Posts Tagged ‘important stuff’

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.

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.


Four Horsemen Film Screening

Join us on Friday February 15 at 7:00 p.m. for a community screening of Four Horsemen.
Admission is free, but if you wish to make a donation to the filmmakers, it will be collected and passed on.

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Four Horsemen (2012) is an independent feature documentary by Renegade Economist that lifts the lid on how the world really works.


Four Horsemen is the debut feature from director Ross Ashcroft which reveals the fundamental flaws in the economic system which have brought our civilization to the brink of disaster.

23 leading thinkers –frustrated at the failure of their respective disciplines – break their silence to explain how the world really works.

The film pulls no punches in describing the consequences of continued inaction – but its message is one of hope. If more people can equip themselves with a better understanding of how the world really works, then the systems and structures that condemn billions to poverty or chronic insecurity can at last be overturned. Solutions to the multiple crises facing humanity have never been more urgent, but equally, the conditions for change have never been more favourable.

* * *

We’ll have some snacks available, but please feel free to bring your own/to share. Discussion to follow, if those present decide they wanna.

Settlers in Support of Idle No More

Settlers wanting to demonstrate solidarity with Idle No More are invited to Atomic Centre on Monday, December 31 beginning at 12:00 p.m. to join in sign making, idea sharing, co-learning, and possible future supportive action planning. Please bring any supplies you may have to share and/or your lunch/snacks.

We will walk together to the Round Dance flash mob at Portage and Main scheduled from 3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Please find more information here:


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Idle No More Teach-In Feast and FUNdraiser Gala
Monday December 31 from 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Thunderbird House – 715 Main Street

Warm up, share food and learn from one another after the Round Dance at Portage and Main!

POTLUCK Feast at 5pm
Speakers start at 6pm – 8pm

Find out more here:

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

Diversity keeps us brilliantly rich

With deepest thanks to Darlene Dunn and JR Koroscil, here is the poster that will be going up at Atomic to let so-called homophobes know their hate sucks and is unwelcome ♥

Diversity keeps us brilliantly rich

If you find yourself impoverished in intellect and/or heart, and feel the need to bore others with your unoriginal small mind/big mouth self-hatred disguised as homophobia, have no fear, I have the perfect solution for folks that think just like you…


Before you write anything on the walls, or damage something already here, dare to take a small step towards loving yourself, right now, in this moment.

Yes! Why not?

Take that small step right out the door of this building and close it.

[I know you can do it, in fact I am cheering you on right now as you are reading this]

Start walking away from here and breathe in the fresh air, and clear your mind of all those archaic and, quite honestly, very unbecoming, out-of-style thoughts of yours.

Hurry along now! Be quick before the impulse to take that first step to self love dies.

Hurrah! Not only have you respected all of us in here, but you have respected yourself by removing yourself from an area where, for whatever reasons, you did not feel safe.


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:

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.

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