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