The members of the Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre condemn the recent murders of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many more Black people across Canada, the USA, and many other countries.
We affirm that Black Lives Matter and stand in solidarity with those presently protesting and resisting structural Black racism across the globe. We cannot treat recent events as isolated incidents or ones that are limited to the United States — Canada has a long history of systemic racism that persists to this day and which cannot be separated from its settler colonialism. In Canada, systemic racism disproportionately affects Indigenous and Black people, showing its face in violent police interventions and the criminal justice system. Thus, we further condemn the recent murder of Chantel Moore and so many more Indigenous people across Canada. Both Québec and Ontario’s premiers’ recent denials of systemic racism stand as examples of a damaging myth that obstructs the struggle against racism. Racism and systemic oppression of all kinds must be combatted, and law enforcement must be held accountable for its key role in perpetuating structures of racist oppression: justice must be served.
As a diverse community of scholars and students, we believe that academia should be a place that promotes the sharing of knowledge for all. Yet people of colour, especially Black folks, continue to be subject to systemic harm, workplace discrimination, micro-aggressions, harassment, and violence. We stand together with the most vulnerable members of our community, while recognizing that efforts toward inclusivity and solidarity must be ongoing. We are aware, as game scholars, that the forces of systemic oppression are present also within the University itself and within the industries that we study, and that efforts must move beyond just statements and words. As educators we have the responsibility to do more to support our students of colour, celebrate and amplify the work of Black scholars and creators, and provide opportunities and financial support for prospective Black students and game designers in residence. The TAG board will meet later this month to discuss ways in which these aspirations can be implemented in the coming academic year.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community; we recognize, and are committed to continuously addressing gaps in our own knowledge regarding privilege and oppression wherever they’re found.
As immediate actions, TAG faculty and staff have provided funds in the name of TAG for the La Ligue des noirs du Québec, Black Legal Action Center and the Black Health Alliance. We encourage everyone to educate themselves about Black history, amplify Black voices and support the Black Lives Matter movement in whatever way you can. Here is a starting point with information by https://blacklivesmattercanada.carrd.co/ as well as a list of Black initiatives and organizations in Montréal that you can support.
The faculty, staff, and students of the
Technoculture, Art, and Games Research Centre