Monique Westra is a Calgary-based independent curator, writer and lecturer. She was art curator at the Glenbow Museum form 2002 to 2010, where she curated a number of exhibitions including most recently Riopelle: The Glory of Abstraction. She taught art history at the University of Calgary and at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Monique is well-known as a dynamic, passionate and articulate speaker. In this fascinating lecture, Monique explains the significance and the impact of the Refus Global, the explosive manifesto written in 1948 by Paul-Emile Borduas and signed by members of the Automatists, the group of young artists in his entourage. She examines the emergence of abstract art in 1940s which became a metaphor for personal freedom at a time when Quebec society was stifled by government and church. She concludes by discussing the work of Borduas and Riopelle throughout the 1950s.