Participatory Sound and Video Installation

In 2012, as a part of the Conservative government’s aggressive limits on immigration, a mandatory English, or French language test became a crucial step in Canadian immigration policy. Bambitchell takes aim at this administrative afront in their installation Silent Citizen. Silent Citizen is a participatory sound and video installation that playfully makes use of the style of karaoke to engage the audience in Immigration Canada’s language test.

Laws and policies such as this one are not new, but provide a more bureaucratic face to the processes of racial and cultural exclusion that the Canadian nation-state has practiced since its inception. These laws value certain types of migrants, those that have language proficiency as well as the finances to pay for the tests, and reflect the haunting manner in which language continues to structure processes of citizen-making and colonization within Canada.

Premiered at the Images Festival, Toronto, Canada April 12, 2014
Technical and sound design by Heather Kirby
Text by Aditi Ohri for the installation at Articule Gallery in Montreal

Bambitchell would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of this exhibition

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