Forbidden to Swim

© C. Monnet, 2017

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© C. Monnet, 2017

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Forbidden to Swim

Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 6pm
Parc « sans nom » (at the corner of Clark and de l'Arcade)

April – November 2017

in partnership with LA SERRE – arts vivants, as part of POSSIBLES, a project featured in the Celebration of Montreal's 375th Anniversary official programming.


The installation Forbidden to Swim puts on stage the situation of poor water quality in Canadian Indigenous communities. In a country as industrialized and developed as ours, more than 150 First Nations communities still don’t have access to drinking water, which is essentially a violation of human rights.

Installed in a public space, the installation Forbidden to Swim consists of stacked blocks of ice in which clothes are embedded and gradually appear as the ice melts under a set of lights used in cinema. Using video, sculpture and sound, the artist moves away from a conventional approach in the media in order to comment on the severe lack of constructive actions being taken to improve the health of First Nations people and therefore encourage voicing of opinions.

Forbidden to Swim critiques the extent of colonial power over the reality of Indigenous communities. For the duration of the event, bottled water will be sold at the current price offered in these communities, which is double or triple the price found in cities. The proceeds will go to an organization that fights for safe drinking water.

Caroline Monnet - Forbidden to Swim
Installation presented on November 16, 2017 in partnership with La SERRE – arts vivants, as part of POSSIBLES, a project featured in the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary official programming.
Director, camera operator, editor : Mélanie O’Bomsawin
As part of OBORO’s 2017 programming : One year dedicated to Indigenous artists and thinkers. 
Thanks to Hexagram and la Fondation Betty Averbach
OBORO acknowledges that Tiohtià:ke, where its activities take place, is unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory.

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Caroline Monnet

Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, currently based in Montreal. She studied in both Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and films. Monnet is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus and TIFF Talent Lab 2016. Her films have been shown at numerous festivals around the world, including TIFF, Sundance, and Les Rencontres internationales.