Challenge for Change / Société Nouvelle

Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen

13 March 2015 - 25 April 2015
Opening Reception 13 March 2015 7pm


Mercer Union is delighted to present Challenge for Change/Société Nouvelle: Documents in Participatory Democracy, a project by Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen.

Between 1967 and 1980 the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) spearheaded a social activist documentary initiative placing film skills into the hands of the people to tackle poverty, environmental, first nations and women’s issues. Government bureaucrats, documentary filmmakers, community activists and citizens defined a participatory model of filmmaking by putting the media into the ‘hands of the people.’ Positing the potential of a new public voice, film was asserted as the medium of social transformation. Artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen has excavated the archives of the NFB, re-presenting the seminal Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle (CFC/SN) program in five selected programs displayed within the gallery. Nguyen re-inserts this utopian project into the present, employing the archive as a toolbox for the future.

Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen (b. Montréal, CA) is a research-based artist currently based in Stockholm (SE). In 2011 she completed the Whitney’s Independent Study Program, having obtained her MFA and a post-graduate diploma in Critical Studies from the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, in 2005, and a BFA from Concordia University, Montreal, in 2003. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Canada Council; The Banff Centre; The Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Program for Visual Arts and the Swedish Research and Development Fellowship in the Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include;  The New Gallery, Calgary (2015), MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), Montreal (2014), Momenta Art, Brooklyn (2014); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany (2013); VOX: Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal (2012) and group exhibitions such as MTL BNL, Montreal; A Space, Toronto (both 2014), Apexart, New York; PAVED arts, Saskatoon; Or Gallery, Vancouver (all 2013), and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2011). In 2011 she was commissioned by CC Seven to produce a site-specific sound piece for The Woodland Cemetery, a Unesco World Heritage site in Stockholm.

On Saturday March 14, Nguyen will be speaking as part of  CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE AND A NEW SOCIETY: A discussion after Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle.  Please join us at the gallery between 2 and 5:30PM.


This film selection is presented in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen and Mercer Union would like to acknowledge the support of The Swedish Arts Council.

This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Images Festival, April 9 – April 18, 2015. For more information visit



Image credit: Logo of the documentary program Challenge for Change / Société nouvelle, National Film Board of Canada, 1967-1980. Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.