Textiles Trade Time

A series of events at Concordia University exploring the histories, presents and futures of textiles, with a focus on Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal as a locus of trade across cultures, nations, fibres and moments

Daylong Symposium | Symposium: Keynote | Exhibition: Trade-In Textiles | Exhibition: Keynote | Team | Contact


A daylong series of artists’ and scholars’ Provocations: 10-minute lightning talks that explore the histories, presents and futures of textiles across many sites, with a focus on Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal as a locus of trade across cultures, nations, fibres and moments. Presenters consider Indigenous textile traditions; the role of textiles in colonialism; discussions of local or global labour and environmental textile implications; artistic and technological innovations in textiles; and speculative spheres.

Provocation is a 10-minute artist’s talk, a scholarly presentation or a short performance, linked to one of four broad themes whose guiding questions might be:

Dynamics of Appropriation: How do textile practices and traditions move across territories and makers? What are the ethical considerations around cultural collaboration and reinterpretation? Can resources and profits be shared? Can textile labour practices be just? How can animal and environmental rights be integrated into our work?

Trade and Mobilities: How do textile practices and industries encourage connection via social and economic structures? Promote the movement of peoples and goods across territories? Who benefits from trade and mobility; what limitations might we redress? How can textiles help us connect with each other in this time of great human displacements and refugee migrations?

Infrastructures and Continuities: What is the value of the historic buildings, mills and equipment made redundant through post-industrialization and internationalization of production? How do we value and re-imagine the past? What about the people whose jobs and towns are forever changed? The environments that have been degraded?

Environment and Change: From ‘fast fashion’ to individual artistic practice, all work has an environmental impact: to what extent do we aim to increase sustainability in making and teaching textile practices? What do textiles have to offer discussions of climate change and extreme species extinction? What changes and innovations in textile practices might lead to a more inclusive, just and interesting future?


“This conversation is an offering of words for water and weavers”

Crystal (Mikinaak) Migwans


Trade-In – An exhibition of exchanged and reworked small textile/material artworks, with vernissage and key-note presentation, Friday, November 29, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

Symposium attendees and speakers are invited to contribute a small (maximum 10 inch by 10 inch) textile or material work, completed or underway, to the exchange. Works can be in any textile or material form; must be safe for handling, reworking, and installation; and are to be submitted by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 19. At noon on that day, submissions will be randomly allocated to those symposium attendees who wish to participate, for reworking in any textile-based practice and return by Monday, November 25.

All returned ‘Trade-in Textiles’ will be exhibited starting November 29, and celebrated at the exhibition/vernissage keynote that same evening. At the end of the exhibition, each participant will receive a randomly allocated artwork, extending the ‘trade.’


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