Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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Justin A. Langlois — Uselessness & Antagonism: Suggestions for a New Engagement

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-10-08
Abstract: 

There is no exchange value to something useless. It strives to impede, slow down, and malfunction. Uselessness is unabsorbable. It destabilizes the substrate into which it is brought and adds unnecessary complexity, weight, and time to a transaction. We have to wonder, when so many forms of resistance, aesthetics, logic, and affect have been co-opted by highly-distributed, violent, and autonomous expressions of power and infrastructures, what room is there left for action within legible forms of art, activism, and education? This lecture explores the possibilities for uselessness and antagonism to act as increasingly vital options for creative intervention in these spaces and in everyday life. Antagonistic social practices and useless engagements may most readily and effectively help us develop the spaces of exchange that can best cultivate the capacity for critical engagement with our cities, infrastructure, and communities. 

Document type: 
Video

Panel on C-51 - The "Anti-Terror" Bill

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-03-24
Abstract: 

This panel addresses the implications of Bill C-51, the so-called "Anti-Terror" Bill, for the future of democratic institutions in this country.

Document type: 
Video

Flamenco Juerga - Film Screening, Performance and Artist Talkback

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-03-28
Abstract: 

A celebrated part of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival since 2010, Barrio Flamenco: Flamenco for the People, is a community of spirit, pride, and passion. Kelty McKerracher and filmmaker Colin Askey hosted the first public screening of a short film about our growing flamenco community in the Downtown Eastside. Learn about the history of flamenco and how it resonates with the neighbourhood's values and struggles. Best of all, be treated to a live performance and talkback with some of Vancouver's most exciting flamenco artists as well as special guests the Carnegie Flamencos!

Document type: 
Video

EMMA Talks: Decolonial Love: Building Resurgent Communities of Connection

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-04-08
Abstract: 

Kelsey Cham Corbett is a community organizer, activist and settler of Chinese and Irish descent. Being involved with projects like the Purple Thistle has brought depth and insight into trying to understand what the hell is going on in the world. The former Surrey gangster, punk, national karate champion, roller derby coach and player has since focused on starting education-based projects, such as FARMcamp – a youth summer camp on Cortes Island – and a grassroots bioremediation course for young people to learn how plants, mushrooms, and bacteria can be used to clean up contaminated land. Kelsey currently lives in East Van with all the people a person could want in their life – an awesome partner, a best friend, and a 6-year-old best bud. Kelsey is currently organizing with the grassroots environmental justice group Rising Tide and is co-founding the Surrey Youth Space – a youth-run drop-in space focused on art, music and activism.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is “a gifted writer who brings passion and commitment to her storytelling and who has demonstrated an uncommon ability to manage an impressive range of genres from traditional storytelling to critical analysis, from poetry to the spoken word, from literary and social activism.” Leanne is the author of three books; Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making and Islands of Decolonial Love, and the editor of Lighting the Eighth Fire, This Is An Honour Song (with Kiera Ladner) and The Winter We Danced: Voice from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement (Kino-nda-niimi collective). Leanne holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba and has lectured at universities across Canada. She is of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg ancestry and a member of Alderville First Nation.

Document type: 
Video

Jordan Strom — Verging on the Visible: Recent Art From Surrey and its Proximities

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-10-21
Abstract: 

Jordan Strom, curator of exhibitions and collections at the Surrey Art Gallery, draws from several recent Surrey Art Gallery exhibitions including Beyond Vague Terrain: The City and the Serial Image (2012) & Scenes of Selves, Occasions for Ruses (2012) and Figuring Ground (2013) in this presentation.  He examines select artworks that engage with the Canadian ‘edge city’ condition and situate a number of key artistic strategies—and the relative invisibility of ‘edge city’ cultural production—within both the Vancouver and international art contexts. 

Document type: 
Video

Alternatives to the Housing Crisis: Case Study Vienna

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05-19
Abstract: 

The worldwide crisis of a dramatic lack of affordable housing — even in affluent cities such as Vancouver and Vienna — is part of a larger urban crisis that is based on speculation of urban land, the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, and on the collectivization of losses and the privatization of gains characteristic of neoliberalism.

Therefore, a politics aiming at the right to affordable housing for all is necessary in this moment. And housing, of course, is always more than itself — for we are housed in cities and thus also in infrastructural networks, power relations, public spaces, all of which are under pressure from market appropriation. In this talk, Gabu Heindl, architect and urban planner from Vienna, Austria, proposes equality, justice and the enabling of political dissensus as parameters for city planning.

Using Vienna as a case study, this lecture explores the relationship of affordable housing to urban planning politics and will discuss historic and current housing policies, not least in a critical cross-analysis with the Vancouver case. Touching upon the re-articulated model function of 1920s Red Vienna, Heindl will present her approach to combining strong claims (Setzungen) in public planning with a critique of paternalistic governance and with maintaining zones of contact with popular agency.

Gabu Heindl is an architect/urban planner and theorist in Vienna, Austria. Her practice (GABU Heindl Architecture) specializes in public interventions, cultural and social buildings, urban research and planning. Her current research focuses on a post-foundational theory of planning politics with regard to radical democracy in contemporary urbanism. Gabu currently teaches in the Institute for Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Since 2013, she has been president of ÖGFA (Austrian Society for Architects) and a lecturer at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts. She studied both in Vienna and Tokyo and did postdoctoral work at Princeton University as a Fulbright Scholar.

Gabu’s practice also includes the curation of exhibitions and symposia on issues of politics in architecture and urban planning. She is the editor of Just Architecture (ERA21, 2012), Arbeit Zeit Raum (turia+kant, 2008), and anthology on the relationship of post-Fordist work and architecture, and  the co-editor of Position Alltag – Architecture in the Context of Everyday Life (HDA Verlag, 2009).  She has published in numerous architectural journals such as JAE, Umbau, ARPA, Volume, and derive.

Document type: 
Video

A Panel Discussion on Glen Coulthard’s Book “Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition”

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-10-22
Abstract: 

Presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Supported by UBC First Nations Studies Program, SFU's Office for Aboriginal Peoples and SFU's Institute for the Humanities. 

Red Skin, White Masks is a work of critically engaged political theory that challenges the now commonplace assumption that settler-colonization can be reconciled through a process of cultural recognition and accommodation. In light of this colonial impasse, Coulthard sets out to explore a radically decolonial politics that is less oriented around attaining an affirmative form of recognition and institutional accommodation by the colonial-state and society, and more about critically revaluing, reconstructing and redeploying Indigenous cultural practices in ways that seek to prefigure radical alternatives to the symbolic and structural violence that continues to dispossess our nations of lands, political authority, and lives.

Panelists include: Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Sarah Hunt, Jarrett Martineau, Matt Hern 

Document type: 
Video

Benjamin Bratton — The Stack: Design and Geopolitics in the Age of Planetary-Scale Computing

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-10-29
Abstract: 

From NSA surveillance to Jihadist social media and the Sino-Google Wars, computation has become more than a type of machine, it is a global infrastructure that is changing not only how governments govern, but what government even is in the first place. We need to take a step back and see the big picture that is different from what was predicted. A new kind of political geography is emerging before our eyes. We should view smart grids, cloud computing, mobile software and smart cities, universal addressing systems, ubiquitous computing and robotics not as unrelated genres of computation but as forming a larger and coherent whole. Together they constitute an accidental megastructure called The Stack. This is not only a planetary-scale computing system, it is also a new architecture for how we divide up the world into sovereign spaces. The Nation-State isn't going away but it is evolving into a Cloud platform (and perhaps vice versa). This poses extraordinary challenges for design and geopolitics. By seeing the whole we stand a better chance of designing a system we will want to inhabit. In this talk, Benjamin Bratton maps The Stack we have and sketches The Stack-to-come.

Document type: 
Video

Binning & the Informal Economy: A Panel Discussion

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05-23
Abstract: 

Binning: a tough — often invisible — job that is doing a great service to our communities and the planet.

Every year, throughout Vancouver, binners divert millions of bottles and cans from landfills. That's why, for the last three years, our team at Binners' Project has been working to make it more sustainable for everyone involved.

Binners' Project team leads, Davin Boutang, Michael Leland, and Anna Godefroy, are joined by two special guests who will help them share the ins and outs of binning, the Binners' Project, and, of course, give you a sneak peek at the plan for 2018.

Document type: 
Video

(In)secure: The Future of Working

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05-25
Abstract: 

The lives of working people in Canada are undergoing fundamental shifts and changes. As rapid automation eliminates jobs employment trends towards precarious arrangements and breakthrough innovations completely disrupt whole industries it’s hard to know where the ground is. Are we heading to a future that is fundamentally insecure? Or a world where secure work is exchanged for new and better options?

Document type: 
Video