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Beginning with the Seventies | Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Beginning with the Seventies
Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

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  1. From the Women In Focus Society archives, Special Collections, VIVO's Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive.

  2. Courtesy of Errol Young, Simon Fraser Access to Memory Archives, Fond F-111-2-0-9 Women’s Caucus- Abortion Cavalcade/Abortion Caravan; photo printed in Saturday Night magazine, ca. April 1970.

  3. Courtesy of Simon Fraser University Access to Memory Archives, Fond F-111-1-0-0-2 Women’s Bookstore-Miscellaneous.

Beginning with the Seventies

Activism, Art & Archives

An ongoing research project

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The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of an ongoing project investigating the 1970s, an era in which social movements of all kinds – feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights, access to health services and housing – began to coalesce into models of self-organization. Many non-profit organizations formed in Vancouver to provide direct assistance, engender and distribute new knowledge, and resist forms of oppression, thereby creating a network that overlapped with the production of art and culture. The history of these organizations and their founders is preserved across archives, collections and networks; these resources vary in terms of public accessibility and are not well known to younger producers. We speculate: what if these archival materials are examined through an interdisciplinary lens that includes art and cultural practices?

At the same time, we see a current resurgence of art practice involved with social activism (and is often itself a form of social activism), with the 1970s becoming increasingly interesting to artists and other cultural producers. How might the acts of exploring grassroots archives and forging direct connections with activist networks shift the very way in which art and culture are defined and imagined? Could study and exchange between and among generations contribute to developing new models of presenting and valuing art?

Beginning with the Seventies will continue to collaborate with networks of artists, archivists, curators and activists on events, publications, exhibitions and discussions over the next three years. The project is made possible with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Vancouver Foundation, the Department of Canadian Heritage Young Canada Works Program and our Belkin Curator’s Forum Members.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689