Conferences

Thursday
2 public sessions, 3.5 hours daily
Synopsis

CAMINOS 2017 will also feature an international conference on Performance and Human Rights.

Unsettling the Americas: Radical Hospitalities and Intimate Geographies, offers three days of conversations reflecting on histories of settlement, displacement, and resettlement. Unsettling the Americas is presented in collaboration between Aluna, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’s Graduate Student Initiative Convergence Conference, York University’s Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies and Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas, and the Performance Studies (Canada) Project.

Conference panels and events will be held Thursday Oct. 5 & Friday Oct. 6, from 2pm – 5:30pm in the Ada Slaight Hall at Daniels Spectrum.

2017 Hemi GSI Convergence Conference Plenary Schedule
(all plenary events are open to the public)

Thursday Oct. 5

2:00pm – 2:15pm: Convergence Welcome

2:15pm – 3:30pm: Session 1 – Keynote, “sq’ép” 

Speaker: Dylan Robinson

sq’ép: gathering
sq’ép: xwélalà:m | listening | witnessing.
sq’ép: through Indigenous logics of inscription.
sq’ép: without extraction.

3:30pm – 3:45pm: Coffee break

3:45pm – 5:15pm: Session 2 – From ‘Discovery’ to Dakota Access: A Critical Duet on Indigenous Acts of Activism and Resurgence in the Americas

Speakers: Benvenuto Chavajay and Cheryl Angel, Moderator: Zöe Heyn-Jones

Bringing together two radical voices of Indigenous resilience, this conversation will discuss Indigenous activist and art practices that recover, defend, and speak to Indigenous culture and futurity. What pedagogies and tactics create possibilities of social change, sovereignty, and environmental justice? How might such acts of resurgence remind us that, referencing Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is not a metaphor”?

5:15pm – 5:30pm: Climate Change Theatre Action Play Reading

Friday Oct. 6

2:00pm – 3:30pm: Session 3 – Art, Representation, and the Politics of Migration in an Age of Increasing Xenophobia

Speakers: Moysés Zuñiga Santiago, Lisa Stevenson, Farrah Miranda, Moderator: Marcial Godoy-Anativia

This panel brings together three experts to discuss art, representation, and processes of migration across three different contexts: Central American migrants traveling through Mexico; Colombian refugees in Ecuador; and migrant arrivals and labour in Canada. How can art address the histories of settlements and displacements in the Americas? In what ways can art intervene in and critique the global and local machinations of power that cause migrants and refugees to leave their homes, or that lead nations to refuse their entry? How might art remap geopolitical borders and imagine alternative forms of radical hospitality in an age of increasing hostility towards migrants?

3:30pm – 4:00pm: Coffee Break

4:00pm – 5:30pm: Session 4 – Unsettling Multicultural Canada: Racialized bodies and Canadian (In)Hospitalities

Speakers: Ali Kazimi, Syrus Marcus Ware, Jasmin Zine, Moderator: Olivia Gagnon

On January 28, 2017, as a reaction to the US travel ban, Canada’s telegenic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced to the world via Twitter, “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.” Trudeau’s hospitable message, amid an ongoing refugee crisis and growing isolationist movements, evokes the myth of Canada as a cultural mosaic that is welcome to peoples, refugees, and migrants from many walks of life. This panel troubles this myth by discussing the ways in which the Canadian state has historically exercised, and continues to practice, exclusionary and restrictive policies against minoritarian groups. Canadian (in)hospitalities reference the ways in which the state organizes, takes into custody, restricts, and refuses certain bodies that unsettle/contest national narratives of Canada as a harmonious (white) settler society.

Throughout the Convergence: Photo exhibition by Moysés Zuñiga Santiago, “En Tránsito / In Transit”

Speaker Bios

Cheryl Angel is a Sicangu Lakota spiritual activist. At Standing Rock in 2016 Cheryl led prayer and ceremonies to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from and infringing on Native rights, and destroying cultural treasures and clean water. Now she travels and shares the message of decolonizing Unci Mahka, Grandmother Earth, and protecting her watershed.

Benvenuto Chavajay Ixtetela is a multidisciplinary artist from San Pedro Lago, Atitlán, Guatemala, whose work investigates the colonial wound, seeking to reclaim and recover Indigenous legacies through gestures and creative practices.

Ali Kazimi is an award-winning filmmaker and author, whose work deals with race, social justice, migration, history, and memory. His works include the documentaries Narmada: A Valley Rises (’94), Continuous Journey (’04), and Random Acts of Legacy (2016), and the book, Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru (2012).

Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier Scholar, artist, activist, curator, and educator who uses painting, installation, and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture. He is a facilitator/designer at The Banff Centre, and was Coordinator of the AGO’s Youth Program. Syrus is the inaugural Daniels Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17), and a core-team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto.

Farrah-Marie Miranda is an Abu-Dhabi born, Toronto-based artist of Goan and Mangalorean descent. She holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University, and has exhibited at the Art Gallery of York University and Whippersnapper Gallery (Toronto), Artcite Inc. (Windsor), the Surrey Art Gallery (British Columbia), and Astérides (Marseille).

Dylan Robinson is a scholar of Stó:lō descent who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s, located on traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. His recent book collection is Arts of Engagement: Taking Aesthetic Action in and beyond the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and forthcoming book, Hungry Listening, focuses on Indigenous and settler practices of listening.

Lisa Stevenson is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at McGill. Her book Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic won the 2015 Victor Turner Book Prize. Her recent work among Colombian refugees in Ecuador engages experimental theatre techniques to find new imagistic ways of representing the violence of everyday life.

Jasmin Zine is a Professor of Sociology whose interests lie in critical Muslim studies, Islamophobia studies, race/anti-racism, postcolonial/anti-colonial studies, social justice education, decolonizing research, and critical ethnography. Her SSHRC funded study examined the “9/11 generation” of Canadian Muslim youth and how Islamophobia and domestic policies impact their identity and belonging.

Moysés Zúñiga Santiago is a photographer and journalist from San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. He works freelance as a photojournalist for international news agencies and the newspaper La Jornada. His work explores issues around grassroots social movements, Paramilitarism, EZLN, Environment, and Migration. Zúñiga’s work has appeared in exhibitions at NYU’s Hemispheric Institute and at University of Arizona.

For more details, visit The Convergence website.