Friday, January 19
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meaning or Movement? Objects or Rhythm? (Conversation)
Boarding House Gallery | 6 Dublin Street South
With panelists Vanessa Andreotti, Ashon Crawley, Zab Maboungou, and Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes.
What ways of being become viable when art is able to interrupt our satisfaction with the intellectual, affective, relational and performative economies we are invested in? What are the conditions that make this interruption possible? In this session, we explore the premise that being cannot be reduced to rational knowing and invite the audience into a fish-bowl conversation related to the implications of mobilizing art primarily through movement, rhythm and process rather than meaning, fixed stories or finished objects.
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Art as Activism | Activism as Art (Conversation)
Art Gallery of Guelph | 358 Gordon Street
Free Event | Co-presented by Bodies in Translation and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation
What role can (and should) curatorial practices play in shaping our understanding of art as activism, and of activism as art? IISCI and Bodies in Translation at the University of Guelph are pleased to co-present a conversation with Amanda Cachia and Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning. Please join us for a dynamic exchange between these two artist / activist / scholars on improvisation, embodiment and difference, and the challenges and possibilities of creating and curating for social change. The conversation will be moderated by Andrew Hunter, Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Guelph.
7:00 – 10:00 pm
The Guelph Lecture — On Being Canadian
Main Stage, River Run Centre | 35 Woolwich Street
Tickets: $20 – $25
Joseph Heath – keynote: The Rise of the Counter-cultural Right
From the bearded hippie to the tattooed punk, everyone is familiar with the iconic styles of left-wing countercultural movements. The experience of totalitarianism in the 20th century persuaded many people that conformity, or obedience to authority, constituted serious threats to human freedom. As a result, social deviance, transgression, non-conformity – in short breaking the rules – came to be seen as inherently emancipatory, regardless of the specific content of the rules. This is how growing one’s hair long, or wearing ripped jeans to work, came to be seen as politically radical acts. This encouraged a significant divestment of energy from conventional politics, combined with a greater emphasis on culture and cultural production. Over time, many on the left became disenchanted with this strategy, as it produced a long-term pattern of winning “culture war” issues but losing political power. For a while, it seemed as though the countercultural idea was fading. The unexpected twist in the story, in recent years, has been the migration of countercultural ideas to the right. From Steve Bannon to the alt-right denizens of 4chan, a new transgressive right-wing politics has emerged, vowing to rebel against the tyranny of liberal culture. This raises a crucial question: does this constitute a vindication, or a refutation, of the original countercultural idea?
Tanya Talaga – literary presentation of Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.
More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.
Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.
Okavango African Orchestra –12 instruments, 10 languages, and 7 countries come together on 1 stage for 1 night only in Guelph!