Portuguese Canadian History Project online exhibit
Researcher, Digital Curator, Interviewer, Video Editor
Launched in October 2011, the first online exhibit on the Portuguese Canadian History Project’s (PCHP) website is dedicated to the Portuguese-language newspaper Comunidade. It showcases the archival collection donated by Domingos Marques – one of Comunidade‘s founders, owners, and directors – to the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, York University Libraries; the first to be transferred by the PCHP.
Founded in June 1975 by the Movimento Comunitario Português (MCP) – a community platform created by a group of young Portuguese social workers based out of Toronto’s West End Y.M.C.A – Comunidade was original among the Portuguese-Canadian press in that most of its content was original and focused primarily on the situation of immigrants in Canada. In addition to the combative spirit that characterized it, as a self-avowed champion of the working class, the newspaper urged greater participation in Canadian politics and the labour movement, and informed Portuguese immigrants of their rights and responsibilities in the new country. A significant number of progressive community workers gathered around MCP and its newspaper, later becoming politicians and activists. Comunidade‘s left-wing views and Marxist language during the Cold War also attracted criticism from the Portuguese community’s conservative wing, as well as the RCMP’s surveillance.
The online exhibit is divided into two parts: the first was built around the records and commentary of Domingos Marques; and the second being a series of video clips of oral history interviews with Domingos Marques and Gilberto Prioste. For this we were able to count with the logistic support of Anna St. Onge and the IT department at CTASC; and the volunteer time, skills, and equipment of videographer Steve Miller (refilms.ca).