About the Podcast
A podcast series collaboration between Nature’s Past, NiCHE, and graduate students and faculty from the York University Faculty of Environmental Studies.
CoHearence Podcast Series: Culture and Environment by Andrew Mark and Amanda Di Battista is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at niche-canada.org
Amanda Di Battista
Photo courtesy of Beehive Design Collective
In June of 2010, government leaders from 20 of the world’s richest countries met in Toronto to discuss the global economy and the world financial system. People from across Canada and around the world converged in the streets of downtown Toronto to protest the G20’s focus on increasing austerity measures and cuts to social programming as a way to curtail international debt and to keep power in the hands of the wealthy. These protesters were met with the most expensive and violent coordinated security effort in Canadian history.
In this episode guest producer Sonja Killoran-McKibbin guides listeners through the G20 weekend by weaving together the stories of community organizers Yogi Acharya, Joanna Adamiak, and Catherine Ady-Bell. Yogi, Joanna, and Catherine each provide their personal experience in preparation for, during, and after the G20 in Toronto. Together, these stories challenge the mainstream media and Canadian government’s criminalization of community organizers and argue for the importance of acts of resistance in everyday life.
G20 Prison Blogs
Dear listeners: those of you who are subscribed to the show will be able to download and access our July special edition episode featuring soundscape and ecopoetry.
To subscribe to CoHearence in iTunes, visit http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/cohearence/id507227667
To subscribe using RSS, visit http://feeds.feedburner.com/cohearence
CoHearence 05 - Poetic Nature(s): Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds conference (Part 2)
Photo: Edie Steiner, Text 2: from the series Material Remains (2003)
In the second part of CoHearence’s look at the 2011 conference, Green Words/Green Worlds: Environmental Literatures and Politics in Canada, we continue our investigation of the relationship between the cultivation of an environmental reading (and writing) practice and engaged eco-politics. Featuring excerpts from the Green Words/Green Worlds opening public poetry panel which included keynote presenters Brian Bartlett, Armand Garnett Ruffo and Rita Wong, we build on our discussion with conference organizers Catriona Sandilands and Ella Soper about why literature is important for environmental thought and action. We explore how and why Canadian ecocritics and poets are engaging with the challenging environmental questions of our time and provide perspectives for rethinking the way we imagine our environment.
- Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC)
- The Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE)
- A Windigo Tale (Armand Garnett Ruffo’s film)
- Downstream (Rita Wong’s current project)
- Save the Fraser Declaration
- Amazay: a Film about Water
- Jane Rule memorial and selected writings
- Edie Steiner’s Website
CoHearence 04 - Poetic Nature(s): Literature and Politics at the Green Words/Green Worlds Conference
Photo Credit: Edie Steiner, Text 1: from the series Material Remains (2003)
In the fall of 2011, ecocritics, writers, and poets from across Canada attended a conference at the Gladstone hotel in Toronto. This conference, entitled “Green Words/Green Worlds: Environmental Literatures and Politics in Canada,” focused on the relationship between the cultivation of an environmental reading (and writing) practice and engaged eco-politics. In this CoHearence episode, we’ll use recorded material collected at the conference as well as a follow-up interview with the conference organizers to explore the ways that Canadian ecocritics and poets are engaging with the challenging environmental questions of our time. Featuring conference organizers Catriona Sandilands and Ella Soper as well as keynote presenters Adam Dickinson, Anne, Milne, and Molly Wallace, we’ll ask the question: in a world increasingly characterized by climate change, environmental disasters, and technology, why does literature matter? How can an
environmental writing practice be a political act?
- Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada (ALECC).
- The Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE).
- Yann Martel’s What is Stephen Harper Reading?
- Alternatives Journal – What Harper Should Read
- The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
- Canadian Chemical News Interview with Adam Dickinson
- Edie Steiner’s Website
the Cohearence podcast series, a collaboration between Nature’s Past, NiCHE, and graduate students and faculty from the York University Faculty of Environmental Studies is officially launching this Friday (7-9pm) with an event in Toronto, "Smoothies, Stories, and Salt". Anyone interested in attending is kindly asked to RSVP to Andrew Mark and Amanda Di Battista at email@example.com. The organizers promise smoothies and snacks, and a chance to discuss the podcast with the organizers, who are keen to hear from listeners their opinions on the creative direction of the project.
Full details are available in the attached poster.
|Cohearence launch party, may-4-12.pdf||160.5 KB|
Photo Credit: Edie Steiner, Industrial Ruins at Michipicoten Bay, 2010.
“My name is this and that and I come from here and there and I practice I don’t know what and I am not myself because I am also my government and I am also my economy and I am very much my one-directional totalitarian culture which subdues me and misuses me and uses and misuses my work to the point where I don’t know where my work is itself or where my work is something other than itself or where my work is the opposite of itself and this one-directional culture uses and misuses not only my production but also my protest against these uses and misuses because my protest is part of its pluralistic glory which is part of its world governing economic order which presents itself as a religion and is as fervently believed in as a religion and extracts from its believers the fanaticism of a fervently believed in religion and the chief characteristic of this self-righteous world governing order is that it is marching on and on and on and on and this marching on and on and on and on has no opposition because it eats opposition for breakfast.”
- Peter Schumann, Bread and Puppet
The title of this episode, Resistance for Breakfast: Hegemony, Arts, and Environment, is a playful departure from Peter Schumann’s words, and suggests that, perhaps, we could all use a little more resistance in our diet. We will investigate how hegemonic power manifests itself in environmental art and how art practices can also expose and challenge such power. Hegemony is a social condition in which dominant groups exercise power in all aspects of social reality not through militarized violence but rather through implied means (Mayo, 35). The scholars, activists, and educators we speak with call for resistance to hegemonic power that is not only critical and subversive but also beautiful.
Photo: Andrew Mark, 2012
Featuring interviews with FES Professor Deborah Barndt, storyteller and FES contract faculty Chris Cavanagh, FES PhD candidate Heather McLean, and artist and FES PhD candidate Edie Steiner, we will discuss the ways ‘the arts’ reinforce common sense understandings of what constitutes ‘good art.’ We’ll also explore the problematic relationship between large art festivals and local arts movements and suggest ways in which critical environmental art practices can facilitate meaningful activism and create change.
CoHearence Contributor Websites/Blogs
Chris Cavanagh’s Blog: http://comeuppance.blogspot.ca/
Creative Class Struggle Blog: http://creativeclassstruggle.wordpress.com/
Edie Steiner’s Website: http://www.ediesteiner.com/
FES Community Arts Practice Program Website: www.yorku.ca/cap
Community Art and Arts Activist Web Resources
Bread and Puppet: http://breadandpuppet.org/
Catalyst Centre: http://www.catalystcentre.ca/
Neighbourhood Arts Network: www.neighbourhoodartsnetwork.org
Toronto Free Gallery: http://www.torontofreegallery.org/
(Photo: Edie Steiner, Artificial Flower, 2002)
As we discussed in part one of this two part series, melancholy and mourning permeate environmental thought and colour the way that we approach activism. In this episode, our focus shifts from the history of melancholy and mourning to specific examples of mourning in environmental and social justice activism. We search for ways that we might begin to engage in forms of resistant mourning that “worry the wound” in a more respectful, ethical, and productive way. How might mourning become part of an environmental activism that doesn’t busy itself with looking from one lost nature to the next, but instead both acknowledges loss and demands that we take the time and do the work required to move through those losses? Featuring Ralph Carl Wushke, United Church of Canada minister and Chaplin and PhD student at the University of Toronto, Ella Soper, part-time faculty at the University of Toronto and post-doctoral fellow at the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University, and Honor Ford Smith, professor at FES we continue our conversations with Cate Sandilands, Peter Timmerman, and Susan Moore from FES about the importance of mourning for environmental thought and activism. We ask: how can mourning be political? What can resistant mourning look like for environmentalists? What is the role of writers, poets, and artists in mourning environmental loss?
(Photo by Edie Steiner, FES PhD Candidate, www.ediesteiner.com)
Discussions about melancholy and mourning pop up in a wide range of disciplines. For scholars in environmental studies, understanding these concepts is important as we try to figure out how to deal with the unprecedented environmental losses of our time. In the first part of this two-part episode of CoHearence, we explore the history of melancholia and why it’s important for thinking about environmental issues. Faced with an increasing amount of environmental destruction and frightening levels of species extinction, we will ask how we might begin to learn to grieve the lost objects everywhere around us. Featuring professors Cate Sandilands and Peter Timmerman from the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University, and Susan Moore a part-time faculty member at FES and psychoanalytical candidate at the Toronto Psychoanalytical Institute, we’ll map out Freud’s thinking on mourning and melancholy and draw links to our current environmental state. If we think of our culture as a melancholic culture, how might we better understand commodity fetishism, the commodification of environmental loss, and where to go from here?
We proceed from the assumption that as John Livingston argued, “There is no technological solution to a moral problem,” or, as Aldus Huxley put it, “Nothing short of everything will really do.” Environmental concerns demand real cultural change, and our hope is to seek out that change by telling histories and stories that disrupt hegemonic narratives. By privileging ideas, experiments, and accounts that explore the state of the environmental movement, we hope to provide a piece of the change that we need.
CoHearence is an opportunity for listening and learning. We bring together voices from Toronto and the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University (FES) to explore the relationship between cultural practices and our environment. We hope to help connect people and academics inside and outside of NiCHE together through common interests. Our main goal is to create an opportunity for the public at large to gain an insight into some of the conversations that are happening in places like FES.
Our series will be released this January, and will be hosted on Sean Kheraj’s NiCHE podcast, Nature’s Past. The themes we explore in multi-part episodes include The Art of Melancholy and Mourning, Protest and Resistance, Food Justice, and Literature including a review of the Green Worlds/Green Words conference.
CoHearence represents a collaboration between graduate students and faculty at FES. Because York University includes a population of well over 40,000 commuting individuals, podcasts (free, downloadable radio-like broadcasts) offer a unique opportunity for networking and learning while in transit. People can access podcasts on the internet using a computer or mobile device. Many universities and institutions are offering publicly available podcasts these days, and in the fall of 2010, Andrew Mark and Amanda Di Battista combined their skills in audio production and script to propose this project with the support of their PhD supervisors, Catriona Sandilands and Peter Timmerman.
In addition to producing the series, we have collaborated with the FES Summer Institute and FES Lunchtime Arts and Environment Series to offer workshops on podcasting.