Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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The Right to Food — with Paul Taylor

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-06-29
Abstract: 

FoodShare’s Executive Director and lifelong anti-poverty activist Paul Taylor joins host Am Johal in this episode of Below the Radar. In this conversation, they delve into the work Paul has done in both Toronto and Vancouver with various activist organizations such as FoodShare, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, and Gordon Neighbourhood House.

 

Paul shares his experience growing up in a low-income household and dealing with food insecurity, and the ways that traditional charity models fall short. He challenges these charity systems that place responsibility on fellow community members, rather than governments and policymakers. Together, they explore the notion of the right to food, particularly in the pandemic climate, and advocacy for greater systemic change. Paul concludes this conversation by encouraging listeners to consider a world of possibility, and come together to demand political leadership that focuses on justice.

Document type: 
Audio

Reframing Heritage in Vancouver — with Javier Campos

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-07-06
Abstract: 

Javier Campos joins host Am Johal to discuss reframing the way we think about heritage. Javier is an architect and Principal Designer with Campos Studio, as well as the current president of Heritage Vancouver Society. Together, they explore what heritage means today as a living and changing concept. They discuss the dark roots of heritage, and how heritage has been deployed to erase and exclude the histories of communities who have been dispossessed and harmed by the settler-colonial project.

 

In this conversation, Javier speaks to the idea of heritage as cultural production. Heritage should empower communities to drive change within their neighbourhoods, and to rewrite and shape their stories. Javier also speaks about taking an ecologically-minded approach to architecture, working with the critical regionalist tradition and passive design.

Document type: 
Audio

Fascism, Fanaticism and Neoliberalism — with Alberto Toscano

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-07-15
Abstract: 

Critical theorist Alberto Toscano joins Am Johal in conversation about his work and writings, as he joins SFU as a visiting faculty member with the Digital Democracies Institute in SFU’s School of Communication.

 

In this episode, they discuss Alberto’s writing on the philosophy of fanaticism, and conflicting discourse and counter-histories around the figure of the fanatic, which historically takes many forms, from abolitionist leaders to peasant revolutionaries. Alberto and Am also dive into global and historical trends of authoritarianism, racial capitalism and the notion of ‘late fascism.’ Alberto speaks to expanding our concept of fascism, to recognize iterations outside of what could be thought of as European fascism. They also talk about neoliberal tendencies in post-secondary administration, and the workings of mechanisms that maintain or fortify power structures within institutions.

Document type: 
Audio

Feminist Economics and a Just Transition — with Alicia Massie

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-07-20
Abstract: 

Below the Radar dives into the call for a feminist economic recovery and a just transition with SFU School of Communication PhD Candidate Alicia Massie. Alicia is a Progressive Economics Fellow with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a Research Assistant and conference organizer with SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative.

 

As a feminist political economist and community-engaged researcher, Alicia joins host Am Johal to discuss her research around an economic transition for Canada that can bring us into a more equitable and green future.

 

They discuss pandemic recovery as an opportunity to implement long-term solutions to ongoing and intersecting issues, such as systemic racism, gender-based inequities and climate change. Alicia speaks to the value of the care economy and investing in green infrastructure like childcare, healthcare and education. She also shares some of her learnings from Fort McMurray and how the inevitable shift away from a fossil fuel-based economy must not leave resource industry workers and their communities behind.

Document type: 
Audio

Decolonizing Climate Justice — with Khelsilem

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-08-31
Abstract: 

Squamish Nation Councillor and community leader Khelsilem joins Am Johal on this first episode of Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series. In this episode, they discuss the climate crisis as a result of the colonial project, how climate change hits hardest for those already at a disadvantage, and the spaces where colonialism has existed within climate movements.

 

Khelsilem speaks to his critique of fossil fuel infrastructure, the false narrative of individual responsibility, and the role governments play in worsening the crisis through policy decisions that favour oil and gas. We also hear about innovative affordable housing projects, such as Squamish Nation’s Sen̓áḵw Development, and how to build climate-friendly design into new housing models.

Document type: 
Audio

Centring Justice in the Climate Emergency — with Anjali Appadurai

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-07
Abstract: 

Community leader and climate justice activist Anjali Appadurai joins Am Johal for the second instalment of Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series. Anjali is a Climate Justice Lead at Sierra Club BC, the Sectoral Organizer for the Climate Emergency Unit, as well as the founder of Padma Centre for Climate Justice.

 

Anjali and Am talk about the growth of the climate movement, and shifting the focus from being ‘green’ to centering justice for all in the fight against climate change. They speak about lifting up the youth and Indigenous leaders at the forefront of the struggle, as well as how to get involved and make the movement accessible to all.

Document type: 
Audio

The Future of Canadian Climate Policy — with Marc Lee

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-14
Abstract: 

Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and senior economist, Marc Lee, joins Am Johal to discuss the successes and failures of Canadian climate policies across the political spectrum. Marc speaks about the origins of the Climate Justice Project, and conceptualizes how reaching a net-zero carbon economy can be achieved — through a fundamental restructuring of Canadian and BC systems, and the implementation of decolonizing practices.

 

Am and Marc also discuss how approaches like carbon pricing and carbon capture systems do little to counteract climate change, and instead offer “escape hatches” for the fossil fuel industry. They explore how other government-based responses like subsidizing pipelines, or setting climate goals for the distant future, do not adequately address the imminent threat of climate change. Marc ends by discussing how we need to deal with this climate emergency with the same level of urgency that was enacted in BC’s COVID-19 response.

Document type: 
Audio

Environmental Law and the Politics of Extraction — with Eugene Kung

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-21
Abstract: 

Environmental lawyer Eugene Kung joins Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series to discuss pipeline politics in BC and the role of law in fighting the climate crisis. Eugene shares about how law has been wielded as a mechanism for enacting colonialism, and the various ways it can instead be a tool for effecting major change and upholding human rights.

 

Eugene discusses different legal strategies to mitigate climate change — from legislation and law reform, to legal challenges against extractive energy projects that drive pollution. He speaks to a positive shift that has seen more Indigenous nations asserting their own laws and sovereignty in decision-making, as caretakers of their lands.

 

He and Am also discuss how to decentre whiteness and Western perspectives in the climate justice movement and the importance of connecting environmentalism with other social movements and systemic issues.

Document type: 
Audio

Land Defense and the Climate Emergency — with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-28
Abstract: 

Wrapping up our series on Climate Justice and Inequality, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip joins Below the Radar to talk about his history of activism as a lifelong advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ Title and Rights. He and Am speak about his role in historical battles for Indigenous land rights over the decades, and the future of land defense.

 

In the midst of overlapping crises of the global pandemic and the contamination of the drug supply, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip addresses the need for a stronger response from the government that focuses on the people rather than corporations. He digs into government shortcomings when it comes to respecting Indigenous jurisdiction over Indigenous lands, landmark victories, and the ongoing fight to protect Indigenous territories.

 

He also addresses his unconditional love for the land and for the people as his motivation to continue the fight for justice, and the sense of hope he feels about passing the torch to this new generation of land defenders.

Document type: 
Audio

Experimental Documentary Practices — with Andrea Luka Zimmerman

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-10-05
Abstract: 

Award-winning artist, filmmaker, and activist Andrea Luka Zimmerman joins Below the Radar from the UK to speak to us about her approach to making art and films — in deep collaboration, over long periods of time, and always cultivating community. Host Am Johal speaks to Andrea about how her work explores counter-memories to structural violence and how we dream together to build new worlds.

 

They discuss Andrea’s past and recent works, including Estate, A Reverie, Here for Life, and others, delving into the aesthetics and experimental nature of her work, as well as the political orientation around themes of displacement, gentrification, human rights, and social connection that run through her practice.

Document type: 
Audio