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True North

In 2008, an eighteen-year-old named Fredy Villanueva was playing dice in a park in Montreal North when a police officer shot and killed him, sparking riots. In 2013, five years later, I began a documentary photography project in the same neighbourhood. 

At the time, I was beginning to question the limitations imposed by photojournalism. I became interested in Montreal North because of the simplistic and sensational way I felt it was being covered in the media. The focus was often on gangs, drug-dealing and other problems that the borough—where average income is among the lowest in Canada and graduation rates among the lowest in Montreal—contends with. Though these issues are real, they should never obscure Montreal North’s humanity. 

In 1915, fewer than a thousand people lived in the parish of Sault-au-Récollet, as the area was then called. By 1976, that number had grown to nearly a hundred ...

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