The Secret Life of Canada

The Secret Life of Canada


The Secret Life of Canada is a podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. Join hosts Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson as they reveal the beautiful, terrible and weird histories of this land. Season 6 is here! New episodes every second Thursday.

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Categories: Education

Listen to the last episode:

When three young queer men formed an art collective in the late 60s in Toronto named "General Idea", no one expected that they would end up becoming one of the most iconic art collectives of the 20th century. For 25 years Felix, Jorge and AA became internationally known for their edgy, subversive, funny and boundary pushing work. Leah and Falen learn about the early days of the collective [2:11], the time Life magazine tried to sue them [13:17], why they started a ”Miss General Idea” beauty pageant [16:51], and how they ended up creating one of the most indelible images of the AIDS epidemic [25:26]. And then, they’ll hear about the group’s final push to produce a catalog of work before AIDS took the lives of Felix & Jorge in 1994 [30:30]. With special guest AA Bronson.

Here are some of the pieces referenced in the episode:

Mail Art

FILE magazine

The Miss General Idea Pageant

P is for Poodle


Fin De Siècle

For more links on General Idea’s work and more about this episode visit us at:

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Previous episodes

  • 106 - S6: General Idea 
    Thu, 11 Apr 2024
  • 105 - S6: Crash Course on Icelandic Canada 
    Thu, 28 Mar 2024
  • 104 - The Secret Life of Canada Introduces: Canadian Time Machine | ‘Humiliation Day’, A Look Back at the Impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act 
    Thu, 21 Mar 2024
  • 103 - S6: The Secret Life of the Canadian Teen Drama 
    Thu, 14 Mar 2024
  • 102 - S6 Crash Course: How Black students led Canada's largest student protest 
    Thu, 29 Feb 2024
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