Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture and Activism in Canada offers two separate but interconnected strategies for reading alternative culture in Canada from the 1940s through to the present: first, a history of radical artistic practice in Canada and, second, a collection of eleven essays that focus on a range of institutions, artists, events, and actions. The history of radical practice is spread through the book in a series of short interventions, ranging from the Refus global to anarchist-inspired art, and from Aboriginal curatorial interventions to culture jamming. In each, the historical record is mined to rewrite and reverse Canadian art history—reworked here to illuminate the series of oppositional artistic endeavours that are often mentioned in discussions of Canadian art but rarely acknowledged as having an alternative history of their own.
Alongside, authors consider case studies as diverse as the anti-war work done by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Montreal and Toronto, recent exhibitions of activist art in Canadian institutions, radical films, performance art, protests against the Olympics, interventions into anti-immigrant sentiment in Montreal, and work by Iroquois photographer Jeff Thomas. Taken together, the writings in Imagining Resistance touch on the local, the global, the national, and post-national to imagine a very different landscape of cultural practice in Canada.