Freedom: A Mixtape is a soulful artistic response to recent and historical violence on Black bodies, presented through a collection of original songs, stories, poems, anecdotes, spoken-word pieces, and musical instrumentation from folks living in Ontario's Niagara Region. A community conversation about our complicated relationship with emancipation and the human right to be free, Freedom: A Mixtape is a compilation album that is part protest and part celebration. It is history and the present moment all at once, a reminder that this moment is part of a larger, ongoing movement. Familiar pains are felt deeply in moments both bygone and bitingly present, setting the tone—and stage—for action.
Analog field recordings and soothing talk-radio energy give voice to the residue of intergenerational trauma, the depths of colonialism, resilience amidst oppressive conditions, and a clarion call that joy is a birthright for everyone. With emotional precision and softness, Freedom: A Mixtape offers a radical reminder that in our bleakest moments, we rise up through love of self and community.
About the authors
Marcel is a father, award-winning artist, and facilitator. He is Artistic Director of bcurrent Performing Arts and Director of Artistic Outreach for SpiderWebShow Performance. Together with Adrienne Wong and Michael Wheeler, he curates FOLDA, an annual festival of live digital art in Kingston, Ontario. For three years, Marcel was Outreach Director at Suitcase in Point, co-founding the Nest Artist Residency and Electric Innovations. As an artist, Marcel has worked with theatre companies nationwide and internationally. In his work, Marcel investigates telling stories that connect artists and audiences to a cultural and ancestral past while also imagining a future without borders or boundaries. Marcel is passionate about crafting narratives that focus on joy as a form of resistance against the prevailing colonial narratives that have shaped the Black Canadian experience. He uses digital technologies to expand this work’s reach, bringing collaborators in remotely and taking the work out to a wider public. He’s interested in finding non-traditional ways to build community through performances and storytelling that are interactive and welcoming.
Suitcase in Point is a multi-arts organization producing original satire and innovative events in St. Catharines, Ontario. Founded in 2001, Suitcase in Point is a courageous ensemble of artists and producers who engage and excite the Niagara community with original multi-arts performances and events, including In the Soil Arts Festival and Suitcase in Point’s comedy cabarets. Through original work and collaborative community projects, we provide audiences with unique perspectives on contemporary life and culture. Our approach and our work aim to challenge perspectives and encourage change, tolerance, and self-awareness with an aim to promote a healthier, more connected community. Suitcase in Point nurtures new generation artists through mentorship and residency programs, provides studio space for development and rehearsal, and creates meaningful connections between emerging and established artists from across Canada.