On February 13, 2012, students in Quebec City and Montreal initiated a strike to protest the Quebec government’s plan to raise university tuition by 75%—from $2,168 to $3,793—over the next five years. At its height, tens of thousands of students were on strike, and almost 500,000 people showed their support for the students at multiple massive demonstrations. In Montreal, the struggle became a broader protest against austerity and the ruling Liberal Party (PLQ), with nightly casseroles (marches with people banging pots and pans) attended by everyone from young kids to the elderly.
The École de la Montagne Rouge [Red Mountain School] (EDLMR) is a collection of students from L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), largely based in the Graphic Design department. We formed in immediate response to the student strike on February 13—and went on to develop and produce posters and graphics throughout the strike’s seven-month span, becoming an integral part of the larger social movement.
We also intervened in the Quebec 2012 election by making silkscreen posters and digital images. These were later posted on our website, shared via social media and wheat-pasted on the streets of Montreal.
The images here were produced in response to the September 4 elections in Quebec, which led to the end of the strike—and at least short-term victory for students—with plans for tuition hikes halted. Some of the images were produced while we were in New York City for a residency and exhibition at the Interference Archive in Brooklyn.