A collaborative walking tour
for art, activism and inquiry
in Toronto’s financial district
Organized by Stephanie Springgay and Sarah E. Truman (WalkingLab)
and Max Haiven (ReImagining Value Action Lab – RiVAL)
An itinerant gathering including performances, talks and interventions by individuals and collectives including:
- Alvis Choi
- Vanessa Gray
- ICE, Eva-Lynn Jagoe and Imre Szeman
- Zannah Madson and Christopher Alton
- Jamie Magnusson
- New Mineral Collective
- The Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
- Sherry Ostopovich and Anita Castelino
- Christopher Smith
Please pre-register here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-bank-the-mine-the-colony-the-crime-a-collaborative-walking-tour-tickets-72465453121
We will assemble at the RBC Plaza at 200 Bay St at 12:45pm.
Toronto’s financial district, built on stolen Haudenosaunee and Mississauga lands, is home to many ghosts, notably those dispossessed by the global extractive industry headquartered on the city’s infamous Bay Street. The violence of (neo)colonialism haunts the corporate towers and cleansed streets of the financial district; it also haunts the pensions and savings of millions of Canadians who, knowingly or not, are invested in the industry via the neighbourhood’s preeminent financial institutions.
This glass, metal and concrete zone is a reactor of the imagination, where the abstract codes of global finance fuse with the settler colonial logics of racialized extraction and neoliberal capitalism. But what else might the imagination generate if we assembled ourselves otherwise? What resilient pasts, rebellious presents and radical futures flow beneath the surface, ready to erupt? How can we imagine and enact the complex solidarities we need to overturn the financialized global order of deadly inequalities and the fascistic spectres it unleashes?
WalkingLab and the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) propose to assemble a temporary community of activists, artists, scholars and other peripatetic counter-speculators to investigate and challenge this power by walking together. On 5 October 2019 we will assemble in Toronto’s financial district to share our knowledge, ideas and forms of resistance through a series of presentations at various locations. We are calling for expressions of interest from those who might be willing to share their stories and talents as part of a collaborative walking tour.
Writing of their project WalkingLab, Sarah E. Truman and Stephanie Springgay write: Conventional walking tours can reinforce dominant histories, memories, power relations, and normative or fixed understandings of place. This place-based knowledge serves various forms of governance, ideology, and maintains the status quo including the ongoing violence of settler colonization, and the erasure of racialized, gendered, and differently abled bodies. To counter dominant and normative walking tours that “take place” in specific locations, we developed a method we call a ‘queer walking tour’ to advocate for a critical consideration of place. This criticality, following Tuck and McKenzie, not only recognizes place as socially, culturally, politically, geosocially, and relationally constructed, it also considers “the place-based processes of colonization and settler colonization and works against their further erasure or neutralization through social science research.” The implication of queer walking tours is that they offer a form of place-based research that seeks to attend more responsibly and ethically to issues of place.
RiVAL: the ReImagining Value Action Lab is a workshop for the radical imagination, social justice and decolonization located in Anishinaabe Aki (Thunder Bay, Canada) and active around the world. It is co-directed by activist-artists Cassie Thornton and Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice Max Haiven. RiVAL seeks to convoke the radical imagination using methods that include hosting conferences, symposia and summer camps, hosting workshops, film screenings and talks, supporting research, pedagogy and debate on key themes, publishing in print and online and organizing walking tours and other experimental public events. This event follows on a successful walking tour of London’s financial district organized by RiVAL’s Max Haiven and Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou of University College London in Spring of 2018.