Culture  Culture Brief: This zine is a safe space

Running annually since the nineties, Sexual Assault Centre of McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS)’s art show “Fire with Water” seeks to douse the pain of sexual assault with the healing powers of art. The show’s vernissage, to be held April 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Volver (5604 Parc), will feature the work of the general public of the Montreal community, as well as pieces completed by high school students as part of the Awareness through Art program, organized by SACOMSS’s outreach branch.

Volunteers for Awareness through Art visit area high schools to create safe spaces away from teachers, where they facilitate discussions with students on sexual assault. Afterward, the students can create artwork in any media they choose in order to express their feelings. Some of these pieces will be included at “Fire with Water” and in the accompanying zine, also called Fire with Water, which will hopefully be launched at the vernissage.

In keeping with SACOMSS’s philosophy of empowerment and openness, artists were free to interpret the theme of sexual assault as they wished. Submissions in all media – visual, written, musical – were accepted. These works will stand as “a testament to the strength and the courage of survivors of sexual assault,” according to Becky Harris, SACOMSS’s external coordinator. The event, like all of SACOMSS’s services, is free of charge and open to all. The submission period for the exposition and for the zine is still open, and the zine’s publication is contingent on receiving enough material, so send your works or ideas to

— William M. Burton