Massimadi foundation branches out with their new initiation Massimadi en rue

The first edition of the outdoor installation promoted Black LGBTQ+ representation in the arts

The Massimadi foundation is normally known for its Black LGBTQ+ film festival hosted during Black History Month in February, but this past week, the foundation held their first edition of Massimadi en rue, a street installation which invited passerby to enjoy performances from their artists.

The installation took place at the Daisy Peterson Sweeney park from Sept. 11 to Sept. 18 where different performances such as spoken word, dance, drag, film screenings and more were all showcased by Black LGBTQ+ artists. 

“By taking possession of a public space [...] it allows us to connect more people who are just walking by,” said President of the Massimadi foundation, Laurent Maurice Lafontant.

Lafontant explained the installation communicates a message of belonging to those who may feel like they are not seen.

“They have the right to exist, to be here, and take up space as Black people who belong to the LGTBQ+ community,” he said.

To add to the outdoor artistic performances that were showcased, Massimadi incorporated interactive games, murals and several small cabins where Montrealers could watch the film screenings. Designed by artist Kezna Dalz, the cabins on their own showcase Dalz’s artistic expression. 

“We use art to connect with others, for people to understand us, to create community, to fight against homophobia and racism,” said Lafontant. “Massimadi is so that Black LGBTQ+ people can have a model, so they can see themselves on the screen, in literature and in the arts. When we exist in art and in culture, our identities are validated.”


Read more: Massimadi Festival’s 13th edition is underway showcasing Black and queer artists