Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

Receive updates for this collection

Youth Voices of East Vancouver — with Jessica Savoy and Edgard Villanueva-Cruz (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-22
Abstract: 

Urban Indigenous youth are taking the lead, advocating for policies that uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples on and off-reserve. Host Am Johal is joined by Jessica Savoy and Edgard Villanueva-Cruz from Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE). They discuss their recent report, Our Place, Our Home, Our Vision: Youth Voices of East Vancouver. The report contains Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth-generated recommendations for bringing urban Indigenous voices to the table, applying UNDRIP across different levels of government, and creating new models of self-governance for Indigenous people living off-reserve or in urban centres. 

Jessica has personal experience and education developing and implementing engagement and empowerment initiatives for Indigenous peoples, youth and the greater community. Over the past several years, she has worked with ALIVE and the City of Vancouver as a program assistant.

She recently completed the 12-month Indigenous Youth Internship Program (IYIP) with the Provincial Government. During her time with the IYIP Program, she spent 9 months in Victoria with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as a Policy Advisor, and 3 months with ALIVE.

Edgard has experience both on and off-reserve advocating and leading. Edgard began working with ALIVE at the age of 16 and has spent his days activating Urban Indigenous peoples to the goals they wish to achieve. He works to educate and empower a team of indigenous and non-indigenous youth to decolonize, create systems change and produce meaningful outcomes.

Document type: 
Video

Queering Diasporic Narratives — with Jen Sungshine

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-27
Abstract: 

Working at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, Jen Sungshine collaborates with fellow Love Intersections artists to celebrate diasporic narratives of queer identities. Jen joins host Am Johal to discuss art making and storytelling as a tool to address systemic racism and build understanding in conversations about gender and sexuality.

She shares some recent Love Intersections projects, including Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny, a short documentary following Vancouver drag artist Maiden China and a subsequent visual art installation — both inspired by the Chinese five elements as a framework to explore the artists’ experiences of Chineseness and queerness.

Jen Sungshine speaks for a living, but lives for breathing art into spaces, places, cases. She is a queer Taiwanese interdisciplinary artist/activist, facilitator, and community mentor based in Vancouver, BC, and the Co-Creative Director and founder of Love Intersections, a media arts collective dedicated to collaborative filmmaking and relational storytelling. Jen's artistic practice is informed by an ethic of tenderness; instead of calling you out, she wants to call you in, to make (he)artful social change with her. In the audience, she looks for weirdos, queerdos and anti-heroes. In private, she looks after more than 70 houseplants and prefers talking to plants than to people.

Document type: 
Audio

Youth Voices of East Vancouver — with Jessica Savoy and Edgard Villanueva-Cruz

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-22
Abstract: 

Urban Indigenous youth are taking the lead, advocating for policies that uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples on and off-reserve. Host Am Johal is joined by Jessica Savoy and Edgard Villanueva-Cruz from Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE). They discuss their recent report, Our Place, Our Home, Our Vision: Youth Voices of East Vancouver. The report contains Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth-generated recommendations for bringing urban Indigenous voices to the table, applying UNDRIP across different levels of government, and creating new models of self-governance for Indigenous people living off-reserve or in urban centres. 

Jessica has personal experience and education developing and implementing engagement and empowerment initiatives for Indigenous peoples, youth and the greater community. Over the past several years, she has worked with ALIVE and the City of Vancouver as a program assistant.

She recently completed the 12-month Indigenous Youth Internship Program (IYIP) with the Provincial Government. During her time with the IYIP Program, she spent 9 months in Victoria with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as a Policy Advisor, and 3 months with ALIVE.

Edgard has experience both on and off-reserve advocating and leading. Edgard began working with ALIVE at the age of 16 and has spent his days activating Urban Indigenous peoples to the goals they wish to achieve. He works to educate and empower a team of indigenous and non-indigenous youth to decolonize, create systems change and produce meaningful outcomes.

Document type: 
Audio

Unfolding Artistic Practices — with Laura Marks

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-20
Abstract: 

Below the Radar explores unfolding the enfolded with Laura U. Marks, an SFU professor and scholar who works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. She is in conversation with co-hosts Am Johal and Paige Smith about her research into experimentalism and aesthetics in Arab cinema and the connections between Islamic art and philosophy and new media art. Laura talks about co-founding the Substantial Motion Research Network, tracing cultural and artistic genealogies, and de-westernizing artistic practices. They also discuss the concerns around the environmental consequences of streaming media that led Laura to create the Small File Media Festival.

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. She programs experimental media art for venues around the world and is the founder of the Small File Media Festival. Laura's most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). With Azadeh Emadi she is a founding member of the Substantial Motion Research Network of artists and scholars working on cross-cultural approaches to media technologies. Marks is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Document type: 
Audio

Decolonizing Practices — With Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-13
Abstract: 

Ta7talíya Nahanee joins Am Johal to discuss her work in creating social change through decolonial facilitation, rooted in Indigenous ways of knowing and chenchenstway, the law of lifting each other up. Ta7talíya shares her journey of founding Decolonizing Practices, developing Sínulhkay and Ladders, and how she engages people in conversations about redress, land equity, privilege, and resisting the comfort of complacency in neocolonial systems. She also speaks to Indigenous language resurgence, decolonizing identity, and the idea that decolonization is an ongoing and personal process of self-actualization.

Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, is a decolonial facilitator & strategist catalyzing social change to transform colonial narratives & impacts. She works within the intersection of class, culture and creativity focusing on social change through communications and engagement. Ta7talíya’s collaborations have influenced opinions, changed behaviours and mobilized community action. She is the designer of a life-size board game called Sínulhkay and Ladders which she uses in her workshop Decolonizing Practices. Her approach earned her the 2019 City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. Ta7talíya is also a 2020 Dialogue Associate with the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. She is the author and designer of a decolonizing workbook called Decolonize First, a liberating guide and workbook for peeling back the layers of neocolonialism. Ta7talíya also recently co-founded a Squamish-led non-profit called M̓i tel'nexw Leadership Society to work with organizations and individuals who want to activate decolonizing practices, indigenization and commitments to reconciliation led by Squamish ways of seeing, knowing & being.

Document type: 
Audio

End the Drug War — with Eris Nyx

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-08
Abstract: 

Am Johal is joined by Eris Nyx, an artist and community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who advocates for tenants' rights and an end to the war on drugs. She and Am discuss the impact of COVID-19 on drug users and residents of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels, and how restricting visitors in SROs and reducing access to services during the pandemic has heightened safety concerns around a volatile supply of drugs. Eris shares how the Downtown Eastside community has been organizing to respond to the several and intersecting systems of oppression they are facing.

Eris Nyx is a queer multidisciplinary artist and community organizer living on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish people. Currently working with the Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War, the Downtown Eastside SRO-Collaborative, and the Black Lab Arts Society, Nyx advocates for police and prison abolition; new models of antipsychiatry to replace the current regime of psychiatric theory and practice; ending the war on drug, and fighting against the intersectional harms wrought by colonization, capitalism, and other system of oppression. Most recently she helped to produce and publish a record of Downtown Eastside musicians entitled 100 Block Rock – which showcases a compilation of Vancouver BC's most marginalized community of artists.

Document type: 
Audio

One Hundred More — with Justine A. Chambers and Laurie Young (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-01
Abstract: 

Justine A. Chambers and Laurie Young see choreography in everything. Both are deeply interested in the daily movements that make up the choreographies of our lives, and in capacity to use dance as a political tool. As two dance artists, mothers, and women of colour, the two came together across continents to co-create One hundred more, a dance performance portraying the gestures of resistance. Through structured improvisation and moving together, the piece explores the politics of movement and the many ways of embodying the refusal to submit. In this episode, Justine and Laurie are in conversation with Am Johal about their shared work, the radical centering of care and wellness in their collaborations, as well as the social choreographies and relational choreographies that can be found in the everyday.

Justine A. Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.

Laurie Young is a Berlin based Canadian dance artist who focuses on the embodiment of unauthorized histories and their representation and how relationships are choreographed between human and other than human beings in the theater, museum and city.  Along with her own choreographies, Laurie has been busy with transdisciplinary projects between arts and science and is a triple fellow of Volkswagen Foundations Arts and Science and Motion. Her work has been presented at the Sophiensaele, Naturkundemuseum Berlin, The Australian Museum, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Martin Gropius Bau amongst others. She is currently a recipient of the Tanzpraxis scholarship of the Senatverwaltung für Kultur und Europa 2020/2021.

Document type: 
Video

Neuroengineering and Brain Plasticity — with Faranak Farzan (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-24
Abstract: 

Faranak Farzan works at a fascinating intersection of engineering and neuroscience — innovating technological solutions to mental health issues like depression and addiction. Using the concept of brain plasticity, Faranak speaks to host Am Johal about how technological interventions can help the brain to rewire itself. She delves into the exciting opportunities neuroengineering presents for streamlining diagnosis and treatment, reducing the burden on patients who often go through years of trial-and-error before being matched with the right treatment. They also discuss Faranak’s research specific to youth mental health, the ethical implications of neurotechnology, and the importance of community perspectives in co-creating brain health solutions.

Dr. Faranak Farzan is the Chair in Technology Innovations for Youth Addiction Recovery and Mental Health at the School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering at SFU. Dr. Farzan is the founder and Scientific Director of Centre for Engineering-Led Brain Research at SFU. She has obtained her Bachelor in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from McMaster University, her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Science from University of Toronto, and her Postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neurology from Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining SFU, she was Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Toronto, and Independent Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Farzan leads a unique research program at the cross section of Engineering and Neuroscience. The program is aimed at development and practical implementation of neurotechnology and computational approaches for studying human brain health and function, and for diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Farzan has authored over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, and her work has received funding from prestigious agencies such as CIHR, NSERC, CFI, CIHR, NIMH, NARSAD, Brain Canada, Kids Brain Health Network, and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Document type: 
Video

The Human Right to Housing — with Leilani Farha (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-17
Abstract: 

Leilani Farha has a long history of advocacy around poverty and housing, in Canada and beyond. She is in conversation with Am Johal following her tenure as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, a post that saw her travelling the world to connect with people who were struggling with inadequate and precarious housing or homelessness, and to work with governments to uphold housing as a human right.

In this interview, Leilani speaks to concerning patterns in housing globally, including homelessness, evictions, unaffordability, and the financialization of housing. They discuss opportunities in Canadian housing policy, Vancouver’s housing crisis, and the incredible importance of having a safe place to call home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leilani Farha is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and Global Director of The Shift. Her work is animated by the principle that housing is a social good, not a commodity. Leilani has helped develop global human rights standards on the right to housing, including through her topical reports on homelessness, the financialization of housing, informal settlements, rights-based housing strategies, and the first UN Guidelines for the implementation of the right to housing. She is the central character in the documentary PUSH regarding the financialization of housing, screening around the world. Leilani Launched The Shift in 2017 with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Cities and Local Government.

Document type: 
Video

Paying the Land — with Joe Sacco (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-08-27
Abstract: 

Am Johal is joined by Maltese-American cartoonist Joe Sacco, renowned for his long-form graphic journalism and field work in conflict zones and places where people are facing displacement and dispossession. They discuss his new book, “Paying the Land,” dealing with the painful history of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and resource extraction in northern Canada, as well as overarching themes of dispossession, the violence of settler-colonialism, and the bonds between people and land that are prominent in his work. Joe also shares some of his upcoming projects and touches on the intensification of political tensions in Portland, OR, where he lives.

Document type: 
Video