Printemps 2015

The faces of April 2: profiles from Quebec's anti-austerity movement

A dozen protesters explain why they're in the streets and what their hopes are
Screen capture

Robert van Waarden is a celebrated photojournalist, whose work has been exhibited around the world, and whose photos often grace the pages of magazines like National Geographic Traveler and Canadian Geographic. A climate photographer by vocation, in 2014 he secured funding to travel the route of the proposed Energy East pipeline, taking portraits and collecting the stories of the people living Along the Pipeline.

On April 2, an estimated 75,000 people, many of them students, hit the streets of Montreal to denounce the provincial government's austerity agenda. Using an experimental and original storytelling device, Robert took to the streets with them to ask two questions: why are you here, and what are your dreams?

The dozen subjects of this film answer that question off-camera, their voices laid like narration over a living portrait of themselves standing silently in front of a backdrop. It's beautiful, and a little bit haunting and unlike anything we've ever seen before.

We believe in producing innovative and original content that responds to a gap in mainstream coverage of what's happening in Quebec and why it's happening. We're proud to call this a Ricochet exclusive.

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