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Montreal
Phoebe Greenberg, CulturalEntrepreneur

Snapshots of a crisis
© Phoebe Greenberg

Moving forward, this crisis has shown that Canada must reconsider its position in relation to foreign policy. We must find a way to minimize our dependency on our neighbors to the south, and their radical presidency. In this regard, I believe this moment has exemplified the importance both that Canada be more self-sufficient, but also that we continue to forge bonds and a deeper strategic relationship with the rest of the world to ensure that we remain resilient. 

By Phoebe Greenberg

Phoebe Greenberg © Sean Mollitt During the process of adjusting to our current situation of confinement, I’ve begun to reflect on our community at large and how the PHI Centre and PHI Foundation could continue to provide accessibility to art. An image of an antenna came to mind as a beacon for transmitting and receiving communication. Presently, we can no longer allow our audience to experience art in either of our locations. As world leaders respond to the pandemic, our thoughts gravitate towards the relevance of art to restore our faith and hope, and to remain a cultural hallmark of democracy with a progressive understanding of the evolution of our values.

Through the lens of technology, my team at PHI and I began to reimagine ways we could continue to offer a creative exchange with artists using virtual platforms for ideation and reflection in response to our present challenges. These new territories of remote communication helped us to consider new infrastructures for creative practitioners to become more and more agile while in dialogue with an audience. This enhanced framework supports a global understanding of the future impact of our current circumstances.

The challenge of the global Covid-19 crisis has strengthened my dedication to creating a safe space for thought leaders in our industry to foster a dynamic exchange between artists and the public in a radically inclusive way.

By meditating on the future impact of our present circumstances, I am concerned with the long-term consequences of social distancing and borders shutting down. Uncertainty and fear ignite hatred and intolerance. Without prompt collective action, I am anxious for those who suffer in isolation and poverty.
 
Even as technology matures with an accelerated proliferation of virtual spaces in our daily lives, I question our collective bandwidth to continue to foster global dialogue. We risk stagnation within our own social preoccupations

  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
  • Snapshots of a crisis © Phoebe Greenberg
I’m thankful for Canada’s response to the COVID19 pandemic. As a country, we’ve listened to our physicians and scientists, we’ve deferred to their knowledge and conducted ourselves accordingly. In addition, our decentralized Federation acted swiftly and collaboratively to coordinate an aid package, including wage subsidies, to get money directly into the hands of Canadians who were affected. Our government was quick to set global travel restrictions and limit all non-essential travel between the US and Canadian border. The daily news conferences from both our premieres and our prime minister has kept us informed and reminded us that not only are we in this together, they also have our back. 
 
Moving forward, this crisis has shown that Canada must reconsider its position in relation to foreign policy. We must find a way to minimize our dependency on our neighbors to the south, and their radical presidency. In this regard, I believe this moment has exemplified the importance both that Canada be more self-sufficient, but also that we continue to forge bonds and a deeper strategic relationship with the rest of the world to ensure that we remain resilient. 

The beacon of hope that I have is that PHI continues to be a catalyst for rigorous dialogue, where borders dissolve and our contemporary cultural landscape transitions to reach and inspire our communities. As our planet begins to heal, my hope is that we continue to address the depletion of our natural resources and climate change. We must continue to address the systemic inequities fuelling displacement, exclusion, and segregation. As I listen to the next generation of artists–who are telling the stories of this present time, and challenging where art and the influence of technology have the potential to shift the social and cultural dialogue–I am deeply moved and optimistic. I believe in letting this next generation lead. In strengthening their opportunity for artistic examination and dialogue, we will cultivate new pathways for audiences to experience whatever form these new investigations yield.

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