Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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Supporting Harm Reduction through Covid-19 — with Mebrat Beyene (Video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-11-06
Abstract: 

Mebrat speaks to new WISH initiatives, such as opening a new 24/7 shelter for sex workers, increasing access to bathrooms and showers, and finding new ways to accept donations of essential items. She also calls on policymakers at all levels to swiftly address access to emergency income relief for sex workers, to provide a safe supply of drugs, and to house people as quickly as possible.

Document type: 
Video

Supporting Harm Reduction through Covid-19 — with Mebrat Beyene

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-11-06
Abstract: 

Mebrat speaks to new WISH initiatives, such as opening a new 24/7 shelter for sex workers, increasing access to bathrooms and showers, and finding new ways to accept donations of essential items. She also calls on policymakers at all levels to swiftly address access to emergency income relief for sex workers, to provide a safe supply of drugs, and to house people as quickly as possible.

Document type: 
Audio

Ecosystems and the Cultural Imaginary — with Derek Woods

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-11-04
Abstract: 

I write about ecology, technology, and modern narrative in relation to the history of science. My book in progress is about the distinction between harmful and "symbiotic" technologies and the influence of cybernetics on ecology and Earth system science. I show that the terrarium and terraforming are topoi across literature, science, and film that play a dynamic role in the construction of ecological consciousness and visions of what green technology might become. I'm also working on a book about the mediation and aesthetics of scales too big or too small for our senses to perceive. I'm currently assistant professor of media studies in the Department of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia.

Document type: 
Audio

Remembering Chinatown — with Gwen Boyle

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-29
Abstract: 

I am originally from Vancouver and after many years of living and working in the Yukon returned to that city to study art while raising a family. I received my diploma from the Vancouver School of Art – now Emily Carr University of Art + Design – in the early 1970′s, and after further sculpture studies under Jack Harman, graduated with honours in bronze casting in 1975. While I have made smaller works, my interest has always been in large scale, interactive sculptures and I have explored this most extensively in my public art commissions. I enjoy the challenge of making public art – from the historic research of site, to engineering problem solving, to the knowledgeable and enthusiastic specialists I work alongside during the long creative process.

 

In 1989 I was fortunate to spend time again in the North, this time travelling to Resolute in Canada’s high arctic to make my art. This was a significant experience in my life and career, and the memory of that landscape and human relation to it has stayed with me ever since. I currently live and work in Vancouver, near to the ocean and a different kind of inspiring natural and urban expanse.

Document type: 
Audio

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