Cover photo cred - Grant Cabrales
About a year ago, while we were scanning through the #montreal feed we were hit like a ton of bricks by David Boot's Instagram feed.
His feed exposed us to a world to us that we have been so naive about previously. With that said we mean the world of hard drugs that are actually very common with the homeless population of Montreal as well as a great deal of "regulars" that frequent Peace Park. The constant amount of raw content that David Boots exposes us to on a daily basis, weather it being bum fights, a 70 year old toking on rotten crack pipes or even his amazing gift of finding money laying around while other people are oblivious to it make it one of the most unique and fun feeds to follow in Montreal.
Peace Park, is a major cultural hub in the city of Montreal. Situated in the city’s historical red light district, it is a landmark for skateboarders in the city and houses a variety of Montreal’s citizens from various cultural and economic backgrounds. Peace Park is a cultural mish-mash of people and influences; often far from peaceful, it has been the mission of Montreal skateboarder David Bouthillier, also know as Boots, to document this hub of culture in the city of Montreal.
Boots has been at Peace Park almost everyday since the park's inauguration in 1994 resulting in a kind of 'carte blanche' for him to document life at Peace Park as it happens. The constant amount of raw content that Boots captures on a daily basis is kind of mind-boggling. He always seems to be at the right place at the right time to give us the gnarliest pictures.
Boots isn’t just using his Instagram feed to promote Peace Park and its lifestyle, he is creating a photo-book that encompasses the many cultural features of Peace Park. Fun and humourous, with some definite shock value in the mix, Boots hopes to compile his many Instagram photos into a coffee-table type book that is will still be very informative, tentatively titled the PEACE PARK SCRAPBOOK.
An ongoing work in progress, Boots frequently updates the happenings of Peace Park, ranging from random arrests and profiles on Peace Park’s more seedy residents, to pics featuring organic produce offered in the park and randomly finding money on the streets. A combination of lightheartedness with city grit, Boots’ book looks to be a unique and personal narrative of the Peace Park lifestyle.
Boots has already put his photos in motion, collaging his many Instagram photos for his latest skateboard graphic on Urban Ambush Skateboards. In fact we have one of his boards to give away. (Insert Contest Rules)
Before Boots began working on his photo-book, he created a full length documentary on Peace Park which was filmed over 13 years. The film focuses on the tensions between the different groups within Peace Park and aims to make viewers comprehend exactly why some communities call Peace Park home. The Peace Park documentary premiered as a work in progress during the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in October of 2011, with an extended version re-released only a couple months ago in the park itself.