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Deportation is a new musical project headed up by electronic – international – folk – soul – protest music band LAL (Rosina Kazi, Nicholas Murray, Ian de Souza, Santosh Naidu and Rakesh Tewari). It is multi-faceted art installation project based on the musical and social philosophy of LAL’s new upcoming album also titled Deportation. The artist residency at the MAI will incorporate live performances by LAL with works from Toronto-based multimedia artist Faisal Anwar, Montreal-based projectionist and filmmaker Jose Garcia, and Montreal-based DJ/producer/sound technician Kevin Moon (aka Moonstarr).

Deportation will integrate live music performance, sound experimentation, video and film projections as well as unconventional uses of consumer technologies (i.e. cell phones) to connect the ways in which technological change and its implementation is blurring the boundaries between both the private and public realms and between security and vulnerability. Its purpose is to create a material and social environment that will encourage participants to contribute to an ongoing discussion about a number of issues that we feel are becoming increasingly critical in the context of the current socio-political climate.

Deportation employs what LAL terms ‘Interference Art’ – using art to create dialogue around issues affecting various communities as a means to counter mainstream ideas on what is ‘best’ for us, the global community. It is a set of art practices employing popular education and combinations of different artistic mediums and technology to interfere against what corporate and those with privileged ideology would like us to believe. Interference Art is about deconstructing notions of left vs right wing and connecting the experiences of all to break down ideas of privilege and status. Interference Art is based on the Anti-Oppression Perspective that recognizes power imbalances in individuals and society, and works towards promoting change to redress the balance of power. This must be accomplished by a group of diverse artists who come from different art practices and communities, but it must also attempt to engage a diverse group of audience members (i.e. artists, activists, working class communities, newly migrated communities, academics, different religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, etc.). Discussion and /or audience participation is necessary.

As a group of artists from diverse backgrounds, including Bangladesh, Barbados, Uganda, Pakistan, India, and English & French Canada, LAL seeks to address the unsettling positions that we find ourselves in on a daily basis, to increase awareness regarding the concept of being under surveillance, to think about what it means to live in a culture of fear, and raise important questions about what we think of when we think of “terrorists”. Who do we fear, and why? Who do we trust and why? Who do we allow access to our personal lives? What is private and what is public? What is too personal to be made public and why? Who is ‘the public’, and what are you comfortable with ‘the public’ having access to? What is ‘freedom’? Who is watching us, and to what ends? Within the exploration of these questions, LAL aims to plant seeds of personal exploration regarding our own individual freedoms. Over the years, we have seen and continue to observe how these issues affect our daily lives, the lives our friends, families and communities, but also the lives of those we do not know. This project is their attempt to address many of these issues while including numerous histories, art forms and communities.

Check out Lal’s official website at www.lalforest.com