--> Photo essay of the guerrilla vernissage:

A delegation of 30 friends and supporters of Abdelkader Belaouni set up a photo vernissage - with human easels - in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offices on December 5th.

The exhibit, which portrays Mr. Belaouni's 704 days in sanctuary, will move to his neighborhood of Pointe St-Charles today. 704: Still here/Toujours là will be displayed for the coming month in the offices of the Community Legal Services of Pointe St-Charles and Little Burgundy, 2533
Centre St. # 101 (Charlevoix metro). They can be visited Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4:30pm. The photos can also be viewed on line at

Since 1 January 2006, Abdelkader Belaouni, has been confined to St Gabriel's church in Pointe St.-Charles, Montreal. Under threat of deportation, he is unable to leave church property. Mr. Belaouni was refused by an IRB Commissioner, Laurier Thibault, who refused 99% of the cases
before him in a two-year period.

Through 704: Still here/ Toujours là, Montreal-based photographer Tatiana Gomez offers an intimate portrait of Kader, his life in sanctuary and his struggle to keep hope and dignity alive.

"By forcing him to seek sanctuary, to be imprisoned within the church, the government has tried to make Kader's life invisible", said Gomez, "We are here today to break that invisibility, bringing him here through these portraits and testifying to the day-to-day realities of his life in sanctuary and the growing support for his struggle to live with dignity and status in Canada."

Rick Goldman, of the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI) also spoke at the vernissage.

At the end of the event, a marching band led the procession of human easels through the city's underground, from Complexe Guy Favreau to Place-des-Arts metro, while hundreds of on-lookers enjoyed the unexpected photo exhibit and musical performance.

January 1, 2008 will be the 2 year mark since Abdelkader (Kader) Belaouni took sanctuary in St. Gabriel's Church. Kader continues to demand an immediate regularization of his status so that he can leave the church without the risk of arrest and deportation, and continue his life here, in Canada.

Under the banner ""TWO YEARS TOO MANY!", Status for Kader NOW!", we invite you to join us at two important events :

* Friday, 18 January 2008: International Day of Action with Montreal march
in support of status for Kader
* Saturday, 26 January 2008: Community dinner and Cultural event at St.
Gabriel's Church