Nocturne 2020: I'thandi Munro's parking impass | Arts & Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Nocturne 2020: I'thandi Munro's parking impass

How a collection of ticketed fines became an art installation against systemic issues.

click to enlarge Nocturne 2020: I'thandi Munro's parking impass
Cavell Holland and I'thandi Munro
"No one’s out there like ‘This is where my ancestors are from. How dare you make me pay for parking on my own property?’"

Wejku’agamit > Owed

Window display, FBM Architecture, 1660 Hollis Street

Oct 12-17

Because there wasn’t enough parking spots, I'thandi Munro would put her car wherever she could. Because there wasn’t enough bus options, Munro had to drive. Because of all this, she began to acquire parking tickets—over 100, to be exact.

“It’s been in the making for awhile,” the multi-disciplinary artist starts with a slight sigh, explaining how her solo Nocturne showcase came to be.

“I had this stack of tickets that my partner was saving out of spite,” Munro says. “And the process of stacking them up and actually keeping them is when it was like *Whoa, this is a lot: This is a lot of money, this is a lot of tickets, this is a lot of paper. This is a lot of time I have to take to pay these tickets: This is a lot.’ So, I sat on that for awhile, I didn’t quite know what to do with them.”

Eventually, as she began tracing her Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian heritages (she identifies as an Afro-Euro L’nu Woman), the answer emerged: Wejku’agamit > Owed, a window installation at 1660 Hollis Street made from the 100-plus tickets Munro amassed while getting a degree at NSCAD.

“We’re all talking about challenging the systems, and this is one I know people aren’t thinking about: You get a ticket, you pay it, that’s it,” she says. “No one’s out there being like ‘No, this is my land. I’m not paying for this ticket. This is where my ancestors are from. How dare you make me pay for parking on my own property?’"

“During the jury process of this, I remember I got a few comments back and it was always along the lines of ‘oh my gosh, wow, I never even thought to think about this.’ And I know once it was brought to light, people were like ‘Oh my gosh that’s true, that’s horrible, that needs to change’,” Munro adds. “But bringing it to people’s attention will start something. Or, it’ll start other people to start questioning these things—and maybe, somebody in power will do something about it. And I probably won’t stop until it does.”

Morgan Mullin

Morgan was the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she wrote about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She started with The Coast in 2016.
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