CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY’S WEEKLY, INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER
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VOLUME 36, ISSUE 3 | TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Transforming pain into art Ugandan choreographers rise above trauma and give back to their community Feature p. 10
Bringing clean water to Swaziland
Action against Falling out of climate change p.7 tradition
Go ballistic for The home-opener How to train Animalistic p.12 comeback p. 15 your landlord p. 16
NEWS EDITORS /// email@example.com IAN DOWN & MIA ANHOURY ( @IanDown1996 @mia_anhoury)
One well at a time
Léna Seltzer visited the wells she helped fund in Swaziland with the Thirst Project
CITY IN BRIEF
MIA ANHOURY NEWS EDITOR
IAN DOWN NEWS EDITOR
“I’m dreaming of the stars. Every night it was like a blanket of stars would take over the entire sky, absolutely mesmerizing,” said Léna S elt zer, describing Swaziland. She visited the country with the Thirst Project for two weeks this past summer. S e l t z e r, a s e cond-year Concordia student majoring in While political science and dreamthe trip lasted only two weeks, Seltzer said she is still ing of the sky full of stars. Photo by Mia Anhou ry. “My favourite sentence I learned was ‘Kumnandzi kuba la.’ It french with a minor in means it’s nice to be here,” said Seltzer. Photo by Léna Seltzer. spanish, got the opportunity to visit Swaziland with the diseases in the water will said Seltzer. ster diving. “We were literally the Thirst Project, to meet the kill them faster than AIDS itself, A critical part of building the in garbage cans, grabbing all communities and see the wells according to the Thirst Project. wells is that the builders and the recyclable items we could they had raised money to build. Seltzer said women and contractors are from Swaziland. find—mostly water bottles, Launched in 2008, the Thirst children in Swaziland walk Not only does t hat create but a mix. We would go to Project is the leading youth an average of 6.04 km every jobs, according to Seltzer, but the supermarket and recycle water-activism organization in day to fetch contaminated because they are so simple, everything for the 5 cents, and the world. Its goal is to end the water, which is contaminated. the pieces and materials can we would leave [...] with over global water crisis by providing “It’s shared with animals that easily be found and replaced. 100 dollars often,” said Seltzer. communities with safe drinking are defecating so they tend Moreover, each community They also sold Pop-Tarts at water. Over 2,200 projects have to get diseases like diarrhea. has a Water Project Technical school, organized yard sales been completed in 13 countries, [Diseases] that would normally Committee, who make sure the and test drove cars. “Lincoln including India, El Salvador and be uncomfortable become life well is maintained. Community Mercury would give you $40 Uganda. threatening,” said Seltzer. involvement is crucial to keep every time you would test drive Right now, the Thirst Project One water well in Swaziland the well functioning. a car,” said Seltzer. is committed to providing every- costs USD $12,000, which “My big thing that I started According to the project’s one in Africa's second smallest means Seltzer helped raise [during my year as president] website, “663 million people countr y with safe drinking money for at least two wells. was a gala where people dressed lack access to clean, s afe water by 2022. Seltzer, former Each well serves between 300 up and people paid for their drinking water.” When the president of her high school’s to 500 people. She travelled food and entertainment," said projec t st ar ted , 1.1 billion chapter of the Thirst Project, to Swaziland on behalf of the Seltzer. "We had raffles and people didn’t have access helped r aise USD $28,000 Thirst Project with a photog- donations.” The gala is now to clean drinking water, and out of the USD $50 million it’s rapher and a videographer to annual, and as she volunteers thanks to many organizations going to cost. document the project in twelve with the project from a distance, and lots of community work, “The focus is on Swaziland communities. she is now training the new that number has gone down. because it has [one of the “A woman would come up president and team at West Seltzer believes she is part world’s] highest rates of people to us and say ‘Look, I built this Islip High School, her former of something bigger. “Seth with AIDS,” said Seltzer. The garden now that we have clean school. “Since it started at our M a x w e l l , [ f o u n d e r o f t h e connection between water and water! Do you want to come school in 2012, we raised USD project], always likes to say HIV/AIDS is significant. If com- see my garden?’” said Seltzer. $100,000. Now that it’s the top that we are going to see the munities have access to medical “And the sun shines differently school [for collecting donations], end of the water crisis in our treatments but are still forced there. We experienced our there’s a lot of pressure on lifetime, not in the next 80 to drink from contaminated first African sunset. It was so them,” said Seltzer. years but when we are still water sources, powerful. And then you here,” she said. Seltzer and her team also see it go down. Woah!” raised money by going dump-
An investigation by The Montreal Gazette found a lack of relevant competition for bids on municipal projects in Montreal. According to the article by Linda Gyulai, 40 per cent of contracts approved by the city in the last year had two bids or fewer, and 20 per cent had just one.
Photo by Léna Se
Montreal-born tennis player Eugénie Bouchard was criticized by some of Quebec’s party leaders for relocating to the Bahamas, a known tax haven. “I think we should live where we were born, where we learned to play tennis and pay taxes in our country,” Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault was quoted as saying in The Montreal Gazette.
Guy Leclair, the Parti Québecois candidate for Beauharnois, resigned his candidacy after being charged with impaired driving. Leclair, who was first elected in his riding in 2008, had previously been convicted of the same charges in 2011.
SAQ employees across the province went on a surprise strike on Sunday, which continued into Monday. The liquor board’s employees have been without a contract since March.
Australia’s Michael Matthews won Montreal’s ninth annual Grand Prix Cycliste bike race. Matthews pulled off a last-minute passing manoeuvre to beat Italy’s Sonny Colbrelli, making him the second of his countrymen to win the race since its beginning in 2010.
The city of Brossard was placed under a temporary boil water advisory over the weekend, following the discovery of certain harmful bacteria in its water supply. Graphic by @spooky_soda
It can take around six to eight hours out of the day for women and children to fetch water. Photo by Léna Seltzer.
Using clean water means disease rates drop by 88 per cent, and mortality rates drop by 90 per cent overnight, according to The Thirst Project. Photo by Léna Seltzer.
The Concordian would like to apologize for an article that was published in the September 4, 2018 issue of the paper, titled “Free expression at Concordia.” We have since removed the article from our website and our social media due to poor research and editing.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Pushing for reconciliation at Concordia Indigenous speakers discuss educating students and lifting stigma MINA MAZUMDER ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR “It should no longer be accepted that people are made ignorant about the truth,” said Diane Labelle, Director of the First Nations Regional Adult Education Center. “It is the responsibility of education institutions to present truth and facts [about history].” Labelle took the stage at the DB Clarke Theatre on Sept. 6 as part of Orientation Week, hosted by the Concordia Student Union (CSU). The purpose of the event was to show how education can be a tool to promote understanding and to alleviate the stigma around Indigenous communities in Canada. Labelle outlined a number of suggestions for how Concordia could become indigenized. She called for mandatory sensitivity training at Concordia related to Indigenous issues for all professors and personnel at the university. She hopes that these workshops will help them better educate their students about Indigenous communities. “Racism is born out of ignorance,” she said. “The omission of history overtime, related to the reality of
our lives and who we are, have led to misconceptions that continue to this day.” A push for an Indigenous studies certificate program at Concordia is currently underway. Labelle is currently working with Concordia’s administration to add the program to the curriculum for students who want to learn more about Indigenous people, their culture, and history. Labelle wants teachers to add land acknowledgements to their syllabi, and to explain to students why it is being presented to them. They should not just be words that are said at Concordia events, Labelle added. She wants students to understand what lies behind those words. “The purpose of the land acknowledgement is to have people think about the fact that most of you are settlers,” she said. “Let’s all remember that we are guests on this land.” Labelle hopes that, by reflecting on the land we stand on, people will learn to better appreciate earth’s resources and better address issues such as climate change and famine. “We are all mutually responsible in maintaining this land,” she said. Labelle also said that schools should start sensitizing children at
a young age by teaching them about the history of colonization and reconciliation, so that they grow up to understand Indigenous history. “Not only does it improve life for Indigenous people, but it improves education for every other nation and race,” she said. Nakuset Sohkisiwin, Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, proposed to lift the stigma around Diane Labelle giving a talk at Indigenizing Society, an event that was part of CSU Indigenous communities Orientation Week. Photo by Mackenzie Lad. by having historical figures represented in course material people today. “We are perceived a common misconception, instead of statistics related to death as either the mighty warrior or Labelle said. Instead, it’s about and substance abuse. the homeless individual,” she said. all people in Canada working As a former Concordia student, Labelle said the word ‘indigeni- together to acknowledge the Nakuset once took a sociology zation’ is about having an education historical context of our land, course where she could not system where students are able to its settlers and being able to identify with the content. “I did learn about any subject without coexist in one nation. “It’s looking not recognize myself as one of the competition or pressure. “In an at the idea of ‘how do we change statistics for Indigenous people,” indigenized framework, you don’t so that we get an interconnection she said. “That’s not me. You can’t determine ahead of time what the with each other again?’” she said. do that to us. You can’t put us in a learner is going to learn because “The purpose of an indigenized box and say this is what we people learning is a personal, individualized, society, it’s about coming to a are.” Nakuset said teaching about transformative process,” she said. point of realization that we all historical figures would change Decolonization is not about belong to one nation and that’s how we perceive Indigenous getting revenge, which is the nation of human beings.”
Concordia is in high demand
Concordia’s student enrollment rising against provincial trend FATIMA DIA CONTRIBUTOR The province of Quebec is seeing a decrease in student university enrollment, but Concordia University is one of two schools witnessing exactly the opposite. Jean-François Hamel, Concordia’s Senior Director of Financial Planning and Budget Services, credited part of this increase to the influx of international students. “We have an advantage here in Montreal,” he said. “The proportion of international students is increasing from year to year.” Montreal is an eclectic city whose bilingualism offers a broader number of students the chance to study in the province. Mary-Jo Barr, the university’s spokesperson pointed out that Concordia’s main language of instruction is an advantage. Concordia and McGill are the only universities in Quebec that offer English as the language of instruction. “Many students choose to study in English, which gives us an advantage over francophone universities in Quebec,” she said. In a social media poll conducted by The Concordian, only one out
of 20 Concordia students who were asked whether language of instruction was critical in their decision to enroll said no. Denis Cossette, Concordia’s Chief Financial Officer, also mentioned the increase of francophone students interested in getting an English education. “Montreal has this advantage,” he said. “You can study here in English and live in French.” The 2018 World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds placed Concordia University in the top 1.6 per cent among 26,000 universities globally. Concordia climbed 30 places from last year. The increase in enrollment, especially of international students, has enhanced this new international placing. “It seems that there is a buzz for Concordia,” said Cossette. “Students are interested to come here.” Being in Montreal, as Barr, Cossette, and Hamel all agree, is an advantage in itself. Living expenses in this city are more affordable to students, both local and international, when compared to other provinces that have Englishspeaking universities. According to an online survey from expatistan.com, a website
dedicated to comparing and contrasting prices between cities and countries, living expenses in Montreal are 11 per cent cheaper than that of Ottawa, and 22 per cent cheaper than Toronto. “Montreal is a welcoming and affordable city that offers many advantages for those who want a complete university experience,”
said Barr. “It’s culturally and linguistically diverse, and is seen as a place where students and graduates can prosper.” Montreal was voted as the best student city in North America, according to Quacquarelli Symonds. Concordia is continuously being rewarded for its educational quality. According to Barr, the university is
becoming increasingly known for its research. “Concordia is a place where advances are being made in areas that have an important impact on society, including smart cities, health, artificial intelligence, engineering, and climate change,” she said. Graphic by Ana Bilokin.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Concordia fraternity commits to consent
How Kappa Chi is living up to its slogan “Better men for a better world”
NATION IN BRIEF IAN DOWN NEWS EDITOR Several Indigenous and Métis communities have expressed interest in investing in the Trans Mountain pipeline despite a Supreme Court ruling overturning its approval. Late last month, the court ordered the halt of the project due to a lack of proper environmental impact assessment or consultation with Indigenous communities. The United States continued to urge Canada to lower its tariffs on dairy products as a concession in the two countries’ ongoing NAFTA talks. This week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would cause Canada’s “ruination” with tarifs if concessions were not made.
Kappa Chi's president Brett Gilmore said he wants his fraternity to set a standard pn campus. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
IAN DOWN NEWS EDITOR Brett Gilmore doesn’t like what he sees when he Googles “fraternity:” Everything from incidents involving drugs and alcohol, to rape allegations and scandals that force fraternities to close their doors. Now, as Kappa Chi president, he’s looking to change that. Gilmore is a second-year Concordia film studies major, ordained reverend and president of Kappa Chi, Concordia’s chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Mandatory consent training was one of his main campaign promises during his run for president in the spring of 2018. Gilmore was inspired in part by his time working for a travel company, an experience which often brought him into contact with traveling fraternities. “I saw a lot of Greek life and how they acted, and I feel like there wasn’t that training, so I decided to take it upon myself,” he said. Although the program is labeled “consent training,” Gilmore said it encompasses much more than just consent. Fraternity brothers will also be trained in bystander intervention and responsible drug and alcohol use. First, all of Kappa Chi’s current members earned their Smart Serve Certifications last week. Smart Serve is a training program run in Ontario that teaches bartenders and other service professionals how to responsibly serve alcohol, according to its website. Following the fraternity’s fall recruitment period, known as “rush,” the fraternity will train all new and current members in a program designed by Concordia’s Dean of Students Office. Gilmore said the training will encompass everything from consent to bystander intervention to responsible drug and alcohol use.
Since 2017, Concordia has administered mandatory consent training to all of its fraternities and sororities through the Dean of Students Office. “In our trainings, we cover all the resources that may be accessed in situations that may arise at student events or in the day-to-day of student life,” said Terry Kyle, Manager of Student life in the Dean of Students Office. “These include: Sexual Assault Resource Centre, Security, Centre for Gender Advocacy, Health Services/ Counselling & Psych.” In addition, all chapters of Tau Kappa Epsilon must undergo a training session on consent, responsible drug and alcohol use or a related subject each semester, which is designed and administered by Tau Kappa Epsilon’s head office in the U.S. However, Gilmore said he wants to make sure all relevant skills are covered in the first semester as soon as new pledges arrive. He also wants his program to harmonize Concordia’s rules and standards with those of Tau Kappa Epsilon in the U.S. Gilmore already has extensive training in the skills he will teach his new pledges. When he worked as a director at a travel company, he took a three-hour consent course. Also, he and two of his fraternity brothers worked for one summer at an air cadet summer camp,where they were required to take an eight-hour course on the proper way to deal with “everything from child abuse, to bullying, to adolescent intoxication and drug use,” he said. Gilmore said promoting his new program to the media has been a challenge because of the stigma surrounding fraternities. He cites a recent radio interview with “The Evan Solomon Show,” in which host Evan Solomon asked Gilmore, “Do you still get wasted at parties? Is that still part of it? To pound liquor and get girls?” He also asked Gilmore if his
fraternity still engaged in humiliating or abusive initiation rituals, known as “hazing.” “Everything he was saying was literally what we’re trying to break,” said Gilmore, “because we’re not about that.” He said popular movies like Animal House and the National Lampoon series have contributed to this stigma. Gilmore’s journey with Tau Kappa Epsilon began during his summer working at the cadet camp. There, he met two Tau Kappa Epsilon members who would become his “brothers.” It was through them that he was introduced to fraternity culture. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve seen it on TV, but I really don’t know what it’s about, and then they recruited me,” he said. Since its founding at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon has had a long history of progressivism, according to Gilmore. Founded under the name “Nights of Classic Lore,” the fraternity was one of the first in Canada to ban hazing in 1929. “You don’t need hazing anymore,” said Gilmore. “It’s a fad. To scare someone into doing something isn’t the right thing to do.” He said the fraternity also abolished its requirement that members must be Christian during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Famous members of the fraternity include U.S. President Ronald Reagan and American quarterback Aaron Rodgers, according to the chapter’s website. Although Gilmore said he is not aware of any other fraternities in Montreal that have also adopted consent training, some American fraternities have followed the trend. In March, The Yale Daily News reported several fraternities on its campus were requesting consent training workshops. One of them, Delta Kappa Epsilon, was implementing mandatory consent training for its members as well, according to the article. With 20 members, Concordia’s Tau
A report from Statistics Canada showed the country lost over 51,000 jobs last month. According to Bloomberg, Ontario led the country in job loss following the biggest month-to-month drop in the province since 2009. Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, pledged to move ahead with his plan to redraw Toronto's municipal boundaries despite a contrary decision from the Ontario Superior Court. Ford will enact the constitutional notwithstanding clause, with allows governing bodies to operate outside of the constraints of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to reduce the size of Toronto’s city council from 47 to 25 less than two months before the city’s Oct. 22 election. Daniel Kueblboeck, a German pop singer, was confirmed missing on the weekend after falling off a cruise ship off the coast of Newfoundland. Graphic by @spooky_soda
Kappa Epsilon chapter is one of the smallest at Concordia. However, Gilmore said his fraternity is looking to expand to at least 60 members. Right now, it’s in the middle of its fall recruitment period, so training is not likely to start until October or November. Gilmore said he wants his fraternity to set a standard on campus. “We just want to be qualified so that if we’re in a situation, no matter if it’s in Greek life, if we’re at a party with another club, a faculty party or another party outside of school, we’re able to take the necessary steps to help the situation,” he said. Interested students can learn more about joining Kappa Chi on their website TKE.ORG/CHAPTER/338/ KAPPA-CHI
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Finding your bliss spot
A Concordia professor has taken a break from teaching to focus on her business
WORLD IN BRIEF IAN DOWN NEWS EDITOR India’s highest court struck down a centuries-old law prohibiting gay sex. “History owes an apology to the members of this community and their families,” declared Judge Dipak Misra in his ruling. British intelligence services identif ied two Russian nationals as suspects in the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March must have been approved by high-ranking members of the Russian government, possibly including President Vladimir Putin himself. Authorities in Seoul have begun daily inspections of the city’s 20,000 public bathrooms to crack down on placements of spy cams. According to CNN, such incidents have increased almost five-fold since 2011.
EITHNE LYNCH ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
A former Concordia professor has created her own set of online classes that teach people how to turn their personal interests into a marketable businesses. She called it Blissonomics. “Blissonomics helps people uncover, understand and communicate their personal or business brands to build and engage their communities, develop successful marketing campaigns and attract ideal alliances and opportunities,” said creator and self-proclaimed Chief Bliss Instigator, Lisa McKenzie. McKenzie said the idea for Blissonomics came from the realization that many people weren’t satisfied in their professional lives. “There were too many people around me that were miserable in their careers and the businesses that they built.” In 2009, she bought the URL Blissonomics. com. “ I t t o o k m e a n o t h e r s e v e n years of research, more lear ning , testing and building programs before I finally launched the company in
October 2016,” McKenzie said. McKenzie taught several social media courses on the fundamentals of branding at Concordia while working on the launch of her company. Despina Levantis, a former student of McKenzie’s, wanted to work with small businesses and start-ups as an administrative accountant, but didn’t know how to access them. She discovered Blissonomics when McKenzie held a Facebook Live talking about her new venture. Levantis said the courses were incredibly personalized. “You feel like it’s you and her even if there are other students,” said Levantis. Blissonomics offers three main course options. Finding your Bliss Spot, the foundation course advertises itself as being “where passion, purpose, skills, and joy come together to identify the business or career of your dreams.” McKenzie said people follow the course on their own, but can send her feedback and questions. Her two Mastermind classes, Launch Venture Mastermind, a $1,400 class and Growth Venture Mastermind at
$2,200, take a much more hands-on approach, allowing only 12-20 participants to join. During the six-month course, par ticipants follow online videos, complete work sheets and participate in group video lessons. McKenzie said the small class sizes allow her to critique work and interact on a more personal level. Miriam Pearl is the founder and recipes developer for Delicious Without Gluten. She signed up to learn how to align her work with what she loved. “I learned how to create a community of gluten-free fans and how to keep them engaged using the latest social media strategies,” said Pearl. Mc Ken zie ke eps ver y bu s y a s t h e pr imar y m entor an d teac h er at Blissonomics, but she hopes to come back to Concordia someday. “My personal projects have kept me from teaching at Concordia for the last year, however I look for ward to future opportunities where I can continue to share my knowledge with Concordia students,” she said. Graphic by Ana Bilokin.
The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a senior White House official entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.” The author claimed that “many of the senior officials in [President Trump’s] administration are working d i l i ge nt l y f ro m w i t h i n to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” including the author himself. Jair Bolsonaro, the frontrunner in Brazil’s presidential election, was stabbed in the abdomen at a campaign rally. A suspect is in police custody. Te s l a’s s t o c k p r i c e f e l l suddenly after CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking a mixture of marijuana and tobacco on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Graphic by @spooky_soda
LIFE EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org ALEX HUTCHINS ( @alexhutchinns96)
A new chapter for documentary films
Envisioning inclusion and documenting the imagined future of marginalized groups
Lost Alien , directed by Tobias c. van Veen. Blending documentary techniques with surrealist and silent filmmaking, Lost Alien captures the Afrofuturist cosplay of ZiggZaggerZ the Bastard, as a photosensitive black alien stranded on a sunlit planet.
MACKENZIE LAD PHOTO EDITOR
At first glance, ‘Documentary Futurism’ might seem like an oxymoron—if the future has yet to happen, how can it be documented in the tradition of nonfiction storytelling? In their newest project, Cinema Politica seeks to answer that question the way they know best; through the creation and sharing of radical, independent documentaries. "We came up with this idea of documentary futurism through being inspired by all of the Indigenous film programming we’ve been doing, in collaboration with Indigenous filmmakers and curators,” said Ezra Winton, co-founder and director of programming of the Cinema Politica film network. “It’s bringing together documentary conventions and ideas of speculation and the imagination, even the fantastical.” Winton noted that, while nonfiction and speculation has been brought together in other forms, the combination has largely gone untouched in the documentary world. “The idea of being forward-looking with documentary has partially come out of 15 years of programming documentaries where the vast majority have focused on the past and the present, and the future part is always just the last 10 minutes,” said Winton. “We’re more interested in the whole thing being more forward-looking and that means not just envisioning inclusion, but ideas about social justice.” After receiving the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) New Chapter grant, the project itself started to shift from an imagined future to a reality. “We called [the CCA] right away to ask, is this just to celebrate, or can this be critical?” recalled Winton. “And they told us they’re calling it the New Chapter for a reason. That they’re more interested in critical perspectives and less about national chauvinism.” Project coordinator James Goddard came on board not long after, bringing with him
Enhior:hén:ne [Tomorrow], directed by Roxann Whitebean. Enhior'hén:ne explores Mohawk children's predictions about the state of Mother Earth 200 years into the future.
knowledge of afrofuturism and experience working in the interdisciplinary speculative arts. Goddard points to the work of Indigenous futurism and afrofuturism, the latter having garnered much attention since the recent release of Black Panther, as the driving force behind the new genre. "[People] are interested in the ways in which marginal groups tell stories about the future,” he said. “The importance of that, especially for Indigenous groups in Canada, is that there have been literal legislative maneuvers right up until the 90s that the government was doing to erase Indigenous people, to eradicate the possibility of a future. So when Indigenous people tell stories about their presence in the future, it’s an important form of resistance. And that’s true of almost every marginalized community that has experienced a history of erasure.” Cinema Politica put out a call for film proposals in September 2017. They received over 70 applications, which were then passed on to a panel of jurors for deliberation. “It was doubly experimental because we removed ourselves from the selection process too,” added Goddard. “Had we played more of a role in the actual selection process, more of our pre-existing ideas about what we wanted from the project would have bled into that.” Among the jurors is Nalo Hopkinson, a prolific author of six novels, including Brown Girl in the Ring, which Goddard described as a “landmark text for speculative fiction and afrofuturism.” Joining her is Skawennati, a
We might have been heroes / Nous aurions pu être des héros, directed by Andrés Salas-Parra. In a world with nothing left to mine, communication has become the main resource for humanity to exist. The challenge? To stay connected.
media artist whose work addresses the past and present from an Indigenous perspective, and award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet, who produced, wrote and directed the film Wakening, a source of inspiration for the project. The jury deliberated based on their collective interpretation of the project goals, finally arriving at the 15 films commissioned to inaugurate the new genre. “There’s a lot of variation in the themes they deal with. Obviously a lot of the films deal with environmental collapse, one film in particular focuses on exploring sexuality and gender variants, there’s a film that looks at corporate culture, and a number of the Indigenous films engage with the idea of what happens after the settlers leave,” said Goddard. “We really encouraged the artists to interpret it as they wanted to, politically, aesthetically, everything. We just basically set the canvas, and even then the edges of the canvas can still unfurl,” said Winton. “My expectations
were just that this was going to be interesting and hopefully, probably, amazing. And my expectations were met.” In the tradition of Cinema Politica, Winton hopes the films will not only start conversations about the alternate realities they present, but serve as a catalyst for grassroots social movements unafraid to look towards an imagined, brighter future. “We’re always tackling present, day-to-day issues, and that’s important, but also imagining a post-capitalist, post-colonial, post-gender binary, post-whatever it is, it’s exciting and it can be politically transformative.” Cinema Politica will be celebrating its 15th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 15 with a gala to honour their new project, The Next 150: Documentary Futurism. Prior to the launch party, all 15 commissioned films will screen at Cinémathèque Québécoise on Thursday, Sept. 13.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Thousands rise for justice
Action against climate change and divestment is needed, now
Watering your plants with diluted menstrual fluid ALEX HUTCHINS LIFE EDITOR Do you like plants? Do you bleed once a month from the holiest of holy holes? Are you always looking for ways to save a few bucks and produce as little waste as possible? Well boy do I have a rad tip for you! If you’re up for the challenge, try diluting your menstrual fluid with water, and use that when watering your plants—it can essentially replace your need for fertilizer. According to Planet Natural Research Centre, fertilizer mainly consists of three macronutrients: potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen—the same nutrients found in blood. Many organic gardeners also use blood meal fertilizer, which contains a high percentage of nitrogen and is made from dried animal blood, usually cow. “Farmers have used blood meal since blood meal has existed,” said Jade, a Concordia master’s student who practices horticulture by fertilizing her plants with diluted menstrual fluid. “If you want, you can buy fertilizer at the store, but who knows where it came from,” she said. “Who knows how it was made—it’s probably a petrochemical.” After Labour Day weekend, Jade and I sat down in a sunlit café to talk about her botanical practices. It was only after almost one year of using her menstrual cup that she one day stopped and thought, ‘Why am I dumping this and how can I make use of it?’ “For me, it was just obvious. I have plants—I’m going to use it on them,” Jade said. Properly diluting your blood is not an exact science, she explained, “but your plants will tell you.” The typical dilution ratio is 10 cups of water to one cup of blood. In her apartment, Jade has multiple plants that she has grown from seeds: figs, bell peppers, lemons, dragon fruit, tamarillos. She even has a third-generation tomato plant, meaning Jade eats tomatoes that grew from the seeds of an earlier tomato, that came from the seeds of the original tomato (whew). She uses her menstrual fluid dilution on all of her plants. Jade said that when people learn of her horticultural practices, she’s typically met with skepticism. “There’s definitely a stigma, but we eat plants from the grocery store that we don't ask any questions about,” she said. “We just accept it.” Jade said she often gets put into a box with a big man-hating, feminazi label on it. “This has absolutely nothing to do with the patriarchy, and everything to do with zero waste.” Graphic by @spooky_soda
The Montreal Raging Grannies is a non-profit organization that has been active in Montreal for 25 years. Through songs and other political demonstrations, they bring attention to a variety of social justice and environmental issues. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
ALEX HUTCHINS LIFE EDITOR With signs held high and voices ringing clear above the blaring traffic on Commune St. E. in the Old Port on Saturday Sept. 8, more than 200 protesters united against the climate change crisis. Rise for Climate was supported by non-profit organization 350 Canada, in collaboration with a handful of local grassroots initiatives such as Leap Montreal, Rap Battles for Social Justice (RB4SJ) and the Montreal Raging Grannies. The gathering was one of more than 900 rallies simultaneously taking place across 95 countries worldwide, all demanding divestment from fossil fuel industries, among other things. “We've already passed the point of no return,” said Sally Livingston, a Concordia alumna and member of the Montreal chapter of the Council of Canadians. “We do not want our tax dollars going to any more fossil fuel investments." Toward the end of August, according to Global News, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the Trans Mountain Pipeline plans due to insufficient consultations with Indigenous communities. However, according to the same article, Trudeau has not yet ruled out appealing the court’s decision, and “is maintaining that it will get built.” “The fact that [the federal government] is pushing the Trans Mountain Pipeline through […] shows us that they haven't changed their ways,” explained Nicolas Chevalier, one of the founding activists of the non-hierarchical organization Leap Montreal. “They don't understand what it means to be in a climate crisis.” “I think the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is totally retrogressive,” said Carole, a protester. There are three things Trudeau has shown us by spearheading this project, she explained: “He has broken his primary election promise, he has ignored consensus, and he is going backwards-just like Mr. Trump.” Rise for Climate was attended by
people from all walks of life: activists from various backgrounds, patrons, both young and old, families with children—all united as a community trying to salvage this planet we call home. “The same system (capitalism) that drives climate change is the same system that drives inequality,” said Bianca Mugyenyi, a member of Leap Montreal. “At the end of the day, we want to do more than just avoid catastrophic climate change,” she said. “We want better lives.” But the window for avoiding catastrophic climate change is quickly closing; we are and will continue to experience the effects of rising global temperatures throughout our lifetimes, albeit with regional variances. During a press conference on March 29, Amina J. Mohammed, secretary-general of the United Nations, explained that, unless accelerated action against climate change is adopted by 2020, the 2016 Paris Agreement goals will become unattainable. According to the 350 Canada website, 97 per cent of scientists agree that climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emission. “So then why do our politicians keep making the wrong decisions?” asked Mugyenyi. “They’re moving in the wrong direction.” Capitalism benefits from the existence of systemic oppression: from racism, from sexism, from violence against Indigenous
communities. Capitalism is rooted in the mass exploitation of resources, and exponentially increasing profit margins somehow justifies the further exploitation of those resources and the political violence directed to already marginalized communities. “Indigenous women and girls are three times more likely to experience violence, and six times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women,” said Beatrice Dimaculangan, an activist, rapper and community organizer with RB4SJ. “When Indigenous girls are trafficked into sex trade […] where is left for these girls to turn to when the very system meant to protect them proceeds to exploit and neglect them?” Dimaculangan held back tears as the power of her voice kept the crowd locked in to her every word. “These women are not solely victims of violence, but also of a justice system that doesn't seem to give a shit about them.” We have a responsibility—as Canadians, as allies, as human beings—to speak up. Not after the next major environmental catastrophe; not after coastal cities are completely underwater; not after the next oil spill wreaks havoc on another Indigenous community. The time for change is now. “The science is indisputable,” said Mugyenyi. “Enough is enough.”
Photo by Alex Hutchins.
ARTS EDITOR /// email@example.com CHLOË LALONDE
Expressing what you are and what you are not Smelted : An exploration of oneself
GENEVIÈVE ASSELIN CONTRIBUTOR To cap off Sme≠lted, VAV’s most recent student-run exhibition, some of the artists spoke about their pieces and the mediums they used to showcase their quest for identity. The 11 students selected for this exhibition used funky materials such as terracotta, sofa cushions and even candy to express aspects of their individual identities. Using media ranging from acrylic and oil paint to woodworking and photography, the artists explored themes related to materialism, health and sexuality. For Alicia Turgeon, a former industrial design student, her quest meant working on her cognitive and sensory particularities by making ergonomic furniture. After 20 tests and three prototypes, she presented Prompt 01-02, a wooden chair and coffee table with flexible features. “To me, this piece was all about showing the process,” Turgeon said. The result is not final, but the chair embodies her idea. “I am still working on finding a way so that someone can actually sit on it.” Isaac Smeele's work explores breeding
and consumerism. He presented Candyland, a textured, colourful portrait of a teddy bear made of candy, moss and garbage. Since Smeele selected items that decompose, he used large amounts of acrylic to exemplify and capture the hoarding of things. With the acrylic used to set the piece, he estimated that it will stay intact for 10 years. Family also played an important role in Smeele’s personal evolution. “I wanted to show something about how we tend to sugarcoat the hardest parts of ourselves,” he said. “As a father now, I realize the parts of myself that I need to work on.” On the other hand, Meghan O’KillDearden presented Things I like to Collect, an assemblage of meaningful objects she has accumulated over time. She recreated purses and bags with terracotta, glazes and epoxy. She also integrated elements that were intact such as dried flowers and fruit pits. “I wanted to show how collecting objects can comfort me,” O’Kill-Dearden said. “[My work] questions their functionality and the enjoyment of these objects.” All the pieces in the exhibition show some sort of internal reflection and questioning.
Some do so with a lighter tone, and others with a darker approach, such as Matthieu Marin’s work. For him, that self-reflection happened using a self-portrait made with a digital camera. He examined his chronic illness and the impact of medicine on his body through photography. In the two pictures he presented, Marin is naked and uses motion blur (with the movement of his arm) to demonstrate the impact of medicine on his body. “I wanted to show what it means to embody a sick body,” Marin said. Smelted gave viewers intimate access to the artists’ personal introspection. It immersed the viewer in a world where they found themselves contemplating and questioning their ideas of identity. The exhibition successfully showcased vulnerability, uncertainty and, for some of the artists, finding purpose.
Matieu Marin’s photographs explore chronic illness and the impact of medicine on his body. Photo by Hannah Ewen.
The VAV Gallery holds exhibitions every three weeks and will be accepting submissions for their fall programming until Sept. 14, including work for their special Black History Month in November exhibition. All submitting artists must be enrolled in at least one fine arts course during the 2018-19 academic year. More information can be found on their website: VAVGALLERY.CONCORDIA.CA
“When a collapse opens a new direction” Trevor Kiernander’s newest solo exhibition is unique to N.D.G . CHLOË LALONDE ARTS EDITOR Trevor Kiernander has studied art his whole life. “I’ve always been hungry for drawing,” he said when describing his background in painting and drawing. At a young age, Kiernander’s parents picked up on his artistic talent and enrolled him in a specialized fine arts program. Since then, he has dabbled in figurative realism, photography and, now, abstraction. Each of the artist’s solo exhibitions are specially curated to the gallery space he is showing in. In Free Fall is no different. Exhibited at the Maison de la Culture in Notre-Damede-Grâce, Kiernander’s paintings are not only hung in such a way as to be read cohesively throughout the room, but also to encourage mixed perceptions. This style is very different from the traditional, horizontal placement of paintings and drawings in art galleries. The artwork in In Free Fall spreads across the gallery’s walls, taking up space that may be otherwise overlooked. Small panels painted in flat, primary and secondary colours—pieces Kiernander classifies as supplementary to his
Kiernander curates his exhibitions so no two are ever alike. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
body of work rather than part of it—hang between larger paintings, creating a dialogue between seemingly unrelated pieces. However, all of the artist’s paintings are related to others. In fact, Kiernander often works on several pieces at the same time. He hangs the paintings side by side in his studio and works across both canvases, often juxtaposing raw canvas and linen. When he encounters a creative block, he’ll take the paintings down and work on others
in the meantime. At times, Kiernander will return to these paintings he took down to find he has finished them—he just didn’t know it yet. Some pieces began as photographs and have since been abstracted to minimum recognition. Photographing his surroundings is essential to Kiernander’s body of work. The act of taking a photograph captures an image in the artist’s mind, that fades over time and allows him to break away from realism and
introduce alien textures and colours. The artist’s final product has travelled through time and space. Interested in the formal and material aspects of painting, Kiernander flips and rotates his canvases to achieve his desired forms and to unite lines and colours throughout a series. His underpaintings may not take up the entire canvas, but are crucial to the mapping of the final product. There is a duality within his paintings. The artist layers coats of oil paint in various degrees of opacity to suggest depth, often overlapping these methods to create a unique image. He is interested by the unpredictability of a watery paint, yet often finds himself painting in controlled, intuitive strokes. Nonetheless, Kiernander enjoys the lack of control he has over these elements. A watery paint will spill and bleed on raw canvas in ways paint straight from a tube would not. The artist’s paintings are unique to each exhibition. In March, Kiernander will have completed a new batch of work prepared for another solo exhibition at the Outremont Art Gallery. In Free Fall will be at Maison de la Culture in N.D.G. until Oct. 21.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Happening in and around the White Cube this week…
Hidden gems just off a street corner
Why two art curators chose to display three artists’ work in a garage
CHLOË LALONDE | ARTS EDITOR STAR RIDER Juxtaposing the work of Madeleine Mayo and Rebecca Munce, two emerging artists and Concordia fine arts master’s students, Star Rider includes a mix of 2D and 3D works in a variety of media that emphasize the self-aware and the ironic. When: Now until Oct. 13 Where: The Belgo Building, 372 SteCatherine St. W., Suite 414 Admission is free. Find WE ARE WHERE | WHERE ARE WE on the corner of St-André and Généreux Sts. on display until Sept. 14. Photo courtesy of FEAT Management.
TENSION MONSTRE Five artists—Cindy Dumais, Suzy Lecompte, David Martineau Lachance, Arthur Desmarteaux and Allison Moore—merge their different, multidisciplinary backgrounds in Tension Monstre. From painting to cinematography and animation, these artists use different media to test the limits of their comfort zones and what they deem “acceptable.” When: Now until Oct. 20 Where: Centre des arts actuels Skol, the Belgo Building, 372 Ste-Catherine St. W., Suite 314 Admission is free.
HENRI VENNE: EPISODIC Henri Venne is an analog, landscape photographer. According to Art Mûr, the artist’s photographs represent his own perceptions of nature. He then abstracts the images until they are barely recognizable, adding a painterly quality to the experience. When: Now until Oct. 27 Where: Art Mûr, 5826 St-Hubert St. Admission is free.
PHANTOM KINO BALLETT This “audiovisual drama,” performed by Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny, combines psychedelic audio clips, interviews and spoken-word extracts to create an other-worldly experience. When: Sept. 13, 9 p.m. Where: Phi Centre, 407 St-Pierre St., Space A (first floor) Admission is $20 in advance, $23 at the door.
SARAH DELL'AVA: OR OR is an intensive dance performance choreographed and performed by Sarah Dell’Ava. According to Tangente, the dance company sponsoring the show, “Dell’Ava, throws herself into a dance marathon of four hours over nine consecutive days. Her improvised solo is shaped by spectators/witnesses’ presence.” When: Sept. 14 to 22, times vary Where: Wilder Building, Espace Danse, 1435 Bleury St. Admission is $21 (reduced) or $29 (regular). Graphic by Ana Bilokin.
YOUMNA EL HALABI STAFF WRITER On the corner of St-André and Genereux Sts., just off the graffiti-filled Mont-Royal Ave., you will find FEAT Management’s latest art exhibit, WE ARE WHERE | WHERE ARE WE, set up in a garage. FEAT, short for Featuring Emerging Artists Today, is a Montreal-based brother-sister artistic partnership, aiming to broaden people’s horizons and cast light on hidden artists by curating and showcasing their work. Rafaël and Max Hart-Barnwell are both Concordia alumni. Rafaël graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s in communications, and Max majored in photography. They have been working together since July 2017. As Max likes to put it, FEAT combines his eye for art and Rafaël’s social skills. “I wasn’t showing my art to a lot of people. I wasn’t being outgoing with my art. I wasn’t really applying to art galleries,” he said. “My sister was like, ‘Oh you have this beautiful studio in Little Italy, let’s convert it into a gallery and invite all of our friends and see what happens.’” FEAT does not limit itself to the generic white-wall gallery, and prides itself on using all the nooks and crannies Montreal has to offer—be it boroughs, restaurants or, as with their latest exposition, garages. The siblings’ relationships with artists rely on mutual understanding. Their main objective is always to showcase an artist’s work and get their names out into the world, which is something that also helped broaden the Hart-Barnwells’ own horizons. “Once you start scratching beneath the surface” Max said, “you start to realize that there is so much hidden talent in Montreal.” In their latest exhibition, the hidden talent is that of Concordia fine arts graduates Alex Coma and Justine Skahan, as well as Université de Montréal student Guillaume Huguet. The exhibit is eclectic and engaging, mixing three artists’ work together rather than devoting different spaces to each of them. Small, grey, and some would even say a tad rusty, the garage was deemed perfect by the curators. “We were looking for something grungy to work with the art,” Max explained, “and the garage worked great. There’s no limitations
or profiles. Any kind of environment could be a potentially good show for us.” FEAT's website describes WE ARE WHERE | WHERE ARE WE as an art exhibit showcasing “constructed realities,” and human beings’ desire to identify with others and everything around them. The Hart-Barnwells were seeking artworks that reflected liminal spaces, Skahan said, which was in line with her recent collection of work. Skahan’s work is quite varied. As she is very interested in domestic spaces and suburbia, as well as the way people construct themselves through these aspects of society. Her paintings depict muted close-ups of plants and grass, among other suburban elements. Her art obviously compliments Rafaël and Max’s aim in their exhibit, touching upon constructed realities. WE ARE WHERE | WHERE ARE WE is her first Montreal show. “Group shows take pressure off of you,” she said. “Normally, the work is curated by someone else, and it could be good and bad.” She compared the vernissage jitters at a solo exhibit to the anxiety a person might feel at their birthday party when they’re not really sure how many people will turn up. She said the pressure is relieved when it’s a group show, however, because you can count on other artists to bring in people in case your entourage doesn’t make it. Coma is yet another artist the Hart-Barnwell duo believed fit their theme quite well after seeing his collection titled Wormhole, otherwise known as the theoretical passage through space and time. “Wormholes are created on a daily in our everyday lives from Earth to space or another planet or anywhere you want in the universe,” Coma explained. “I want people to feel transported. My paintings are very symmetrical, so it allows the viewer to
project himself into the space I drew.” Coma is a Concordia alumni as well, having majored in photography. “My photography is the basis of all my paintings so far. I used them to make a sort of collage on my canvas” he said. “A painting of mine can be a mix of several pictures I took. The tree I painted is on a different photograph than the house that’s next to it. But the more I paint, the more I can start using my own imagination to move away from relying on my photographs.” Coma has an upcoming solo exhibit on Sept. 26 at Le Livart Gallery on St-Denis St. Contrary to Coma and Skahan’s more landscape-oriented, dark-coloured works, Huguet’s work is a series of colourful portraits. French-born Huguet does not have an artistic background, as he is currently finishing up a master’s in mathematics in the Université de Montréal. His artworks, however, do not disappoint. He focuses mainly on the relationships between human beings and the tension that comes with it. Although not detailed and mostly relying on distinctive brushstrokes, the burst of colour is a refreshing contrast to Coma and Skahan’s dark colour palettes. “I like Guillaume’s portraits,” Max said. “The use of colours, and also the rough lining, it compliments others’ detailed works. We mixed the canvases together rather than make it seem like one corner is Justine’s, the other is Guillaume and that one’s Alex’s, because each one of them could influence the other and tell a beautiful narrative.”
WE ARE WHERE | WHERE ARE WE will be on display until Sept. 14 on the corner of St-André and Généreux Sts.
In his Wormhole series, Alex Coma paints elements from several photographs on one canvas. Photo courtesy of FEAT Management.
COVER STORY: A SUMMER IN GULU
Northern Uganda: A dance scene in the making Two young choreographers use dance to help change lives in their community
The founders of Watwero Dance Company, Ojom Martin (left) and Geoffrey Oryema (right) have been dancing together since childhood. They teach dance everyday to the youth in their community. Photo by Sandra Hercegova.
SANDRA HERCEGOVA VIDEO EDITOR Walking by the Straight Talk Foundation youth centre in Gulu, Uganda, you can hear loud dynamic afrobeats blasting through speakers. As you enter the gate, a group of youngsters drenched in sweat from the northern Ugandan heat are having a breakdance battle while learning new choreographies and teaching newcomers. These dance lessons are free, offered everyday and open to the entire youth community of Gulu. Among this group are the founders of the Watwero Dance Company: Geoffrey Oryema, who is often referred to as “Message,” and Ojom Martin, known as “Beep.” “ Through dance, I got a family,” Oryema said. “My family is the people I dance with everyday. When people come in large groups to dance, I ask them, ‘Do you want to learn?’ And I teach them.” Or yema’s life as a dancer began in 2007 in Kitgum, Uganda, when a workshop called Breakdance Project Uganda was held to campaign for peace. “In northern Uganda, we experienced war for over two decades. I had never heard of breakdancing before,” he said. “I had never seen it anywhere; I had no access to TV. Since the war started, it was the first time I saw people come
in great numbers together.” The dance workshop only lasted a day, but it had an everlasting impression on Oryema. “It was the greatest experience and feeling to see people happy because of those dance moves,” he said. When the workshop was over, there were no longer any dance activities in Kitgum. “I kept pushing myself with those steps I learned ... just to keep
Upon his return, both his parents relocated to Gulu—without him. “None of them came to see me when I returned back home.” Or yema remained in Kitgum where he lived with his aunt. The arrangement was not well received by the community. “They were calling me all sorts of names, like a war child, a killer, a rebel. Or sometimes they would say, ‘You need to be careful with this guy, he can kill
When I am dancing, these memories from the war, they go away. - Geoffrey Oryema reminding myself of that day, because I felt peace. That is how I got to understand what peace is.” When Oryema dances, he forgets about the war. “When I am dancing, these memories from the war, they go away,” he said. During the war, Oryema was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) at the age of seven. “I was in the bush for almost two years, and then I found my way back home,” he said.
you because he has been in the bush,’” Oryema recalled. He eventually left his aunt’s home to escape the torment, and ended up living on the streets. “I just started to live this wild life.” In 2011, Or yema saw kids dancing once again at a playground in Kitgum. He asked them where they got their moves from, and they told him to go to the local Straight Talk Foundation youth cent re. Or yema began attending dance classes there
and never missed a day of training. “It was as if I came back to life,” he said. “In a few months, I became a dance leader within the community because I gave it all my time. I wanted to be good so that I can make other people happy through my dance.” Although Oryema quickly became known as a dance leader in his community, he faced challenges living in the small town of Kitgum. “I couldn’t support myself,” he said. “I couldn’t get 500 shillings in a day to buy myself any food.” Oryema began searching for opportunities elsewhere. He went to Gulu for his first dance performance event, which was an outreach on malaria sensitization. “It was a challenge when I was asked, ‘Can you do something that talks about malaria [through dance],’” Oryema said. As he performed, people from Gulu noticed how good Oryema was. They began giving him more opportunities to host community dance workshops. The Gulu community began calling him “Kwena,” which means “message” in the northern Ugandan dialect of Acholi. When Oryema asked an audience member why they call him Kwena, “the woman said, ‘Because when you are dancing, we get the message. You are the message; you carry it within you,’” Oryema explained. Since then, everyone in the community
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
calls him Kwena or Message. In 2016, Oryema co-founded a community outreach organization called Inspire Me Africa Initiative, where he would choreograph, teach and perform dance pieces in communities across northern Uganda. The organization presented dances that targeted the everyday challenges Ugandan youth face, such as malaria, early marriage, domestic violence and drug abuse. The organization was volunteer-based; they often visited local schools, hospitals and refugee camps to perform for the youth without compensation. “As much as we want to do things for free, we need to at least feed ourselves, maintain our health,” Oryema said. Oryema began to dream about having his own dance company and saw it as an employment opportunity. In 2017, his childhood friend, Ojom, also a dancer from Kitgum, came to Gulu for the same reasons: to dance and make a living. “We want to live a life where you can always afford to pay rent and have a family. If dance can pay for all this, then it will be the best thing for us,” Ojom said. “If one day I can at least be able to have land and feed myself daily, that would be the best thing I could ever have,” Oryema added. “It might sound crazy to many, but that has been my challenge.” Ojom also said dance has changed his life. “I lost both of my parents; I lost my dad when I was seven years old and my mom in 2007,” he said. “My brother was the first one who began to dance. He stopped, but I continued. He was my inspiration, and now I inspire him.” According to Or yema, they both realized they had been running away from challenges since childhood. “A lot of our youth and people in our community have these same challenges today. Why don’t we take a stand and face our challenges?” Oryema asked. Together, they created Watwero Dance Company, which is the first of its kind in northern Uganda. Watwero is an Acholi name that translates to “We Can.” “We have seen a lot of people dance, make money, travel. We looked at ourselves and thought, yes we can do this,” Ojom said. The name of the company is in the Acholi dialect because “we must
From left, Ojom Martin and Geoffrey Oryema. “We are targeting youth and they love entertainment and that is exactly what we are giving them. Through dance we are giving them an understanding that we really need to revise our culture,” said Oryema. Photo by Sandra Hercegova.
start with our people first,” Oryema explained. “They need to understand that they can [do it]. Then, it will be easier for them to understand the reasons why we are running this company.” Both Oryema and Ojom are artistic directors and choreographers who teach a wide variety of dance styles, such as the traditional African dances called Zulu, Gwara Gwara, Bakisimba and Durban Bhenga. They also teach afro-house, urban styles and contemporary. This year, Watwero Dance Company participated at the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, Krump UG and the Nyege Nyege Festival. They also featured a dance at the Kampala National Theatre. Oryema and Ojom won one of the battles at the Krump UG competition. “We always had that sensitivity—a bond within us that we always wanted to share,” Ojom said. “Whenever we
are together, we have that creativity to make art.” Their focus is to offer an educative plat for m where they use dance to express the challenges faced in their communities in northern Uganda. “Everywhere you go, they talk about youth unemployment, drug abuse, early marriage—but nothing is being done about it. We realized that if we create a company, it will be a platform, a more organized form of art where we can work on our challenges,” Oryema said. According to Ojom, it has been difficult for their company to grow because of the community’s lack of support for the arts. Nonetheless, they refuse to give up on their dream to live a life through dance. “As long as you are still alive, it’s not over yet. Giving up should not be something that a living human being
should accept,” Oryema said. “You might try hard, but if you don’t win, it’s not a loss. If you don’t win, you learn. So next time you do it better and you don’t get to lose again,” he said. Both Oryema and Ojom remain hopeful that they will be changing lives through dance, just as dance has changed theirs. “Dance saved me from the other part of me that has been in the war zone,” Oryema said. “I fought in the war, I’ve killed a number of people. But that was not what I wanted. When I got back home [from the war], I tried to commit suicide twice. But after failing, I realized that there is a reason why I am still breathing now.” “Everytime I perform, people say that I’m doing something great,” said Oryema. “I don’t know if that’s the reason why I am still alive, but as long as I live, I will be fighting hard to find out.”
“I feel that art is a universal language with which you can choose what you want to do and freely express yourself—it doesn’t cost you a thing to learn. All you need is your time and commitment,” said Oryema. Photo by Sandra Hercegova.
MUSIC EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org SIMON NEW
The Faceplants go Animalistic
The journey of the Vancouver-based band who released a killer first album KAYLA-MARIE TURRICIANO COPY EDITOR Over 10 years ago, at a skatepark in Vancouver, Daniel Botch and Garrett Ward decided to form a band. Now, after years of hard work, they look at each other on stage at Montreal’s Piranha Bar on Aug. 28 and think to themselves, “We’ve made it.” At just 14 years old, Botch and Ward started The Faceplants. Botch used to live in Winnipeg, but moved to Vancouver when he was young. There, he met Ward—they lived close by, went to the same high school, and have been close friends ever since. Botch, the lead singer, and Ward, the guitarist, reminisce on what inspired the name of their band, but both have very different stories. Ward’s take on the name is that, while skateboarding, he would quite literally faceplant off his board—and it stuck. He thought it was the obvious choice for the band name. Botch’s version of the story is that they were very inspired by ska music. Ska pulls inspiration from reggae and rock. Many ska bands have outrageous names, and “The Faceplants” fit the bill. Over the years, the band has evolved. Eight years ago, 23-year-old pianist Graham MacKinnon joined The Faceplants. He knew Botch and Ward from high school,
The Faceplants’s debut show in Montreal was one to remember, as the band members put on a high energy performance for the crowd. Photo by Kayla-Marie Turriciano
and said that being younger than them has made him grow up sooner than he thought he would have otherwise. Almost four years ago—a year before the band went on a hiatus to rework their image and sound—28-year-old drummer Paddy Spencer and 22-year-old bassist Chris Wong joined the band, and The Faceplants as we know them have been together ever since. The self-managed band says that they were lucky enough to be able to take those three years off to really work on their music
the way that they wanted to. They wanted to be proud of what they were putting out, rather than just following music trends like they did before their hiatus. After years of hard work and dedication to their craft, The Faceplants came out with their first LP, which was released on July 27. Animalistic has nine songs and runs for 38 minutes. The same day as Animalistic’s long-awaited release, the band left for a cross-country tour. They hauled themselves and their equipment in a 12-passenger van, hitting 16 cities in just over a month,
Montreal being the third-to-last stop. Spencer describes The Faceplants's musical style as a “modern twist on classic rock,” which you get a taste of when they start their set with “Animal.” The song has a tribal drum beat throughout most of it, high energy vocals, an almost in-the-jungle feel, very true to its name. The next song they play is “Unholy,” which is undoubtedly their most well-known song. The first 90 seconds is vocals and piano, then you get hit with drums, bass and guitar, all seamlessly melded together to give you the perfect rock experience. The band closes off their high-energy, crowd-interactive set with the last song on their album, “Sweet Living Sickness /// The Journey,” which is a collective favourite for the bandmates. The song expresses the journey that The Faceplants have gone on over the past few years. Every song on the LP makes a reappearance on this final track, with part of each melody bleeding into the background. The Faceplants ended their tour on Sept. 1 and headed home to relish in the accomplishment of their first national ride. The hard work may seem to be over, but they will continue working on music videos for the rest of their album. They’re already planning on creating new music, which is sure to attract more fans. If you grow to love them, you have the possibility of seeing them live one day, as they hope to return to Montreal in the next year.
Beat Market brings audiovisual heat The DJ duo drops their EP All Good at Fairmount
SOPHIE SOBOL CONTRIBUTOR A ceiling bustling with huge plastic balloons, red and blue lights diving across the walls and the shining faces of shuffling limbs: it’s a Friday night at the Fairmount Theatre, and Beat Market has just taken the stage.
Montreal-based DJ duo Beat Market, formed of keyboardist Louis-Joseph Cliche and drummer Maxime Bellavance, swept their 100 audience members away during the release of their new EP, All Good . Unfortunately, there were some initial technical difficulties, and the opening act, The Fitness, was unable to play. Despite these factors, it was “all good” and the venue’s energy was never lacking. The first song built slowly, a minimal pallet of sounds moving the crowd until the deep bass and decisive drumming kicked in, along with a colourful light show that made for a hyper-stimulating atmosphere. Music and visuals go hand in hand and are destined to be intertwined, a technique that seems to be working for Beat Market.
Beat Market’s Art Director and digital mastermind, Kitana, used to work for Moment Factory, a world-renowned Montreal-based studio. Their multimedia productions create completely unique universes that envelop the participant. So, it is easy to see why, along with those hypnotic beats, the visuals have the audience coming back for more. Beat Market showcases more than your average electronic dance music. The duo had a retro synth, Daft Punk-inspired style that the audience was loving. Though somewhat repetitive, staying mostly in a steady 4/4 tempo the whole night, there were some wild bass drops and rhythmic switchbacks, making the two energetic performers engaging to watch. With Bellavance on drums and Cliche on keyboard, and both on their laptops, Beat Market plays with a unique combination of digital and analog sounds, enhancing the retro tone of their music.
Beat Market combine processors and percussion. Photo by Sophie Sobol.
Some highlights of the show were the unexpected appearances of Montreal singer and actress AIZA, and rapper KNLO of the Montreal rap group Alaclair, who took the stage on consecutive tracks to lay down some sweet vocals. Ultimately, for Cliche and Bellavance, it was this fusion of artists, audience and mediums that inspired the EP, and
the meaning behind the title, All Good. Above all, the playful duo suggests that people go out and “live life in a funky way”. Fans can support Beat Market by subscribing to their YouTube and Spotify accounts, or by purchasing their EP All Good on Bandcamp or Spotify.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
A HISTORY OF REGGAE
The evolution of Jamaica’s most popular music
EMINEM Kamikaze (Interscope)
Less than a year after the release of the abysmal Revival, Eminem is back with a surprise project, firing back at his critics. Unfortunately, his fixation on the reception of his last album, Revival, keeps this one from being anything close to a return to form. Kamikaze shows absolutely no growth from Eminem. Using homophobic slurs, calling his detractors “retarded” and dissing other artists, he attacks every person who had a critique for Revival. Not once does he hold himself responsible for the album’s awful reception. This, combined with his need to rap as many syllables as he can at top speed, prevents him from crafting quality songs. Sure, his technical abilities are impressive, but it does nothing when the music lacks substance. With very few high points, and an awful run of tracks to end the album, Kamikaze is yet another misfire for one of the genre’s living legends.
11 Trial Track: “Lucky You”
IMMANUEL MATTHEWS ASSISTANT MUSIC EDITOR
4/10 — WESLEY MCLEAN, STAFF WRITER
T R OY E SIVAN Bloom (EMI Music Australia)
Troye Sivan’s second opus, Bloom, retains some of the heartfelt, boyish charm of Blue Neighbourhood that won over fans back in 2015. Songs like ‘“The Good Side” or “Postcard” are tinged with nostalgia, juxtaposed over a quiet piano melody or an acoustic guitar strum. The album’s real strength, however, resides in the more mature numbers on the tracklist. “Bloom” and “Lucky Strike”, amongst others, are drenched in upbeat, bass-driven synthpop influences, paired with daring and sensual lyrics, making for an addicting and catchy result. Nonetheless, the variety both in sound and in writing doesn’t change the fact that the album offers an incredible amount of honesty in its lyrics through each song. Bloom is a collection of love stories—some that work out, some that don’t—but most of all, Bloom is an apparent, impeccable product of Troye Sivan’s growth, both as a man and as an artist.
11 Trial Track: “Lucky Strike”
8.5/10 — SARAH BOUMEDDA, STAFF WRITER
Jamaica, a small island in the Caribbean with a population of 2.9 million – less than double that of Montreal – has a global presence that has continued to grow in size over the years, especially in the music sphere. Most know reggae as the Jamaican genre of music that promotes love, equality, and marijuana, though its history and origins are as deep and as rich as the land from which it comes. Reggae music was not created by one artist or musical group, nor was it created in a month or in a year. It came about from the influences of popular Jamaican dance music, ska and rocksteady, as well as various genres from the U.S. and other islands, whose influences over time came to produce what we know today as reggae. Ska originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s. It was very popular amongst the working and middle-class Jamaicans in the early 60s, who helped it become the country’s most popular genre. Ska is a lighthearted, high-energy dancing music, generally featuring prominent trombone melodies and consistent drum patterns. These songs can most prominently be defined by their offbeat guitar riffs, which give the genre its dancing “feel.” At a time when American music began heavily influencing the sound of the Caribbean, American jazz and rhythm and blues (R&B) were combined with Jamaican mento and calypso to form ska. Ska’s international popularity began to grow when places like the U.K. and Germany put their own spin on the island-bred genre by adding elements of punk rock to create the “Two-Tone” and “Third Wave” forms of ska. Jamaican music, on the other hand, began to veer in a slightly different direction. That is when rocksteady, a genre more closely comparable to present-day
reggae, was born. Many like to describe rocksteady as a slowed down version of ska, though there are a few more substantial differences between both genres. Rocksteady, frequently dubbed the bridge between ska and reggae, originated in the mid-1960s in Jamaica. This music is defined by its slower tempo (half that of ska’s), keyboard melodies and prominent bass which replaced the frequent trombone/brass presence in ska, and allowed for more improvisation and creativity by the bassist. This would play opposite to the syncopated, repetitive guitar and keyboard melodies. Also, its smaller band sizes brought more focus and attention to the bass line—a recognizable characteristic of Jamaican music. Rocksteady only had about two years at the forefront of the Jamaican music scene, as reggae came to be in the late 1960s. While many were optimistic in the wake of Jamaican independence in 1962, those living in the poverty-stricken areas still sought a platform to express their frustrations. Songs that discuss love and romance can be connected to American jazz and soul songs, which heavily influenced the Caribbean at the time. Those that discuss poverty and violence can be more easily tied to the reggae of today, which frequently features similar themes. Social issues in the communities, such as poverty and violence, are discussed more than in ska, though romance and love were still common themes. Its growing popularity outside of Jamaica helped to secure the international fanbase that reggae music has today, being the most popular music genre to come out of the country. Still popular today, it was brought to the world’s attention by world-renowned icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Bob Marley. While its musical characteristics like the keyboard melodies and prominent
bass lines remained, African drums were added to the as a key element of its sound. Lighthearted themes such as love, romance, and family could still be found in reggae’s lyrics, but there was a shift. The heavy influence of the Rastafari movement—a spiritual faith that originated in Jamaica in the 1930s— were its most significant influence as Jamaica entered the 1970s. Spirituality and faith became the driving message behind the music. Themes such as oppression, violence, and corruption frequented the reggae singers’ melodic, raw vocals. The influence of the Rastafari movement had a significant impact on the genre’s lyrics as well as its audience growth. Countries with growing Rastafari member presence, such as England and Kenya, saw a significant rise in reggae’s popularity. As for the music’s lyrics, equality, Pan-Africanism, and the benefits of marijuana were Rastafari beliefs that were reflected in reggae’s lyrical messages. According to Julie-Anne Corby, a rasta and reggae singer formerly part of the Canadian reggae-roots band, Selassie I Power, the reggae scene in Montreal is dormant, but not gone. “Montreal’s reggae scene is separated,” she explained. “It’s hard for artists to get paid, and there’s a lack of respect there.” While she continues to do her part in keeping the reggae scene alive in the city, performing at various local shows and festivals, Corby feels assured that reggae’s presence won’t be disappearing from the world’s music scene anytime soon. “Everywhere you go, even if they don't know the name of the music, everyone knows Bob Marley,” Corby said. “There will be run-off genres such as dancehall and rap, but reggae itself can never die because people need to hear a message in this dark world. It soothes people.” Graphic by Ana Bilokin.
SPORTS EDITOR /// email@example.com NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI ( @n_digiovanni)
The engine in the midfield Shannon McFadden heads into fourth season as co-captain
Head coach Greg Sutton describes McFadden as the engine in the team’s midfield. Photo courtesy of the Concordia Stingers. NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI SPORTS EDITOR On soccer teams at any level, the defensive midfielder is one of the most important players on the field, acting as the link between the defence and offence. Soccer Training Guide writes, to be a good midfielder, “you will need to encourage your teammates and give them strength to work harder. You must also have enough power to force yourself to work hard.” On the Concordia Stingers women’s soccer team, that player is Shannon McFadden. “She’s the engine and she turns the wheel,” head coach Greg Sutton said about McFadden. “ Wit h her energ y and her defensive responsibility that she takes very strongly, she does very well for our team in the midfield. She’s kind of the glue that binds everyone.” McFadden, who is in her fourth year with the team, is able to help her team out on both sides of the field, and occasionally likes to join in on the attack. “When [the other team] is pressuring us, I have to stay back in a more defensive role,” McFadden said. “If I don’t feel that myself, I know Greg and the coaches will tell me as well.”
T he defensi ve midf ield p o sit ion is so highly valued because players are constantly running, which is why Sutton called McFadden the engine of the midfield. When asked how important it is to be in good physical condition to play that position, McFadden laughed. “It’s very important,” McFadden said. “Off-the-field training is just as important as on-the-field training as a midfielder. In the summer you have to be in the gym everyday.” Sutton added that she’s one of the fittest girls on the team. This year, the players on the women’s soccer team voted McFadden as one of two co-captains for the season. Montreal native, Courtney Lundell-Streeter, is the other co-captain, while Claudia Asselin will be the assistant captain. “Her experience, her dedication, her leadership and communication, that’s what you need in a captain,” Sutton said about McFadden. “[The players] chose wisely because I think those three came in with the right attitude. They’re committed to doing what we ask of them.” As captain, McFadden wants to lead by example. “Rather than telling the girls on my team what the expectations are, we have to show them so they realize what’s expected of them,” she said.
McFadden said she wants to always work hard at practice, show up on time and do whatever it takes to make sure her teammates know what to do. McFadden faced some challenges during her time at Concordia before she was named captain. Native to Kensington, Prince-EdwardIsland, a town of just over 1,600 people, she moved to Montreal in 2015 to study history. “Being from a small town, I wanted to experience living in a big city for a bit, and I thought, ‘Why not have the opportunity to play soccer as well,’” McFadden said. “I have a sister that goes to McGill [...] Coming here with only one sister was tough at first.” She moved away from home, having left behind her three other sisters, two half-sisters and four half-brothers (in case you weren’t counting, that’s 10 total). “In my first year, the first couple of weeks were hard,” the fourth-year player added. “I thought about not coming back. I stuck with it, and I’m happy I did.” The P.E.I. native also noticed a difference in the level of talent when she came to Quebec. According to Soccer Canada’s 2017 annual report, there are just over 55,000 youth female players in Quebec versus 2,200 in P.E.I. There are also 11,000 coaches in Quebec, compared to just 100 coaches in her home province, so there’s a better chance to develop talent here.
“The game is a lot faster and the girls are a lot bigger,” McFadden said. “That was a bit of a challenge as well.” McFadden developed through P.E.I.’s youth ranks. She joined the provincial team at the U-13 level, and at 15 years old, played with 17 and 18-year-olds on the provincial team at the 2013 Canada Games. That year, P.E.I. did “better than we’ve ever done,” according to McFadden, finishing ninth out of the 13 provinces and territories. During her time with the provincial team, McFadden said she was coached by someone who would turn out to be one of her biggest role models in soccer. Glen Miller coached her at the U-13 level, and she is still in contact with him today. “The philosophy that he instilled in us at a young age is kind of what I still go by today,” she said. The philosophy Miller taught McFadden was to keep calm with the ball, don’t force any passes, and to work hard on and off the ball to help her teammates. Even though McFadden is still 1,100 k i l o m e t re s f ro m h e r h o m e to w n o f Kensington, P.E.I., she has no regrets about coming to Montreal. “[Being a Stinger] is part of who I am and it will always be,” McFadden said. “I’m glad I’m here to be a part of something bigger in the school community.”
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Home-opener excites crowd
Stingers scored 17 points in final six minutes to complete comeback win
MATTHEW COYTE SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR The Concordia Stingers football team were trailing for 56 minutes of their home-opener against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Sept. 8 at the Concordia Stadium. A touchdown catch by wide receiver James Tyrrell gave the Stingers a 22-20 win as time expired, and helped improve their record to 1-1. Heading into the second half down 9-0, the Stingers’s chances of beating the Vert et Or didn’t look good. They had been held to mostly ineffective plays, and any time they gained some momentum, it was quickly negated by penalties and turnovers. Stingers quarterback Adam Vance said the team just kept shooting themselves in the foot during the first half. Head coach Brad Collinson was not impressed with how his team came out in the first part of the game. “I told them they had to look themselves in the mirror,” said Collinson about his halftime locker room talk with the team. “They had to make a decision coming out to that second half if they wanted to play or not.”
AIR ATTACK KEY IN SECOND HALF The Stingers came out strong to start the second half. Vance was finally able to get his rhythm going and found chemistry with his receivers. Despite a slow first half, the air attack was deadly for the Stingers. Vance finished the game 20/34 for 441 yards and one touchdown pass. Wide receiver Jarryd Taylor had eight receptions for 258 yards, averaging over 35 yards per catch. “Our whole offence [was clicking],” Taylor said. “We have the best receiving corps in all of Canada and we showed it today. I went into the locker at half with [one] catch. I’m the type of player who wants the ball in my hands every play.” Sherbrooke made sure to vary their coverages to throw off the Stingers offence, but Vance was able to adjust and connect with his receivers. “Second half, we definitely came out with some anger behind us,” Tyrrell said, who finished the game with 78 yards and that game-winning touchdown catch. Sherbrooke didn’t rack up as many yards in the game, but they made sure to take advantage of any opportunity. Quarterback Joé Hudon finished with 108 passing yards and a touchdown, and running back Gabriel Polan had 55 rushing yards. Sherbrooke’s play-action wreaked havoc for most of the
The Stingers needed a last-second field goal to beat the Vert et Or last season. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
The Concordia Stingers trailed for 56 minutes against the Vert et Or, but still won. Photo by Mack enzie Lad.
game, and often left the Stingers’s defenders losing sight of the ball. Despite playing better in the second half, the Stingers still found themselves in trouble. They were only able to score a single touchdown and get one field goal in the red zone all game. The Stingers were frustrated when they were in prime scoring position on the two-yard line late in the fourth quarter, down eight points. Stingers running back Widler Exilus took the handoff from Vance, but contact at the line of scrimmage made him drop the ball. That fumble was recovered by Vert et Or defensive back, Anthony Chagnon, who took it 108 yards to extend the Vert et Or lead to 20-5. The Stingers seemed out of touch, especially after such a potentially demoralizing play. But a touchdown run and two safeties later, and the score was suddenly 20-16 with less than two minutes left in the game.
THE COMEBACK With 15 seconds left in the game and the Stingers in their own half, Vance used his arm to find Taylor. It was a 50-yard catchand-run play that placed the Stingers on
This was Brad Collinson’s first win as head coach of the Stingers. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
Sherbrooke’s 25-yard line. With six seconds left on the clock, Vance snapped the ball, and Sherbrooke had four defenders deep in the endzone. The quarterback was forced out of the pocket, took a couple of steps forward, and tossed a high ball to the back corner of the endzone towards Tyrrell. “I knew from the snap that I was going to him,” Vance said. “His vertical is crazy.” Tyrrell leaped up, showcasing his vertical against two Sherbrooke defenders, and managed to bring the catch down for a touchdown as time expired. The packed crowd exploded, as both fans and the entire Stingers team rushed onto the field to celebrate. “I used to jump up and play ‘Jackpot’ when I was little, so it just came down to that,” Tyrrell said. “This is the stuff you dream of. It’s just you and the ball, you don’t hear anything else, you just have to catch it.”
GAME NOTES For Stingers offensive guard Kenny Johnson, this was about as good of a return to the home field as he could have hoped. Johnson missed the last three seasons recovering from a serious knee injury which he suffered in 2015, during his rookie season. After three surgeries, he is finally back on the field as a fifth-year player. This was his first game back at the Concordia Stadium, where he suffered his injury. For him, the win meant a lot. “It’s amazing,” Johnson said. “I came back to a team filled with my brothers. I had my friends come out [to the game], my girlfriend come out. The crowd was with us the whole time.”
THE STINGERS WILL TAKE ON THE MCGILL REDMEN AT MCGILL ON SEPT. 15
COLOUR COMMENTARY WITH NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI Colin Kaepernick is making headlines again in the football world with his Nike “Just Do It” ad in which he says, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick and his San Francisco 49ers teammates famously created a movement in the National Football League (NFL) in 2016. Players started kneeling during the national anthem in protest against racism and police brutality in the United States. The NFL put a rule in place for the 2018 season, to fine any player that knelt, but the player’s union quickly stopped it. Even after all this, Kaepernick lost his job in the NFL after the 2016 season, and hasn’t played since. Back to the Nike ad: Kaepernick is facing backlash like he did with the anthem protest. #JustBurnIt and #BoycottNike were trending on Twitter with one protester burning five pairs of Nikes with the national anthem playing in the background. He said he’s boycotting the shoe company simply because “Kaepernick is the face of Nike now.” United States President Donald Trump joined in on the action, tweeting: “Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. [...] As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!” T h e re’s t h e p ro b l e m — n a rrow-m i n d e d A m e r ic a n s t h i n k Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL are protesting the flag. No. They are angry about what the flag represents, and how black people are oppressed in “the land of the free.” Trump and co. make it seem like a military country, like you need to appreciate the flag otherwise you might lose your job, or lose business. Senator Marco Rubio also said in July: “Most people wish there was a place we could go to get away from politics. And for most people it’s Sunday afternoons in the fall to be able to watch an NFL game.” That’s another problem: the NFL and the American army are holding hands, and shoving patriotism down fans’ throats. Flags the size of football fields are brought out during anthems, and the NFL has a “Salute to Service” month in November dedicated to the military only. Isn’t that bringing politics into sports? Yes, the NFL is a private corp o ratio n , b ut th e m inute th e American flag comes out, and the anthem starts playing, they can kiss politics-free sports goodbye. If the NFL doesn’t want players like Kaepernick to make political statements, they should stop doing so themselves.
opinions OPINIONS EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org SANIA MALIK
Ah, Twitter. The wonderful app that connects the universe with short bursts of 280-character tweets. Those tweets, which provide us with a way of expressing ourselves, are often funny, insightful, and inspiring. While Twitter is a great app that has been known to start careers and highlight important issues, it has also been known to end careers and relationships. And we’re not talking about relationships between people per say— unfortunately, we mean relationships between countries..
At the beginning of August, Canada’s foreign ministry tweeted: “Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.” This spurred angry tweets by the Saudi foreign ministry. In a series of tweets, the Saudi foreign ministry said they were expelling the Canadian ambassador from the country and suspended trade and investment transactions between the two nations. Most notably, the Saudi
government decided to suspend scholarships for its foreign students studying at Canadian universities and colleges, according to Global News. All students relying on Saudi-funded scholarships have either already been forced to leave, or are preparing to leave Canada in the coming weeks. Sept. 22 was announced as the final deadline for Saudi trainee doctors to leave the country, according to CBC News. The same source confirmed that 8,310 Saudi students were enrolled in Canadian post-secondary schools from Jan. to May 2018. Of that number, 435 were in Quebec, with 327 at McGill University, and more than 60 at Concordia. We at The Concordian are frustrated to see innocent students affected by this diplomatic dispute. While we understand that each country has its own customs and political systems, we believe that no student’s education should be affected by international policy disputes—especially ones rooted in a request to respect human rights. In an ideal world, these students would be allowed to stay and strive for a bright future here in Canada. We cannot imagine what these students are going through. But we know that Canada—our society, our educational system and our workforce—will be deeply affected by the departure of these students. Saudi Arabia was the sixth largest source of international students in Canada in 2015, according to a Global Affairs report. International students add approximately $15.5 billion annually to Canada’s economy,
with Saudi students representing five per cent of that group. Specifically, Saudi students’ impact on the Canadian economy is approximately $400 million per year, according to the same source. Although monetary value should be the last thing we look at when determining someone’s worth, it’s important to stress and recognize how detrimental this loss is for Canada. In an ideal world, a tweet about human rights would not trigger such a hasty retaliation. In an ideal world, that tweet wouldn’t have been necessary to begin with. The common saying that students are our future is true; students are the force that shapes society’s future. The things we learn and what we choose to do with that knowledge is useful in developing our opinions and overall worldview. It’s a shame that a diplomatic dispute is interrupting something as important as education. We consider those who finally felt Canada was becoming their home. For those of you who have to say goodbye to a place you only recently said hello to; for those who were almost finished with their degree and were beginning to step toward a bright career here in Canada. We’re disappointed that a nation that celebrates its diversity and inclusivity is losing cherished and valuable members of our society. The Concordian wishes you luck in all your future endeavours, and we hope something as trivial as a tweet is never again the reason for your goodbyes. Graphic by @spooky_soda
How to train your landlord
Useful tips to maintain a desirable relationship with your landlord TYSON BURGER ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR So you’ve moved into your first apartment. Congratulations! The problem is you don’t know the first thing about training your new landlord. A current trend in raising landlords is to let them grow up and discover the world on their own, but the truth is landlords require good old-fashioned discipline. If you don’t properly discipline your landlord, you are not only raising one who will be troublesome for you to deal with, but one who will go out and burden other people after you leave the nest. Landlord training is a large project—one that never really ends—but this article will cover the basics and help you lay the foundation that you can use to later teach them more complex tricks and better behaviour. The first step in training your landlord is establishing dominance. This step is fundamental because it will shape all of your future interactions with your landlord. In order to learn obedience, your landlord must first understand that you hold the power in the relationship. This can be achieved by raising your voice when necessary, learning your rights and asserting them, or even consulting—or
threatening to consult—legal representatives. Ideally, you want your landlord to both love and fear you—but if you cannot have both, always choose fear. Another important technique to remember is to reward positive behaviour and punish negative behaviour. At this stage in your relationship, it is essential to instill in them the concepts of right and wrong. You may be afraid to discipline your landlord, either out of fear of hurting their feelings or a desire to avoid conflict. But what are you really teaching them by not enforcing the things they are required to do by law? Sure, you can play the ‘good tenant’ so your landlord will like you more, but it’s more important that they learn that their actions have consequences. Say “good job” or “nice one” when your landlord does something like take their shoes off when they enter your home, or fixes/replaces a broken appliance. Do your best to convey your disappointment in them when they try to enter your apartment without giving 24-hours notice, or if they request illegal payments like damage deposits. They might try to test your willingness to stand up for yourself, but you need to be firm and remember it is for their own benefit. If you have an especially stubborn landlord, you may want to bring in a specialized
expert such as a landlord-whisperer or the Off-Campus Housing and Job Bank (HOJO) at Concordia. Using this framework in your landlord training will make it possible for you to teach your landlord all kinds of tricks. You may even develop a positive relationship with them. The most crucial thing to remember is that you are paying a lot of money for your
Graphic by @spooky_soda
apartment, and it is yours. This means you hold the power in the relationship, so don’t be afraid to use it. Take the process one step at a time, and don’t be too concerned about overall progress—focus on small goals each day, and you will have an obedient and well-behaved landlord in no time. If all else fails, you can always find a new one next year. Good luck!
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Louis C.K.’s return to comedy is too soon
Celebrities called out during #MeToo movement can’t make quick comebacks CALLIE GIACCONE STAFF WRITER Comedian Louis C.K . made an appearance on Aug. 26 at a New York comedy club with a 15-minute surprise set. This happened only nine months after he admitted to non-consensually masturbating in front of five women, as well as committing other sexual indecencies. C.K.’s reappearance has struck a conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement and the countless male public figures who have been accused of sexual misconduct. The #MeToo movement is attempting to normalize the idea of listening to and believing women, in revolutionary and unprecedented ways. In my opinion, if we accept C.K.’s surprise return, we are sending the message that he was merely in a “timeout.” A successful return would enforce the idea that C.K.'s position holds more importance than the women whose lives he permanently affected. Don’t get me wrong—this has been a hard year for fallen heros. Some of these public figures had a strong presence in our lives. We were attached to these celebrities, and we held many of them very close to our hearts. That being said, being frustrated and disappointed by
the changing perception of powerful male figures does not mean we should lose sight of what we are fighting for. Women didn’t ruin Louis C.K. for us—he ruined himself. C.K.’s surprise comeback strategy is all too congruent with his disregard for consent. His forceful reappearance reinforced his perception of power. Any woman sitting in that comedy club, who listened to his
According to The New York Times, in C.K.’s apology, he said, “I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community.” If his apology held any ounce of integrity, then his return to comedy and his return as a public figure should have been approached with self-awareness and remorse. Instead, C.K. resorted to showing up unannounced, Graphic by @spooky_soda
set, heard him tell rape jokes and saw the standing ovation, was hit by a brick wall of evidence that C.K.’s career and reputation mean more to our society than a woman's safety, experience, feelings, and agency. And he didn’t give them a choice. Nine months ago, C.K . publicly admitted to his behaviour, while acknowledging his power and influence as a public figure in the comedy community.
resuming his regular comedy shtick and making a rape joke. Classy. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins was at the comedy club when C.K. performed. After the set, he told The New York Times that C.K. “made a career out of embracing the uncomfortable. Suddenly this is beyond his powers to tackle? Where is the evidence that he cares at all to redeem himself? That he understands what he did was wrong?
That he has learned anything? That he has tried to pay for his abuses with more than an enforced vacation?” As a society, we are still wrestling with the repercussions of C.K.’s behaviour as well as the many other allegations against countless men. Where do these men go from here? We may not have a direct answer yet, but we can assure you, Louis C.K., this was not it.
C.K. finished his original apology by saying, “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.” Who knew that “a long time” actually meant just nine months? There are many public figures stepping up and handling this social climate with grace and bravery, and for once, those are the voices we need to be listening to. We must remember that this movement is about women and the survivors of sexual assault. Writer and comedian Hannah Gadsby may have said it best: “These men control our stories, and yet, they have a diminishing connection to their own humanity, and we don’t seem to mind so long as they get to hold onto their precious reputation.” C.K. has no right to reclaim his reputation after his disgraceful behaviour. So if anyone is ready to listen and laugh along with Louis C.K. today, they need some serious introspection.
Why we shouldn’t celebrate Elon Musk The famous billionaire’s crappy personality overshadows his successes KENNETH GIBSON STAFF WRITER I normally don't pay attention to this sort of thing but, apparently, two of the biggest idiots around got together on a webcam show this past Friday. One of the idiots was Elon Musk, the so-called tech genius who runs the electric car company Tesla. The show in question was The Joe Rogan Experience, hosted by American comedian Joe Rogan. On his show, Rogan interviews all types of people and, very often, he will placidly sit back as people say all sorts of outrageous—and frequently hateful and bigoted—things. While Musk was being interviewed on the show, Rogan took out a massive joint, sparked it and proceeded to start smoking. Rogan said to Musk, “I guess you can’t smoke because of shareholders, right?” So, obviously Musk had to take a toke. He got reverse-psychology-ed by the guy from the 90s sitcom News Radio who now talks about random nonsense for a living. You’re telling me Musk is the guy who will bring electric vehicles to the masses and make space travel affordable for the average person? Give me a break. And, you know what, I’m not even going to go there with Rogan. Every time someone tries to criticize the guy, all the free-speech crusaders get upset for harshing on a freethinker.
Graphic by @spooky_soda
But the reality is, Rogan was the host of a television show where contestants laid down in boxes of spiders and ate cow testicles. One time, he even tried to fight a contestant, while they were filming the show. Who does that? On top of it, he’s a big fan of “putting people to sleep,” a.k.a. depriving their brain of oxygen until it turns itself off. That’s not good for them, Joe. Knock it off. So anyway, back to Musk. In the wake of his weed toke heard and seen around the world, two executives resigned from Tesla and the company’s share price had dropped by six per cent, as of Friday afternoon.
Smoking weed is not even the most reckless thing Musk has done recently to put Tesla in jeopardy. About a month ago, a careless tweet resulted in a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for potential market manipulation by misleading investors. Tesla’s share price has dropped 11 per cent since the beginning of June because of Musk’s antics. What an admirable leader. All of this is to say, to hell with Musk. He’s not a hero; he’s an idiot. Remember back in July, when a genius-hero team of international diving experts saved
those young boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand? Remember how the world celebrated the crew? Musk called one of them a pedophile because they rejected his extravagant idea in trying to help the boys. This is the kind of person we’re dealing with here. He sucks . He is a waste of our energy and focus at a time when we really need to have our heads in the game. Surely, there are other people who know how to make electric cars and solar panels who aren’t completely unbearable to deal with?
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Freedom of expression on campus Why the JCCF’s findings on Concordia’s free speech policies are not credible
NICK GERTLER CONTRIBUTOR The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has published their 2017 CampusFreedom Index. The index grades universities and student unions on their defence of free speech on campus—on paper and in practice. According to the index, Concordia’s policies regarding free speech receive a B, while its practices earn a C for 2017. The Concordia Student Union (CSU) was given an F for its policies and a C for its practices. These findings seem quite concerning. As I’m sure most people would agree, universities are meant to be bastions of
free speech. Various media outlets seem to share this concern. Articles by Maclean's and the CBC have outlined the supposed demise of free speech on Canadian university campuses, citing the Campus Freedom Index as evidence. As with so many discussions in the media about the free speech debate, these articles fail to critically engage with the ideology behind the Campus Freedom Index and other free speech crusades. In particular, considering the known ideological leanings of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, it’s imperative that we frame any of their findings appropriately. So, in the interest of free speech, here is the other side of the argument. The JCCF is
an organization that spends much of its time defending campus anti-abortion groups. We must remember that abortion rights in Canada are not a given. Many groups are still actively working to undermine and reverse current protections. Last month, the membership of the second-largest federal political party in Canada nearly voted to revoke restrictions on anti-abortion legislation being introduced in Parliament. When abortion rights are limited or revoked, mothers die. It’s as simple as that. Moreover, the tactics used by anti-abortion groups frequently cross the line into direct harassment. Even so, the JCCF is actively defending a group that set up a prominent anti-abortion display in the middle of the University of Alberta campus. Vulnerable members of our communities are targeted by such displays. And so, by giving a platform to these sorts of ideas, we risk further marginalizing people and silencing their voices and ideas. Universities and student organizations have a duty to protect their students. They are responsible for creating a space where everybody can engage in academic debate and discussion. If universities allow harassing, violent speech on campus—if they help foster unsafe spaces—they are limiting the number of voices that will be heard in any given debate. Paradoxical as it may seem, reasonable
limits on speech are necessary for free speech to thrive. Limits on paper are necessary to eliminate greater restrictions in practice by those with more structural power. I am proud to be a member of a student union whose policies actively bolster the voices of the marginalized. I am proud to study at a school that understands that totally unfettered speech on campus is not a standard to which we should aspire. T he debate over f ree speech on campus likely won’t end anytime soon. In a political and philosophical minefield, there aren’t any easy solutions. What I do hope for, at least, is that we can lift the veneer of neutrality in calls for “free speech on campus.” In particular, when the free speech deb ate enter s t he wor ld of ac t ual policy—such as Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s threat to withhold funding from universities that do not comply with his government’s narrow definition of free speech—we need to engage with the deeply ideological frameworks that calls for free speech rest upon. Free speech, as championed by the JCCF and the Ford government, among others, limits the speech of the marginalized. Media that report on these groups must grapple with that reality, lest they be complicit in that same marginalization. Archive graphic by Zeze Le Lin.
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RACHELLE ALEXANDRA FLEURY My name is Rachelle Alexandra Fleury and I am a multimedia artist from New York, currently based in Montreal. I am heading into my final year at Concordia with a double major in studio arts and art history, as well as a minor in psychology. Throughout my childhood I trained and performed as a classical ballet dancer, which sparked my interest in performance arts and fashion design. I then took a more formal approach and combined these interests through costume and set design. In recent years, I have developed my paintings, drawings and material practices by exploring the space between craft and fine art. The role of women in domestic environments further inspired my work, and this "reuse" of female experience has influenced my interest in reusing materials and crafting techniques.
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SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
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