SLPH: How did you get the idea of inviting DJ Ipek to Montreal and hosting a discussion with local DJs?
KM: Last year, I became aware of reports about violent events in Montreal’s alternative music scene, and how this provoked discussions around safety in local DIY and queer community spaces. Berlin-based DJ Ipek is quite known for her eclectic sets, and she also played at the opening of the Goethe-Institute’s new location on St-Laurent Boulevard, in 2012, which was a very popular event. She also has a practice as a curator, works closely with the LGBTQ community in Berlin and is actively involved in an initiative called “Schools without Racism –Schools with Courage”. Based on Ipek’s experience, we hope to create a valuable exchange with people in Montreal with regards to the current state of music and concert spaces, and how to make them more accessible, safer and sustainable.
SLPH: What is the Goethe-Institut Montreal hoping to bring or contribute by presenting this event?
KM: The Goethe-Institut organizes a broad spectrum of events that promote encounters and exchanges between artists, academics and cultural workers from Germany and Canada. The roundtable at Never Apart will be preceded by a DJ workshop at Studio XX, a feminist artist-run-centre. Ipek has a lot of experience facilitating inclusive workshops that are particularly targeted towards beginners, women or young girls, and she is looking forward to sharing her skills here in Montreal. With this series of events, we also aim to highlight issues of representation of women and people from the LGBTQ communities, and bring an international perspective to current discussions.
SLPH: Why did you approach Corina and Devon in this context?
KM: I knew Corina from previous projects with Studio XX, and their online publication .dpi. Like Ipek, Corina is a member of female:pressure, an international network of female artists in the fields of electronic music and digital arts. I contacted her to find out if she would be interested in collaborating and developing a program together. Not only did she agree but also invited Devon, who is very active in this field too.
SLPH: Corina, what do you find important to address with the presentation of DJ Ipek in Montreal? How did these inform your curatorial choices for this event? Why is this event relevant today in Montreal?
CM: Initially, I was approached to help organize this event as a member of female:pressure, an international network that aims to increase the visibility and representation of female-identified and non-binary artists in electronic music and digital art. This question of representation is tied to broader structural issues that exist within music scenes, such as intersectionality, safety, and gentrification. These are things in which I have a personal interest as a longtime participant in Montreal nightlife, as a DJ and performer, party-goer, radio host and organizer. Much of what we love about this city is so precarious, the Ghost Ship fire last fall and its aftermath are a terrible reminder of this.
I think DJ Ipek’s performance in Montreal gives us an opportunity to learn about her experiences of hybrid identity as an artist and organizer in Berlin and Istanbul, and to discuss and reflect on identities and communities in light of structural issues and the precarious environment in which so much underground culture happens. The participants of the roundtable have worked for sustainable music communities and spaces, and for change in representation and access, and I hope that this discussion can be a chance to share strategies of opposition and survival.
SLPH: What is your background, practice, experience and current interests?
CM: I’ve been involved in the electronic music world of Montreal for some 15 years, in many roles. Since 2004, I’ve been hosting modular systems on CKUT. In the mid-2000s, I co-founded a local DJ crew and monthly party with Jasmine Courneya and Camille Altay called Women on Wax MTL, which ran for a few years. More recently, I’ve been focusing on producing and performing techno and house as CMD. Outside my life in music, I work with the archive+design collective MAT3RIAL, and I’m a PhD student at Concordia in Communication Studies.
Entitled “The Life of the Night: Building and Sustaining Diverse Communities and Safer Spaces”, the two-part event will take place on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at Never Apart. Doors open at 5pm; the performance starts at 5:30pm and the roundtable discussion, at 6:30pm, followed by a reception.
Discussion topics might include: What is safety? What is sustainability? What is the relationship between ethics and nightlife? Between night and life? What do we want to celebrate?
We hope to see numerous nightlife agents come out and take part in this discussion!
More about the participants: