Pictograms on the move


Cultural diversity is part of Montréal’s identity. Yet the realities of immigration are not very visible in the public space.

At the invitation of the Goethe Institute, a Berlin collective called Migrantas came to North America for the first time. Seeking intercultural dialogue about immigration issues, these facilitators meet with migrants in their own collective spaces (at community centres or cultural institutions, for example), to hold workshops where they can express their ideas through art. The collective studies the images and transposes their message into pictograms, a visual language everyone can understand. Next, the pictograms are displayed as posters and postcards here and there in the urban landscape—on billboards, in the metro, in shop windows.

Migrantas holds workshops and exhibits in many different cities around the world. In addition to their work in Germany, they have visited Norway, Mexico, Portugal, Austria, Spain and Argentina.

With its spirit of friendship, unity and creative expression, the Migrantas project was right at home in Montréal.