Video

There's a Fine Line

Susan Fairbairn

1995, 05:00 minutes, colour, english

TAPECODE 552.00

The Harris government's earliest funding cuts - to welfare assistance and to community agencies serving homeless and socially isolated people in Ontario - is the focus of this video. I wanted to provide a medium for some of the individuals affected by these cuts to voice their collective response. I tried to imagine an approach that would be true to the integrity of the people I've met through a local women's shelter where I had worked on and off for about ten years. This led me to conceptualize this protest as a song which celebrated their singularity, humour, engagement with life, and oddball forms of resistance. All of the participants seemed keenly aware of the irony of this forum. Ultimately, the fact that people can sustain their sense of humour and humanity while living on the margins of poverty, mental illness, and addiction is the most important thing I learned in my work at the shelter.

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