Simon Fraser University Vancity Office of Community Engagement

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The Human Right to Housing — with Leilani Farha

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No, item is not peer reviewed.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: 
Audio

Training and Jamming with New(to)Town Collective — with June Fukumura and Anjela Magpantay

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-15
Abstract: 

Finding a lack of space for experimentation and play in Vancouver’s theatre scene, New(to)Town Collective formed to provide accessible, low-barrier physical theatre training to the community. Our host, Am Johal speaks to two of the collective’s founding artists and alumni of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, June Fukumura and Anjela Magpantay. They discuss barriers facing emerging artists in the city, as well as how they embrace messiness and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in their by-donation Training Jams. The collective blends different artistic practices in their training and in the creation of new works, spanning from clowning to contemporary dance, to playwriting, to dramaturgy and more. Anjela and June also give Am a taste of what goes on in a Training Jam, guiding him through a sound and movement exercise.

June Fukumura is an award winning Japanese-Canadian theatre artist based in Vancouver, BC. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Popcorn Galaxies, an experimental theatre company that has produced over ten independent productions presented at Centre A, Vancouver Fringe Festival, BC Culture Days, and the rEvolver Festival. Additionally, June is the Co-Founder of New(to)Town Collective an artist collective with a mandate to create new experimental works; provide ongoing accessible physical theatre training; and experimental research workshops in Vancouver. June is the creator and performer of My Name is SUMIKO, a one woman clown performance featuring June’s alter ego, Sumiko. This show was produced by New(to)Town Collective and won the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2019.She has studied Grotowski inspired physical theatre, Pochinko clowning, directing, dramaturgy, devising, and improvisation. Her practice is a blend of experimental contemporary theatre and clown, site-responsive and site-specific art making, embodied performance techniques, and community engaged theatre and education.

Anjela Magpantay is an immigrant, actor, producer, teacher, director, and collaborator with various artists of different disciplines. After co-founding New(to)Town Collective, she has gone on to intensely study Grotowski and Clown training to bring back to the Collective. She has worked internationally, touring the UK with Foreign Radical by Theatre Conspiracy and toured to Hong Kong with A Wake of Vultures for their newly devised piece Walking at Night by Myself by Nancy Tam. Anjela is currently honing her leadership skills and specializing as a Cultural Consultant in multilingual Filipinx plays. Anjela holds a BFA from SFU's theatre program and continues it's rigorous training lineage in New(to) Town's Training Jams.

Document type: 
Audio

Podcasting as Scholarship - with Hannah McGregor

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-09-08
Abstract: 

With the rise of podcasting as a forum for academic conversations and as a teaching tool, Hannah McGregor of SFU’s Publishing department set out to investigate — and enact — podcasting as a form of scholarly communication, knowledge mobilization, and open pedagogy. Hannah is in conversation with host Am Johal about her research into the exciting potentials of scholarly podcasting, and the power of the podcast as a grassroots, decentralized medium.

Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, where her research focuses on podcasting as scholarly communication, systemic barriers to access in the Canadian publishing industry, and magazines as middlebrow media. She is the co-creator of Witch, Please, a feminist podcast on the Harry Potter world, and the creator of the weekly podcast Secret Feminist Agenda.

Document type: 
Audio

Youth in Policymaking — with Aida Mwanzia

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-08-20
Abstract: 

Jackie Obungah is in conversation with Aida Mwanzia about the importance of centering Black youth and community perspectives in policy making. Aida speaks about a policy brief she wrote advocating for a cap on international student tuition, as well as her experience working with Ethọ́s Lab to create accessible and inclusive tech spaces.

Document type: 
Audio

Paying the Land — with Joe Sacco

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: 
Audio

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

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: 
Audio

Ending Fentanyl Contamination Deaths — with Ann Livingston

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-08-07
Abstract: 

On this episode of our Below the Radar Conversations Series, our host Am Johal is joined by Ann Livingston, community organizer and drug user activist. Ann is the co-founder of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and is currently the Executive Project Coordinator of the BC-Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors. Am and Ann discuss the two current public health emergencies: the COVID-19 pandemic and the fentanyl contamination deaths in BC.

Ann Livingston is a community organizer, who works to improve access to citizenship for people who use illegal drugs. After co-founding the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) in 1998, she was employed as VANDU’s executive program director for 10 years. Ann organized with PWUD to form several drug users’ groups including the BC Association of People on Opiate Maintenance, the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, the BC Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors & the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs. Ann has advised the Vancouver Injection Drug User Survey, the NAOMI & SALOME Heroin Trials, BCCSU and the City of Vancouver. Ann was central in ensuring the policy of 1-for-1 Needle Exchange become Needle Distribution & Collection as well as seeding drug user groups for people who smoke crack, people who drink illegal alcohol, women who use drugs and survivors of the heroin prescription programs. Ann has opened 4 unsanctioned overdose prevention sites. She is the Executive Project Coordinator of BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors.

Document type: 
Video

The Garbage Queen — with Louise Schwarz

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-07
Abstract: 

On this episode of Below the Radar, our host Am Johal speaks with Louise Schwarz, founder and co-owner of Recycling Alternatives. Am and Louise talk about the cultural shift surrounding recycling from 1989, when Recycling Alternatives was founded, and today. They also discuss the future of recycling and waste management, and what policies might help keep more waste out of landfills.

Document type: 
Audio

Michael Roberson: Reading the Political Moment — Below the Radar

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-10
Abstract: 

On this episode of our Below the Radar Conversations Series our host Am Johal speaks with public health practitioner, activist and LGBTQ community leader Michael Roberson. They talk about how to read the current political times.

Document type: 
Audio

Garth Mullins: Fentanyl Contamination Deaths During Covid-19 — Below the Radar Conversations

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-11
Abstract: 

On this episode of our Below the Radar Conversations Series we talk with Garth Mullins, documentarian, community organizer, and host and executive producer of the podcast CRACKDOWN. Garth and our host Am Johal talk about how the overdose crisis in Vancouver has been affected by COVID-19, and the positive affects that listening to drug user activists can have on the safety of the community.

Document type: 
Audio