Spaces of ContestationCurated by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte.

Spaces of Contestation is a series of talks, performances, public actions, publications, and an exhibition that examines the collective walk/protest/public demonstration as both a performance and a social formation. The core of the project is in four collaborations between artists and community organizations, that initiate community engagement and democratic use of public space via the realization of site-specific participatory performances.

The project is co-presented with the SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the SFU Institute for the Humanities, and is supported through the BC Arts Council’s Arts-Based Community Development Program and a grant from the Hamber Foundation.


Speaker series at SFU Woodwards
Geoff Mann, Talk 1: Scarcity Makes the City Oct. 22, 2013, 7-9pm
Jamie Peck, Talk 2Neoliberal urbanism — artful alternatives? November 12, 2013, 7-9pm
Urban Subjects, Talk 3: What is Already Going On Feb. 5, 2014, 7-9pm
Stephen Collis, Talk 4: Stephen Collis: Riot Dogs and Research Labs – Poetry and Struggle March 12, 2014, 7-9pm
Kirsty Robertson, Talk 5: April 16, 2014 7-9pm

Exhibition at UNIT/PITT
March 22 to May 3, 2014
Reception Friday, April 18, 8pm

Public actions and performances
March – May 2014

Publications: TRACTS, La Fête Permanente, Unlearning Walks

Lauren Marsden will collaborate with the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) and its patrons to create a public performance involving deaccessioned material from the library’s collection. The VPL has identified the deaccessioning process (the removal and discarding of damaged or out-of-date material from the library’s collection) as one fraught with public controversy due to the public’s opposition to the discarding of books. The artist will work with VPL patrons and staff to develop a public performance project that will investigate notions of information transfer and subsequent knowledge loss/gain. In developing this project, the artist will host open workshops and public talks at the VPL’s main branch.
Performance/procession, March 22, 10 am – 5 pm (begins at Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, ends at UNIT/PITT)
Artist talk at Vancouver Public Library, April 1, 7 pm


Gabriel Saloman will collaborate with the Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE), a grassroots residents’ association in Burnaby. The artist will work with members of BROKE towards the realization of a “Mapping Procession” aimed at increasing public awareness of the underground pipeline system existing in Burnaby through a combination of artistic interventions and activist advocacy tactics. Saloman and BROKE will begin with a series of workshops designed to create a “People’s Map” of Burnaby and its resource infrastructure. This map will serve as a guide for making visible in public space much of what is hidden from public discourse around the effects of the pipeline system and its proposed expansion. Saloman and BROKE will be inviting a wide range of community groups to participate in the public performance.
Performance/procession April 12, 10am – 3:30pm, locations in Burnaby TBA

Didier Morelli will collaborate with the Outreach Alternative Program at Britannia Secondary School (Vancouver), an alternative education program for youth of aboriginal descent. The artist will work with the program’s students, teachers and social workers toward the realization of a collective walk-performance that reflect the students’ particular relationship to the Commercial Drive neighbourhood. The goal of the project will be to activate and make visible the students’ presence and lived experience in this part of the city (Britannia Secondary School is located in the heart of the Commercial Drive neighbourhood, a culturally diverse part of East Van). The process of realizing this collaborative project will complement the Outreach Program’s pedagogical activities, which integrate aboriginal learning and traditions in the classroom and provide high-risk students with resources to complete secondary education. Publication: La Fête Permanente
Performance/procession April 18, 2014

Zoë Kreye and Catherine Grau will lead The Unlearning Walking Club, an open group that invites the public into a moving exploration of sensorial and metaphysical spaces –- of the body and the land .Through a walking practice, we are looking for new ways to activate our perceptions and find creative forms of criticality and connection. We walk to reclaim internal personal space and external public space by exploring the environment through its direct relationship with the body. We walk to activate invisible and often dismissed forms of learning, as well as diverse forms and expressions of intelligence. We honour play and invoke revelry as a way of discovering and validating these individual and shared experiences of relearning, learning backwards, inside-out and upside-down –- of unlearning. We walk together, and we walk alone. The group is open for anyone to join as a member. Publication: Unlearning Walks

Walking Club, Sunday afternoons from March 16 to April 20, locations and times TBA

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