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Do not underestimate the power of locating yourself in the story

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Do not underestimate the power of locating yourself in the story” – Aerlyn Weissman

This week we spent most of our time together listening to and responding to the ideas and pitches from each individual member of the community.

What is exciting is the breadth of the story considerations and their diversity.

In thinking about this collection as a series I am reminded again of the philosopher Hannah Arendt’s notion of the birth of action as the fundamental human condition and its relationship to creativity. How much a community of creative practice is about taking something from nothing and creating something that is unlike any other. We are capable of giving birth to the unexpected and the new at any time and in any place.

Plurality is the condition of human action because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live…

Action has the closest connections with the human condition of natality; the new beginning inherent in birth can make itself felt in the world only because the newcomer possesses this capacity of beginning something anew, that is, of acting…

and with word and deed we insert ourselves into the human world.

(Arendt, The Human Condition, 1954)

We have begun the deeply human thing of acting, of telling our story to the world.

By next week everyone is encouraged to create an outline or treatment of their individual November 8th.

In Point the online production resource at Pacific Cinematheque: series of Pre-production Writing

Aerlyn Weissman gave an interview workshop. This workshop was a technical and extremely useful series of pointers on how to conduct a good interview on film.

Members of the group practiced with camera, sound, and interview setup.

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Matt Hern

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

October 25, 2012.


Matt Hern spoke to the group and facilitated an extensive workshop on housing.

Questions Matt Hern  asked groups to speak to each other about:

1. What goes through your mind when you differentiate home ownership from market ownership?

2. What is your heritage around ideas of housing?

3. What do you think you deserve?

4. Do others deserve the same?

5. Think of one more question you would ask?


Malcolm MacLean posted this in response to last talk:

Here’s a great info-graphic (scroll down) which effectively begs the question, “In an economic climate where public funds are extremely tight, can we afford to be pushing the homeless into options that will cost taxpayers 10x as much as providing affordable housing in the first place?”

The real cost of homelessness: Can we save money by doing the right thing?


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Interurban Gallery

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Friday,  October 19th.

Interurban Gallery (1 E. Hastings). This event was co-sponsord by Housing Justice: Public Engagement, Policy Development and Legal Rights and SFU Woodwards Cultural Unit.


Kim Villagante’s response from this evenings discourse. 

Hi everyone,

I thought the answers provided regarding arguments against densification were inadequate today and so I did some quick research. Below are a couple of quotes and links that talk about the arguments against densification on the Vancouver community. Specifically the first link to the article was my favourite since I grew up in Surrey.
much love! k!m

“what I am beginning to think is that it is not the City of Vancouver that has to densify; it is the suburbs around it, and that the City of Vancouver should be doing all in its power to cause that suburban densification to happen.”

Read more.

“There is nothing ecological about densification that, by cramming more people into the same space, unduly stresses and pollutes the environment, both natural and human. False promises abound in the Charter, ranging from assurances regarding restrictions on shadowing to “respect for authentic neighbourhood values, context, character, and identity.” The rows of towering two-story masses entailed in Vancouver laneway housing, hideously exemplified in the 4600 block of West 11th Avenue, spread darkness and congestion, where once there was light and space – and relative privacy. Further proliferation of such structures. throughout the city will only aggravate the problem.”

“That helps them fit in better with the neighbouring single-family homes,” Bardon said. “So the addition of density that comes with the project represents less of a visual change to the people in the neighbourhood, because they don’t have these enormous towering buildings around them.”

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A Dark and Stormy Night

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

October 18, 2012.

We started this evening by brainstorming intersection between ‘what is the lived experience of home/housing of the group and what did they ‘hope’ for. The framing of the question evoked the tremendous scope of the issues that play when we think of home and housing justice.

The questions evoked and disclosed large considerations. Themes emerged that reflected place/neighbourhood – concepts and assumptions on gentrification and densification – safety,

The systemic displacement and destruction of communities/how reservations are created and how communities disappear.

There was a good deal of conversation related to notions of intentional community and intentional living as something counter to current market driven housing.

Conversation also centred on specifics around choosing artistic path and how artists seen as beneficiaries in this culture, marginalized in an entertainment centric cultures.

History of organizing resistance to housing issues was brought forward.

Story was mentioned in light of seeing these large issues through the lens of a personal narrative:

Using simple visual storytelling techniques with evocative personal narratives as one avenue of expression:

Looked at: South Hill Inside Stories/ interactive website; created by Jeremy Mendes, Shannon Mendes, and Nettie Wilde for examples of strong visual storytelling – more here.

Also screened Ray’s Piece, a digital media installation, originally produced as part of the Finding Home Project with Purple Thistle Art’s and Activism Centre ‘s Dreamseeds program participants. Finding Home was originally installed at the Cosmopolis Conference at Simon Fraser University in 2010.



Prof. Margot Young, Dr. Penny Gurstein, and Maureen Mendoza from The Housing Justice Project, were introduced and these guests informally spoke to group about the project goals of the Housing Justice Project.

Margot Young introduced concept of Housing Justice as a Human Rights Issue.

Right to Housing challenge in Ontario under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Dr. Penny Gurstein addressed her work with Housing Justice Project and with SCARP. She introduced a video created by student in SCARP that explained the market conditions associated with the housing crises in Vancouver.
Screened: Boomtown Blues: Vancouver’s Housing Affordability
Crisis by Elise Finnegan, 2006. The video is not available online.


Discussion afterward centred on arguments for and against densification.

Margot and Penny extended invitation for group to participate in a discussion led by Bruce Porter and Leilani Farha focusing on domestic housing rights.

“We are inviting key stakeholders in the field of housing rights and advocacy to come together to discuss and learn about specific ongoing legal issues around housing rights in Canada. We will be discussing a current Right to Housing challenge in Ontario under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

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And We Begin….

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After months of organizing, fundraising, collaborating and communicating, Patti Fraser and I were thrilled to finally gather our crew of amazingly talented young media artists this week. We shared food and got to know each other a bit as we hammered out some important project details like scheduling and production expectations.

Our home for our preproduction period and our speaker series is the Purple Thistle Arts and Activism centre. This funky, youth-run studio space operates under an ethos of radical generosity and hospitality, two principles Patti and I wholeheartedly support and try to infuse in every community engaged art project we create.

You can meet our crew under the people link of our site.

We hope to share project updates, photos, relevant information and eventually our finished media works on this blog, so please check back regularly.

And we begin!

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