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Workshop series and Screening

Toronto, Canada
August 18 and
September 24, 2014

@ IDRC at OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street


micha cárdenas
With guest facilitators, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and Eddie Ndopu

Presented by e-fagia and co-presented by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University



Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts

What Carries Us through the World

August 18, 6-9pm with Eddie Ndopu
September 24, 6-9 pm with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Public Screening
September TBD

Workshops will take place at IDRC at OCAD University, 49 McCaul Street.
Registration ends: Monday, August 11th, 2014

“Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar.”
“Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.”
— Gloria E. Anzaldúa

What carries us through the city? Urban environments are highly designed with layers of technology. As we move through them, we bring our own technologies that assist us in travel, from canes and wheelchairs to lipstick and hormones to objects with spiritual significance to mobile media and wearable electronics. Inspired by the work of the Gloria Anzaldúa, a gender non-conforming, sick and disabled chicana poet, this two part workshop series brings together together trans people, disabled people, people of color and allies to share our knowledge of moving though the city, in order to build trans and disabled solidarity through our shared need for safe movement. Starting with a discussion of wearable electronics in cárdenas' project Local Autonomy Networks, participants will consider all the varied kinds of technology they wear on their bodies and encounter as they move through the city.

What Carries Us Through the World will engage participants in a two part workshop series that will culminate in a final screening. Throughout the workshops we will identify design problems that limit access or allow for violence, from physical aspects such as curb cuts to ideological aspects such as colonial borders and gendered restrooms. Using discussion, writing and performance exercises we will create short video performances that engage with issues of access, movement and liberation in Toronto. Through our shared experiences of violence and everyday resilience strategies, we will work towards a vision of the future where trans and disabled people can have freedom of movement.

The series asks: how can we reconfigure our understanding of technology and design, to decolonize technology, to no longer think technology only in terms of digital technologies, circuit boards, LED's and microcontrollers. How can we expand our idea of technology to include lipstick, glasses, jewelry, curb cuts, door frames, respirators and face masks, immigration controls, transportation networks, ways of sharing secrets, nonverbal ways of communicating, all of the ways that we create worlds as we move through them.

About the Artists

micha cárdenas is a performer, writer, student, educator, mixed-race latina femme who works with movement as a technology of change. micha is a Provost Fellow and PhD candidate in Media Arts + Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of the art collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. micha’s solo and collaborative work has been seen in museums, galleries, biennials, keynotes, community and public spaces around the world. michacardenas.org

Eddie Ndopu - Born to a South African freedom fighter mother who fled from the Apartheid regime to Namibia under self-imposed exile, Edward (Eddie) Ndopu is a dis/abled queer femme afropolitan living in Ottawa, Ontario. Named by the Mail and Guardian Newspaper as one of their Top 200 Young South Africans, he is a social critic, anti-oppression practitioner, consultant, writer, and scholar.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan cis femme writer, performer, organizer and badass visionary healer. The author of the Lambda Award winning Love Cake and Consensual Genocide and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. With Cherry Galette, she co-founded Mangos With Chili, North America's performance incubator for Two Spirit, queer and trans people of color performance artists, and is a lead artist with Sins Invalid. She has taught, performed and lectured across North America, Sri Lanka and Australia and co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School. www.brownstargirl.org

This workshop is for trans people, sick and disabled people, 2-spirit, black / indigenous / mixed / people of color, but it is open to allies working in solidarity at the intersections of disability justice, assistive technologies, transgender safety, wearable technologies and transportation in the city. The venue is wheelchair accessible and ASL interpretation will be made available upon request. Please RSVP for ASL by August 1st. Do not wear chemical scents or scented garments, to allow accessibility for presenters and participants with chemical sensitivity [More details here].

To register, please send your name and contact information, mmcarden@usc.edu with “What Carries Us Through the World” in the subject line and we will send you a form for participant information.

e-fagia is a Toronto-based organization created to produce and disseminate visual and media art projects with emphasis on contemporary Canadian and Latin American artists. Our focus is on diversity and art practices that respond to common decolonial struggles in the Americas.

We have a trans-disciplinary approach towards the complexity of contemporary arts: we foster encounters between new media artists and people of other academic disciplines to develop aesthetic and socio-communicational projects under the net of relations enabled by new technologies. Our publications and presentations help us to expose the public to different types of contemporary artistic production. For more information visit www.e-fagia.org

The IDRC is a research and development centre at OCAD University where an international community of open source developers, designers, researchers, advocates, and volunteers work together to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively. The group promotes inclusion in a full complement of activities:

- growing design and development practices
- creating tools that others can use and contribute to
- teaching the principles and techniques of inclusive design
- advocating for inclusion in international standards
- providing services that match solutions with individuals

For more information, please contact:

Maria Alejandrina Coates or Julieta Maria