Casseroles – We are starting to remember

Inspired by Jeremie Battaglia’s gorgeous black and white film on the Casseroles uprising in Quebec, I shot this solidarity march in Vancouver with a pots and pans revolt of our own.

My experience of the march, and I hope what it conveys above, is simple joy. And most of all wonder. This mirrors the reports from Quebec, as shared in the sincere by scathing post “An Open Letter to English Media“:

If you do not live here, I wish I could properly convey to you what it feels like. It is magic. It starts quietly, a suggestion here and there, and it builds. Everybody on the street begins to smile. I get there, and we all—young and old, children and students and couples and retirees and workers and weird misfits and dogs and, well, neighbours—we all grin the widest grins you have ever seen while dancing around and making as much noise as possible. We are almost ecstatic with the joy of letting loose like this, of voicing our resistance to a government that seeks to silence us, and of being together like this.

There is a beauty that emerges when we learn and inspire each other, just as Quebec has done for the rest of Canada; when we speak to each other instead of through governments or the mainstream media. Here in Vancouver, we discovered what it means to make music together in the streets, in the rain, and you can see it on our faces.

Ethan Cox, also writing on the revolution, speaks clearly that this movement is about much more than tuition:

As this movement goes on, and grows by leaps and bounds, it is increasingly clear that it is not a movement of anger, of rage or of hate. It is a movement of love, of community and of hope. People who would be alone in their houses watching TV take to the streets and march with neighbors they never knew they had. Back when we had real communities, they were driven by the coming together of neighbors each night. Instead of watching TV, we met in the street, we exchanged details of our day and we made plans for our future. Just as the “casseroles” cause us to do now.

Perhaps the most lasting effect of this movement will be to build stronger, more connected communities. Every day that it goes on, more of us meet in the street, build relationships and talk about what kind of a society we want.

For me, there is a clear relationship between the Quebec Spring, the Occupy Movements, and all the social uprisings around the globe. They arise from the same source – the deep knowing that we have lost our way. We have forgotten how to live. And most importantly, we are starting to remember.

(crossposted on

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