Archive for the ‘other stuff’ Category

Whose Winnipeg? – August 20, 2013 – 765 Main Street

Whose Winnipeg?
A Workshop about Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space

This workshop brings together activists, advocates, writers, researchers, journalists, artists, and organizers to present notes, observations, histories, research findings, arguments, questions, essays, and articles about the contemporary urban processes that shape Winnipeg, from an anti-colonial and anti-neoliberal perspective.

It is a continuation of discussions that took place at two consecutive workshops organized by Owen Toews, David Hugill, and Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land at the 2013 meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The Winnipeg incarnation of this workshop has been organized by Kate Sjoberg, Owen Toews, and Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land and is generously sponsored by the Manitoba Research Alliance.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013 from 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Full schedule and session descriptions available here.


The Social Enterprise Center
765 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB


Please RSVP!

If you are not presenting and would like to attend the workshop as a listener, please confirm your attendance by August 15, 2013. Your RSVP will allow us to make sure there are enough chairs and enough food!

RSVP by sending an email to:

Please indicate whether or not you will be in need of childcare.

Call for Proposals: Whose Winnipeg? Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space

Whose Winnipeg? Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space

A Workshop

August 20, 2013 -  Winnipeg, MB – Location TBA

Joe Bryksa/Winnipeg Free Press

We invite activists, advocates, writers, researchers, journalists, artists, and organizers to offer workshop presentations – notes, observations, histories, research findings, arguments, questions, essays, articles – about the contemporary urban processes that shape Winnipeg, from an anti-colonial and anti-neoliberal perspective.


Winnipeg is home to a long history of struggles over urban space. These struggles often seem to have two dimensions: on the one hand, low-income communities fight against the effects of an unjust political-economic system, and on the other hand Indigenous peoples continue to struggle against settler colonialism. How are these struggles connected?

Poor people in Winnipeg have struggled against a shifting social and economic agenda that has in recent years been labeled “neoliberalism”. This has included fights against: the privatization of public services, the redistribution of wealth upward through tax breaks and land grants for businesses and developers, and expanded punishment and policing of the poor; as well as fights for improved access to affordable housing, public services, and good jobs. At the same time, Indigenous-led efforts to resist racism, and secure the stability and self-determination of their communities and nations within the city have grown steadily.

What is sometimes lacking in the midst of these struggles is reflection about how they connect to each other: how neoliberalism and settler-colonialism intersect, overlap, and work together to make Winnipeg what it is, and how a politics of alliance between anti-neoliberal and anti-colonial movements in Winnipeg and beyond might be nurtured.

We believe that a thoughtful, grounded analysis of these forces is essential to shaping a more just future. We also believe that anti-colonial and anti-neoliberal theory grounded in the experiences of resistance to these dual processes in Winnipeg can make an important contribution to collective understandings of these processes at a national, continental, and global scale.


To this end, this workshop is intended to bring together like-minded people who have spent time researching, thinking about, or working in the midst of opposition to neoliberalism and/or settler colonialism to share their ideas in a forum where we hope to:

  • make connections between each other’s work and ideas
  • ask questions about each other’s work and make constructive suggestions
  • strategize about how our ideas can be communicated to a broader public
  • develop ideas for future research

Each participant will make a 5-15 minute presentation. The format and schedule of the workshop will be determined based on how many submissions are received. It may take the form of people presenting in circles focused on specific topics, or it may involve one big circle of presentations.

While our focus is on different forms of research, this is not a strictly “academic” event – people who do their intellectual work outside universities are welcome and encouraged to participate. We believe that analysis can and must be done outside the university.

Possible presentation topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Idle No More
  • Occupy/decolonize
  • Apology, truth and reconciliation
  • Gender and sexual violence
  • Labor
  • Housing
  • Policing
  • Gentrification
  • Prison expansion
  • Criminalization
  • Education
  • Community control
  • Non-profit industrial complex
  • Everyday politics of resistance and survival
  • Arts, the “creative class”, and the city

Please email a 150-200 word proposal to by July 18, 2013.

ArtLeaks Gazette is online!

ArtLeaks Gazette is online ! With contributions from: Milena Placentile, Jonas Staal, Gregory Sholette, Evgenia Abramova, Veda Popovici, Mykola Ridnyi, Amber Hickey, Fokus Grupa, Marsha Bradfield & Kuba Szreder, Lauren van Haaften-Schick

Graphic interventions: Zampa di Leone

Editing assistance: Jasmina Tumbas

You can download it by sections or in full here:

Many thanks to all our contributors and to all those who submitted. In the near future we will update the site with a section with all the contributions that were delivered to us by the deadline out of which the editorial collective made the selections.

Idle No More – Bill Breakdowns

The Harper Government of Canada is currently putting through 8 BILLS that violate treaties and are meant todestroy and assimilate First Nations in the same way the 1969 White Paper was meant to. The 1969 White Paper aimed to eliminate the IndianAct, Get Rid of Treaty Rights, Do Away with ReservesLands, and Assimilate. Never in history has there been so many bills regarding and impacting First Nations been pushed through the House of Commons at one time. They are below. All found below are changes of the Indian Act, impositions, and encroachments of legislations onto First Nation people without the right to free, prior, and informed consent.

Click image to view full three-page document at

CFP: Whose Winnipeg? Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space

Call for papers: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
April 9th-13th, 2013, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Whose Winnipeg? Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space.


  • Owen Toews, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY Graduate Center
  • David Hugill, Department of Geography, York University
  • Bronwyn Dobchuk-Land, Department of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center

Since the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba slipped from its position as one of the key centers of the Canadian political economy in the first half of the 20th century, it has often been stigmatized as a city in decline. Narratives of urban decay, infrastructural deterioration and capital out-migration have often defined perceptions of the city, obscuring the fact that it has experienced a relatively stable pattern of “slow-growth” (Leo 2006) for more than a generation. Perceptions of decline have, of course, been periodically interrupted by evidence of “revitalization” (the recent return of a National Hockey League franchise is a paradigmatic example) and a correlative spirit of new hope. It is our view, however, that this dialectic of destitution and salvation too often encourages us to think about Winnipeg in its specificity, obscuring the ways that urban dynamics there offer key opportunities to think through issues that are relevant in a range of North American spaces and places. It is, for example, one of the environments where the contemporary dynamics of settler colonial violence continue to be most viscerally articulated – from police violence, child welfare apprehensions, and racist redevelopment schemes, to a housing crisis, residential segregation, and extreme poverty. It is also a place where urban resistance to that violence has been most impressively coordinated, exemplified by, for example, a strong culture of neighbourhood-based organizing, a variegated history of responses from gang organizations, the movement to bring attention and resources to missing and murdered Aboriginal women, and one of the longest lasting Occupy/Decolonize encampments on the continent. Since the 1980s these processes have frequently been articulated through and against the neoliberalization of the city and province, as upward redistribution of resources and intensified punishment of the poor extends and deepens settler colonial processes of dispossession and subjection. This prompts us to ask: How does the production of twenty first century Winnipeg exemplify relationships and interconnections between settler colonialism and the neoliberalization of urban space?

We invite interventions from a wide variety of disciplines and contexts, both inside and outside the academy. The idea, ultimately, is to use the opportunity of this meeting to bring together a range of people interested in Winnipeg as a site of urban research from a broadly anti-colonial and anti-neoliberal perspective.

Please e-mail your abstract to either Owen (otoews @ gmail . com), David (dhugill @ yorku . ca), or Bronwyn (bdobchuk-land @ gc . cuny . edu) no later than October 20, 2012.

Forward widely!

Spreading the Maple Spring: Lessons from Quebec’s Student Strike

Speakers forum featuring Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, former spokesperson for CLASSE
October 3, 2012 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg


Winnipeg, MB – September 26, 2012

F(un) Class at the University of Winnipeg is pleased to partner with,, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, The University of Manitoba Students’ Union, The University of Winnipeg Students Association, CKUW 95.9 FM, Winnipeg New Socialist Group, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3909, and Public Service Alliance of Canada (Prairie Region) to present a speakers forum addressing the Quebec students movement, widely known as Maple Spring.

For CLASSE, the largest of the student unions involved in the Quebec student strike, the victory of reversing the recently imposed tuition hike is merely the start of a larger fight against austerity in all forms, which is not only struggle to oppose assaults on our social welfare, but to build a better society.

In addition to summarizing what happened in Quebec over the past several months, the three guest speakers at our evening forum will convey how the hard-earned lessons of the longest student strike in Canadian history can be applied to social movement organizing across the country for other purposes, including mounting a pan-national

movement against the austerity measures imposed by the Conservative Federal Government under Steven Harper.

Speakers include:

  • Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, former spokesperson for CLASSE
  • Cloé Zawadzki-Turcotte, a former member of CLASSE’s executive and a key organizer behind the strike
  • Ethan Cox,’s Quebec correspondent and a former student organizer

To read more about the speaking tour please visit

This event will take place on October 3 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. in room 4M47 (4th Floor, Manitoba Hall) at the University of Winnipeg (515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg). This event is free of charge and all are welcome. We invite attendance by members of the media and welcome questions as part of essential coverage of this important event.

The co-sponsors of this event are:,, CEP, UMSU, UWSA, CKUW, WNSG, CUPE Local 3909, PSAC Prairie Region, and F(un) Class.

F(un) Class is an open group at the University of Winnipeg struggling for combative student unionism here in Winnipeg. We welcome participation at our meetings held every Wednesday at 12:30 in room 2M67 at the Univeristy of Winnipeg. For more information, please visit:

Situated Cinema

Atomic is opening its doors to WNDX:: Festival of Moving Images and Situated Cinema, a project by Solomon Nagler, Thomas Evans and Craig Rodmore. Find the Facebook event right there, details pasted below…

Situated Cinema
A project by Solomon Nagler, Thomas Evans and Craig Rodmore
Free admission

An alternative cinema-going experience in which the interior of the movie theatre interacts with the city outside, the second iteration of the Situated Cinema project is a demountable microcinema that will be installed at various sites in Winnipeg. Through the mobility and permeability of the venue and the mingling of silent films and shifting contextual soundscapes, the project embraces the interactions and juxtapositions of the city and asks viewer-participants and five commissioned filmmakers to do the same.

    Co-Presented by Winnipeg Design Festival
    Opening Reception with Artist-talk at RAW GALLERY
    Co-Presented by the Winnipeg Design Festival
    Co-Presented by Gallery 1C03
    Co-Presented by Winnipeg Design Festival
    Co-Presented by Culture Days Nuit Blanche & Winnipeg Design Festival
The cinema will loop 16mm films by Alexandre Larose (Montreal), Alex Mackenzie (Vancouver), Caroline Monnet (Montreal/Winnipeg), Heidi Phillips (Winnipeg), and Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof (Toronto). The cinema was designed by Thomas Evans and Craig Rodmore. Solomon Nagler is coordinating curator for the project, which is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Jon Davies.Between
Heidi Phillips | Manitoba
1:19, 16mm, 2012

This Town of Toronto Is the Best Place I Ever Ran Into
Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof | Ontario
1:00, 16mm, 2012

Alex MacKenzie | British Columbia
2:00, 16mm, 2012

Alexandre Larose | Quebec
1:56, 16mm, 2012

Caroline Monnet | Quebec/Manitoba
2:21, 16mm, 2012

WNDX acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $154 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. With additional support from Culture Days Manitoba, Gallery 1C03, NO.W.HERE, NSCAD, Nova Scotia Culture and Tourism, SSHRC, Storefront Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg Design Festival


And here it is as it looked last night during the premiere… be sure to check it out today, tomorrow and Saturday =-)

Launching the ArtLeaks Gazette – Call for Papers Public

After a year of activity, we, members of the collective ArtLeaks felt an urgent need to establish a regular on-line publication as a tool for empowerment in the face of the systemic abuse of cultural workers’ basic labor rights, repression or even blatant censorship and growing corporatization of culture that we encounter today.

Namely: radical (political) projects are co-opted under the umbrella of corporate promotion and gentrification; artistic research is performed on research hand-outs, creating only an illusion of depth while in fact adding to the reserve army of creative capital; the secondary market thrives as auction houses speculate on blue chip artists for enormous amounts of laundered money, following finance capitalism from boom to bust, meanwhile, most artists can’t even make a living and depend on miserly fees, restrictive residencies, and research handouts to survive; galleries and dealers more and more heavily copyright cultural values; approximately 5% of authors, producers and dealers control 80% of all cultural resources (and indeed, in reality, the situation may be even worse than these numbers suggest) ; certain cultural managers and institutions do not shy away from using repressive maneuvers against those who bring into question their mission, politics or dubious engagements with corporate or state benefactors; and last but not least, restrictive national(ist) laws and governments suppress cultural workers through very drastic politics, not to mention the national state functions as a factor of neoliberal expression in the field of culture.

Do you recognize yourself in the scenarios above? Do you accept them as immutable conditions of your labor? We strongly believe that this dire state of affairs can be changed. We do not have to carry on complying to politics that cultivate harsh principles of pseudo-natural selection (or social-Darwinism) – instead we should fight against them and imagine different scenarios based on collective values, fairness and dignity.

Through our journal, we want to stresses the urgent need to seriously transform workers’ relationship with institutions, networks and economies involved in the production, reproduction and consumption of art and culture. We will pursue these goals through developing a new approach to the tradition of institutional critique and fostering new forms of artistic production, that may challenge dominant discourses of criticality and social engagement which tame creative forces. We also feel the urgency to link cultural workers’ struggles with similar ones from other fields of human activity – at the same time, we strongly believe that any such sustainable alliances could hardly be built unless we begin with the struggles in our own factories.

Design by Zampa Di Leone with the occasion of the Presentation of the international platform ArtLeaks. On the urgency of launching the ArtLeaks Gazette, London, 7th November 2012 in the framework of the Historical Materliasm conference

* Announced Theme for the first issue *

Breaking the Silence – Towards Justice, Solidarity and Mobilization

The main theme of the first issue of our journal is establishing a politics of truth by breaking the silence on the art world. What do we actually mean by this? We suggest that breaking the silence on the art world is similar to breaking the silence of family violence and other forms of domestic abuse. Similarly as when coming out with stories of endemic exploitation form inside the household, talking about violence and exploitation in the art world commonly brings shame, ambivalence and fear. But while each case of abuse may be different, we believe these are not singular instances but part of a larger system of repression, abuse and arrogance that have been normalized through the practices of certain cultural managers and institutions. Our task is to find voices, narratives, hybrid forms that raise consciousness about the profound effects of these forms of maltreatments: to break through the normalizing rhetoric that relegate cultural workers’ labor to an activity performed out of instinct, for the survival of culture at large, like sex or child rearing which, too are zones of intense exploitation today.

At the same time, we recognize that the moment of exposure does not fully address self-organization or, what comes after breaking the silence? We suggest that it is therefore important to link this to solidarity, mobilization and an appeal for justice, as political tools. As it is the understanding of the dynamic interaction between the mobilization of resources, political opportunities in contexts and emancipatory cultural frames that we can use to analyze and construct strategies for cultural workers movements. With summoning the urgency of “potentia agendi” (or the power to act) collectively we also call for the necessity to forge coalitions within the art world and beyond it – alliances that have the concrete ability of exerting a certain political pressure towards achieving the promise of a more just and emancipatory cultural field.

* Structure of publication *

The journal would be divided into 6 major sections.

A. Critique of cultural dominance apparatuses

Here we will address methodological issues in analyzing the condition of cultural production and the system that allows for the facile exploitation of the cultural labor-force. Ideally, though not necessarily, these theoretical elaborations would be related to concrete case studies of conflicts, exploitation, dissent across various regions of the world, drawing comparisons and providing local context for understanding them.

B. Forms of organization and history of struggles

Cultural workers have been demanding just working conditions, struggling over agency and subjectivity in myriad ways and through various ideas about what this entails. In this section we will analyze historical case-studies of self-organization of cultural workers. Our goal is not to produce a synthetic model out of all of these struggles, rather to examine how problems have been articulated at various levels of (political) organization, with attention to the genealogy of the issues and the interaction between hegemonic discourses (of the institution, corporation, the state) and those employed by cultural workers in their respective communities.

C. The struggle of narrations

In this section we will invite our contributors to develop and practice artistic forms of narration which cannot be fully articulated through direct “leaking”. It should be focused on finding new languages for narration of systemic dysfunctions . We expect these elaborations can take different form of artistic contributions, including comics, poems, films, plays, short stories, librettos etc.

D. Glossary of terms

What do we mean by the concept of “cultural workers”? What does “gentrification” or “systemic abuse” mean in certain contexts? Whose “art world”? This section addresses the necessity of developing a terminology to make theoretical articulations more clear and accessible to our readers. Members of ArtLeaks as well as our contributors to our gazette will be invited to define key terms used in the material presented in the publication. These definitions should be no more that 3-4 sentences long and they should be formulated as a result of a dialogue between all the contributors.

E. Education and its discontents

The conflicts and struggles in the field of creative education are at the core of determining what kind of subjectivities will shape the culture(s) of future generations. It is very important to carefully analyze what is currently at the stake in these specific fields of educational processes and how they are linked with what is happening outside academies and universities. In this section we will discuss possible emancipatory approaches to education that are possible today, which resist pressing commercial demands for flexible and “creative” subjectivities. Can we imagine an alternative system of values based of a different meaning of progress?

F. Best practices and useful resources

In this section we would like to invite people to play out their fantasies of new, just forms of organization of creative life. Developing the tradition of different visionaries of the past we hope that this section will trigger many speculations which might help us collect modest proposals for the future and thus counter the shabby reality of the present. This section is also dedicated to the practices which demonstrate alternative ethical guidelines, and stimulate the creation of a common cultural sphere. This would allow cultural workers to unleash their full potential in creating values based on principles of emancipatory politics, critical reflections and affirmative inspiration of a different world where these values should form the basis of a dignified life.

* On Practicalities *

Our open call addresses all those who feel the urgency to discuss the aforementioned-issues. We look forward to collecting contributions until the 31st of December 2012. Contributions should be delivered in English or as an exemption in any language after negotiations with the editorial council. The editorial council of Artleaks takes responsibility of communicating with all authors during the editorial process.

Please contact us with any questions, comments and submit materials to : When submitting material, please also note the section under which you would like to see it published.

The on-line gazette will be published in English under the Creative Commons attribution noncommercial-share alike and its materials will be offered for translation in any languages to any interested parts.

We will publish all contributions delivered to us in a separate section. However, our editorial council takes full responsibility in composing an issue of the journal in the way we feel it should be done.

Editorial council for the first issue will consist of: Corina L. Apostol, Vladan Jeremić,Vlad Morariu, David Riff and Dmitry Vilensky.

-and -

Le Carré Rouge: Solidarity, the Quebec student strike, and the growing popular movement

Posting in solidarity, an event coming up at Negative Space, our friends and neighbours just down the street…


Le Carré Rouge: presentations and discussions on solidarity, the Quebec student strike and the growing popular movement

Le Carré Rouge: présentations et discussions sur la solidarité avec la grève étudiante au Québec et la croissance du mouvement populaire

Close to 200,000 students have been on strike in Quebec for over 100 days, marking the longest student strike in Canadian history, with the momentum growing daily. In tandem with the strike, a growing popular movement has been building, responding to Quebec’s feeble attempts at negotiations and new draconian laws, like Bill 78, restricting the right to protest. Collectively, this popular uprising has seen daily and nightly protests, casseroles, actions, art interventions, economic disruptions, teach-ins, and other creative resistance to the tuition increase, privatization, and the institutional corruption and injustice rampant in Quebec… Fighting to win! On ne lâche pas!

Join us for an informal presentation and facilitated discussion on the student strike, the growing popular movement – in both Quebec and across the country – and ways in which we can build solidarity and assert our collective demands for a different and more just future.

*We will be collecting donations for legal defense at this event, which now totals over 2500 arrests over the last 3 months.

*Cet événement sera présenté en anglais, avec traduction chuchotée de l’anglais au français.


With short presentations by:

Brian Latour is a student, labour, and international solidarity activist currently studying at the University of Manitoba. Brian currently serves as Vice-President Unit 1 of CUPE local 3909, representing student academic workers and sessional instructors at the University of Manitoba, and will be sharing his thoughts on strategy for the student left in places like Manitoba and smaller-scale mobilizations.

Kandis Friesen is an artist and student on strike. From the nightly casseroles and neighbourhood committees, the nightly downtown demonstrations, police violence and political repression, the arts solidarity campaign and art interventions, picket-line solidarity, and strange mascots (Anarchopanda!), she’ll give a visual presentation of the wide range of actions that are creating (and critiquing) a rampant collective solidarity in Quebec.

Max Silverman is a law student – currently on strike for over 100 days – at UQAM. He is the coordinating administrator of the Legal Defense Fund 2012, and will be joining us via Skype for a legal update.


Thursday June 21st
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Negative Space
253 Princess Street

Note: Negative Space is not currently fully wheelchair accessible – please contact us for more details at or visit

“Do you think the Canadian people are stupid, Mr. Toews?”

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