A different look at your world

Who are we ?

By Colin McGregor, Editor.

Two decades ago, the district of Hochelaga-Maissoneuve, a once mighty industrial hub in East End Montreal was in the midst of the same decline that Detroit, Manchester, Pittsburgh and other Western World centres were suffering.

Abandoned buildings became havens for young squatters from across Quebec and Canada. In the wake of these young aimless migrants, the same horsemen of the Apocalypse are always sure to follow: Crime, poverty, addiction and homelessness.

Brimming with energy and creativity, these youth looked for outlets for their talents and their rage. Graffiti murals soon covered brick walls and temporary wooden fencing. Drug dealers, pimps, gang leaders all saw their opportunity when government services did not immediately move in to provide support. Kind-hearted, decent adults tried to make a difference.

Seeing how art, music and dance could provide outlets, one of these do-gooders, Raymond Viger, set up the Café Graffiti, his famous youth drop-in centre and arts studio. He began publishing the Journal de la Rue/Newspaper of the Streets, which became Reflet de société in French and Social Eyes in English. This Special Issue, published under the revived title Social Eyes, traces the rise of a whole movement in East End Montreal.

People all over the French-speaking world know. They visit Café Graffiti live and via the web; they listen to the CDs and read the publications. They apply the lessons learned here to similar situations in other cities and towns with similar needs.

Now, the vast English-speaking world can see what’s going on here, and adapt and adopt the arts-directed, positive Café Graffiti approach to your part of the world. In turn, we’ll accept your suggestions and submissions. This is your voice too. Art is a living, breathing means of expression, a two-way street.

Folks in France are especially entranced by the Café Graffiti approach – in that Old European country one needs a specific certificate for everything, it seems. The multitasking approach practiced in Quebec by Viger and his team is fresh and dynamic. They innovate and operate in society’s darkest reaches – alleyways, crack houses, even prisons.

And that is where I was found, in a jail, via Jean-Pierre Bellemare, another inmate/writer who has won awards as one of Quebec’s magazine journalists of the year. A former newspaper journalist and editor, I have been able to practice my pre-arrest craft to the benefit of hundreds of thousands of French speakers. The Café Graffiti goes wherever there is need. And like Raymond, I can use my hell to benefit others who might be going down that dark road themselves.

Reflet de société has a readership of over one half million, in print and on the web. Social Eyes published in English for a time in the 90s, then was heard no more. Raymond’s plan is to relaunch it in English, with my assistance. As I find myself gradually released back into society, I will help more and more. Able to correct my karma, one word, one hand, at a time – honored to be a part of it. Read on, and be a part of it too.


Bistro

Love in 3D

Hats

Dvd Gambling

Alcohol addiction  

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/110-dependence/alcohol-addiction

Anorexia

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/116-anorexia

Breakdancing 

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/108-hip-hop/breakdancing

Bullying

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/130-bullying

Codependency  

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/109-dependence/codependency

Community

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/118-community

Criminality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/119-criminality

Culture

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/106-culture

Cyberaddiction

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/120-cyberaddiction

Dependence

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/105-dependence    

Drop out

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/121-dropout

Drug addiction

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/142-drug-addiction

Economy

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/122-economy

Education

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/123-education

Environment

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/124-environment

Family

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/125-family

Gambling

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/111-dependence/gambling

Graffiti

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/107-hip-hop/graffiti

Health

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/137-health

History

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/143-history

Homosexuality

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/127-homosexuality

Hypersexualization

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/128-hypersexualization

Internet

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/129-internet

Justice

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/131-justice

Media and Books

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/132-media-and-books

Mental Health

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/138-mental-health

Native

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/322-native

Politics

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/134-politics

Prisoners Chronicles

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/117-prisoner-s-chronicle

Prostitution

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/135-prostitution

Rap

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/115-hip-hop/rap

Religion and spirituality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/136-religion-and-spirituality

Sexuality

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/139-sexuality

Society

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/140-society

STD-Aids   

       http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/133-std-aids

Street Gangs

      http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/126-street-gangs

Suicide **   http://thesocialeyes.ca/index.php/141-suicide