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network 01/05/2017 - 04:00PM

LAL's Rosina Kazi on Institutional Violence

Rosina Kazi from LAL shared some thoughts with us about how LAL's song, ERASE ME, addresses the daily violence faced by Black, Indigenous and POC communities in Canada and dismantles the #ComfortableTruth* that racialized communities have no reason to fear the police or governmental institutions in this country. Check out her reflection and listen to ERASE ME below.

Biography: LAL is an intersection between idea, place, and people, where we stand for moment and discuss the kind of world we will create. The conversation eventually gives ways to dance, which, in turn, gives way to conversation, which again, makes room for dance. We will win. There’s no doubt. 


ERASE ME reflects the themes of Comfortable Truths because it is a song about the fact that many Black and Indigenous folks as well as People of Colour are constantly being watched and/or are in threat of physical and/or emotional violence, either via the police or other Institutions like Education and Health Institutions to name but two. It also looks at the day-to-day agressions faced by QTBIPOC and BIPOC communities. These are truths that although they are uncomfortable for those of us who are targeted, are very much comfortable for a white majority. And for many in communities of colour, we have grown accustomed to this sort of treatment so that in a sense we ourselves have become ‘comfortable’ - or rather we know what to expect, with regard to such treatment. Though things are shifting a great deal with movements like No One Is Illegal, BLM, Idle No More and support for Muslim communities facing harassment, we still have a ways to go in undoing the fear and threat that we may one day be ‘erased’, because much of Canadian history itself shows the erasure of our stories and experiences is commonplace.

You can listen to LAL's ERASE ME here and read the lyrics below. 


Erase Me

It’s that time of day where we go quietly
cause we know they’re on to us
you can take the train, get off walk away
decide to get off the bus
no matter where we’re going to
no matter what we’re going through
one day they’ll erase me
it’s that sense you get when you’re watched constantly
soon come when we’ll all get stopped
you can feel the waves of some dishonesty
that whispers ‘it’s serious’
no matter where we’re going to
no matter what we’re going through
one day they’ll erase me 


* #ComfortableTruths are mainstream attitudes and ideas about nationhood, belonging and identity that, despite not being true (such as "immigrants have it easy in Canada"), have become so engrained in the Canadian imaginary and mainstream culture that they become orthodoxy. As part of Cinema Politica's Nations & Migrations project, we reached out to activists and artists across the country and asked them to share their thoughts and reactions to these so-called truths.


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