New Demands?
New Demands?
Performance, Montreal
Photo: Jessica Hébert

This iteration of New Demands? was a 40-hour performance that took place over five days. It commemorated the April 1937 Dressmakers Strikes [La grève des midinettes], when over 5,000 mostly Jewish and immigrant women garment went on strike for the right to unionize, better pay, and a 40-hour work week — rights the workers subsequently won.

In commemoration of the 40 hour work week, I walked from 9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday, between two key sites: a factory building where the 1937 Strikes took place, and the former headquarters of the Montreal chapter of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) that represented the strikers. These two sites are 1.5 miles apart, and the performance involved walking approximately 12 miles each day.

In addition to commemorating the historical strike of 1937, the performance also sought to foster dialog with members of the public about labor issues and workers' rights. Many people stopped to talk to me — none had heard of the Dressmakers' Strike.

Performed in collaboration with Articule Gallery