Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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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No, item is not peer reviewed.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No, item is not peer reviewed.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

Vanessa Richards: Singing Through the Dark — and Other Pandemic Pleasures | Below the Radar Conversations (video)

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-08-18
Abstract: 

How do we come together to make and enjoy art in a time of physical distancing? Interdisciplinary artist and community organizer Vanessa Richards joins host Am Johal in his backyard for a physically distanced conversation about convening community through music during the pandemic. They discuss the challenges and opportunities of practising community-engaged arts over these past months; Vanessa’s experiences of virtually leading Van Van Song Society and Dancing in the Dark; and how Vancouver is responding to and participating in this moment of heightened community action for racial justice.

Document type: 
Video

Cooperative Economics — with Elvy Del Bianco

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-10-06
Abstract: 

Elvy Del Bianco of Vancity Credit Union speaks to the power of cooperatives to help communities meet their own needs. He is in conversation with host Am Johal about the role coops can play in the production of social goods, and how they can support communities of entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profits, and workers through solidarity and infrastructure. They also discuss the Vancity Emilia-Romagna Co-operative Study Tour and how this particular area of northern Italy has what Elvy calls, “the most significant cooperative economy on earth.” It’s also a region that sees some of the lowest poverty rates and highest levels of civic engagement in Italy. Am and Elvy discuss how similar cooperative policies and models could be implemented in BC and Vancouver to bolster communities, address precarious work, and deliver much needed services.

Elvezio (“Elvy”) Del Bianco is a cooperative enterprise educator, developer, financier and advocate. He coordinates Vancity’s support for new and established cooperatives, co-founded and organizes the Cooperate Now co-op business boot camp, co-authored the “Seven Ways to Grow BC’s Co-op Sector” policy document, and works to build out the infrastructure to support new cooperative enterprises.

Document type: 
Audio

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

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: 
Audio

Intergenerational Storytelling with Chinatown Seniors — with Yulanda Lui and Rachel Lau

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-29
Abstract: 

Yulanda Lui and Rachel Lau share experiences from the making of the radio documentary series Speak My Language, which highlighted the stories of Chinese-Canadian seniors facing barriers in accessing the BC healthcare system. A project of Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice, the radio pieces were created in collaboration with youth and seniors under the mentorship of project coordinator and lead artist Rachel Lau with the support of Yarrow co-founder Yulanda Lui. This episode is hosted by our Office’s previous Communications Coordinator, Rachel Wong, and touches upon ethical community-based storytelling and accessing healthcare for non-English speakers.

Rachel Lau is a community-engaged artist, writer, and radio producer based in what’s colonially known as “Vancouver”. Through audio storytelling, photography, and zine-making, they produce work that grapples with ideas and feelings around resistance, longing, transience, death, and decay. As part of their audio practice, they have produced several narrative radio documentaries focused on the lives of marginalized peoples, including Vancouver’s Chinatown community. More recently, they have expanded their practice into the realm of sound art. Rachel is also a recent graduate of the media studies program at the University of British Columbia, with a minor in Asian Canadian & Asian Migration studies.

Yulanda Lui is from Toronto, the territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit River. She graduated from UBC in 2017 with a BA in Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice and a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies. At UBC, she was the primary coordinator of The Pride Collective at UBC, organizing fellow student volunteers to support and improve the health and safety of queer and trans students. In 2018, Yulanda co-founded Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice, a non-profit organization that provides and enables services, advocacy, and education that develop youth and senior leadership and build community power in Vancouver's Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. Yulanda is a strong believer that relationships are at the core of social change. Starting this fall, Yulanda will be attending the New York University School of Law as a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar. She hopes to use her law degree to continue to empower her communities, to advocate for the rights of marginalized peoples, and to break down barriers to accessing health, education, social support, and justice.

Document type: 
Audio

Neuroengineering and Brain Plasticity — with Faranak Farzan

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: 
Audio

This Atom Bomb in Me — with Lindsey Freeman

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-22
Abstract: 

From Mister Rogers to radioactive frogs, Below the Radar dives into the nuclear imaginary with SFU Associate Professor of Sociology Lindsey Freeman as she recounts the atomic culture she was brought up in. In this episode, Lindsey is in conversation with Am Johal about her new book, This Atom Bomb in Me, a reckoning with our nuclear past that resonates with the present moment. Through Lindsey’s experiences of growing up in the Manhattan Project secret city, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the book traces the radiating influence of the arms race on American politics and culture. Lindsey also speaks to her current projects, including a trip to Chernobyl, the impact of rain on Vancouver’s social mood, and a fascination with miniatures and the uncannily small.

Lindsey A. Freeman is a writer and sociologist interested in atomic culture, feelings, memory, poetics, and rain. Freeman is author of This Atom Bomb in Me (Redwood Press/Stanford University Press) and Longing for the Bomb: Oak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia (University of North Carolina Press), and editor of The Bohemian South: Creating Counter-cultures from Poe to Punk (University of North Carolina Press). Freeman is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University and an Affiliated Researcher at the Espaces et Sociétés (Space and Society Center) at the University of Caen-Normandy.

Document type: 
Audio