Parallel to their artistic practice, Ross served as the first Pagan chaplain with prisoners in Corrections Services Canada institutions in Quebec. Pagan practices (like Wicca, Reclaiming, and Ásatrú) have been officially recognized in Canadian federal institutions including prisons but Pagan inmates have had to struggle for the right to practice their faiths, notably in Quebec.
Inspired by how fellow Pagans and other magical practitioners both negotiate for rights and resist legitimization through the State institution, this short film was written by inmates over years of visits with Ross. The incarcerated men share stories of personal contact with the divine – how even behind bars, contact with magic and the numinous world is constant. Particularly in the current climate of intolerance towards certain religious faiths in Canada, creative resistance rooted in magic is a constant source of inspiration for the artist.
‡ Video distributed by Vidéographe. Distributor’s interview and press release package (English, French).
‡ Ensemble Performance + Round-table conference, Verticale (Laval, Canada) 2018
‡ Exhibition, Eastern Bloc (Montreal) 2018
Dans un monde où je veux vivre, Guillaume Adjutor Provost