Public Egging, Elevate the Arts Festival, Courtenay, BC (public performance)
Performance: Saturday June 4 2016
Explanation: The piece was a live re-enactment of an assault I experienced on June 6th 2015 in Courtenay BC while volunteering at Elevate Arts Festival. That night, when walking home from an after party with a man and two women, one of whom was black, we were chased by a group of people throwing objects such as eggs and garbage can lids, all the while yelling racial slurs. After the event, the black woman would not let me phone the police fearing that her experience of police prejudice toward minorities in Courtenay would make matters worse.
I came home to Victoria and shared my full story via a Facebook post.
Overnight the Facebook post went viral with over 800 shares and the major news channels and stations were immediately getting in touch with me. I agreed to one radio interview with CBC and one news channel story with CTV.
CTV chose not to include the explanation of how the black woman begged that I not contact the police; she was fearful that they would blame it on her because her and many other ethnic friends are continuously harassed by police for being black. What I find especially disturbing about the news clips is how my incomplete interview is followed by a contradictory interview with Jin Lin, the Comox Valley Multicultural Society President. Thus, my story in the news itself was instantly rendered as trivial and insignificant. Within a few days of the incident, public interest in the story quickly disappeared and I was never contacted again.
Since the underlying tensions of racism are not visibly noticeable on the streets of Courtenay BC, they are written off as a non-issue, yet they persist uninterrupted. I decided to return to Elevate the Arts Festival on the same day the following year and wanted to do something that would bring the harsh undertones of racism to the forefront, to make it visible to the public eye. On Saturday June 4, 2016 I brought Public Egging to Courtenay. In broad daylight, myself and three performers posing as racists carried out what was a live reenactment of the event. The performance was in your face with eggs everywhere and attempted to crack the invisibility of this issue wide open.