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Unmoored, Adrift, Ashore symposium and screening at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Companion screening: May 14–28
Or Gallery, Vancouver
Symposium: May 20–21

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 E. 1st Ave
Vancouver BC V5T 0H2

Speakers: Charmaine Chua, Ayasha Guerin, Morgan Guerin, Ayesha Hameed, Georgina Hill, Jane Jin Kaisen, Laiwan, Geoff Mann, Renisa Mawani, Katherine McKittrick, Karamia Müller, Marianne Nicolson, M. NourbeSe Philip, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Quito Swan, Thea Quiray Tagle, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Lilian Yamamoto

The warming climate brings an increasing sea-level rise that will redraw the interface between land and sea, the city and its shore. What is now known as the Greater Vancouver area, located on the Salish Sea, is one of the multitude of global coastal cities threatened by large areas of submersion when False Creek and the Fraser River break their banks. The City of Vancouver began a study of the impacts of this imminent event on the city’s coastline after the Provincial government advised municipalities to plan for a two-metre sea level rise by 2200. Even by 2100, the City’s projections will see parts of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the site of this symposium, be reclaimed as a floodplain and susceptible to partial submergence. Unmoored, Adrift, Ashore aims to prepare us for the kinds of visioning we will require to increasingly adapt to a new and intensified relationship with water, and to think about how we can use the transformation of the ocean’s reach to reconsider our relationships to property, futures, economies, and each other.

This reclamation through water opens many possibilities for unsettling and shifting much of the legacy of Vancouver and the Northwest Coast region as a settler-colonial space, founded on unceded Indigenous territories. It allows for the possibility of expanding outside of the present time and local context, to think of the future sea-level rise beyond catastrophic terms and to imagine the potential of the rising water as revealing and restoring the presences and relations lost, or almost lost, to colonial forms of dispossession.

The symposium will include a series of examinations emerging from Indigenous and post-colonial thought that offer conceptions of water as a central component for decolonizing and disrupting conventional understandings of identity, borders, ownership and other forms of relations that stretch beyond territorial and commodity logics. These investigations include artistic and poetic imaginaries in the focus on Pacific regions, building on the renewed emphasis on transregional Oceanic studies to address the urgencies of our shifting ecological context.

Conveners: Jamie Hilder (Emily Carr University of Art + Design), Anselm Franke (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), Denise Ryner (Or Gallery), Jordan Wilson (New York University).

Full schedule can be found here.

For in-person attendance (no registration necessary):
Reliance Theatre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 E 1st Ave
Vancouver, BC, Canda
V5T 0H2

For online attendance:
Registration link for May 20. Registration link for May 21.

Companion screening:
Artists: Ayesha Hameed, Georgina Hill, Jane Jin Kaisen, Marianne Nicolson, Laiwan.
Or Gallery
236 E Pender St
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6A 1T7
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