The Talking Back Feminist Media Conference: Track Three Session Descriptions
Illustration: Saul Freedman-Lawson
Join us at the Talking Back Feminist Media Conference on November 16 and 17 at the Toronto Media Arts Centre! Tickets on sale now
This post gives detailed descriptions of the sessions in Track Three. Please see the other tracks here:
For details on our Arts Market vendors, please see the post here.
For information on art exhibitions and lunchtime micro-talks, please see the post here.
Radical Representation; Beyond Traditional Models of “Inclusion”
How can we move beyond mainstream, Westernized and capitalistic models of “diversity” and “inclusion”? What is meaningful representation? What is cultural appropriation? How can we bring forward stories and storytellers from historically underrepresented groups? How can we create spaces for joy and celebration among communities facing violence, or take space to write about something other than our identities? How do we negotiate relationships between our feminist politics and other communities we may be a part of? What is the role of the editor, where is editorial power held, and what strategies exist or could possibly exist to re-distribute that power, especially to those who are new to media-making? How does capital (or lack thereof) limit participation from historically underrepresented groups?
Hanging with FLO AUNTIE: Creating a Community-Based Youth-Centred Mobile Feminist Library By Us For Us
Interactive show and tell
Presented by: Neeru Sekhon with members of FLO AUNTIE
Sunday, November 17
In this interactive show-and-tell session, participants will learn about inclusive representation by hanging out with the Feminist Library Outreach Association Uniting Nonconformist Teen Instigators Everywhere (aka FLO AUNTIE), a community-based, youth-centred mobile feminist library project. Together, we will share our strategies for talking back to institutions and for including members of our communities in our feminist literacy-building journeys, as well as the joys and struggles of launching and running a feminist literacy project as holders of marginalized and misrepresented identities. Participants will have the opportunity to hang with FLO AUNTIE (AKA visit the mobile feminist library) and be supported in developing or refining ideas about how they might support their own and their communities’ feminist literacies by celebrating all the ways of knowing that help us identify and live as feminists.
This session is helpful for anyone who wants to explore how we, as members of marginalized communities, might show up in our community spaces to build feminist literacies by us for us, how we might support our communities in developing and celebrating feminist literacies, and how we might support one another in the sometimes tough work of supporting our communities.
Barrier Methods - How To: Liberate Sex Education
Presented by: samantha bitty
Saturday, November 16
Discussions about sex and consent education are all around us – a lot of the focus is on what gets taught, who it is being taught to, the when, and where. But what about the HOW and WHY?
Barrier Methods - How To: Liberate Sex Education, seeks to explore why sex/consent education is predominantly reactionary, or intended to avoid undesired outcomes. Why do we use disempowering models to teach it? Does language like “diversity” and “inclusion” in sex education, when it addresses the experiences of folks who are LGBTQ2S+, neurologically a-typical, youth, elderly, folks with disabilities, or any sexually marginalized community, actually perpetuate harm? Can we centre pleasure, and bring joy and humour to conversations about risk reduction, creating strengths-based, sex positive sex education?!
Join samantha bitty for a talk on the power of disruptive education, and its unique value to conversations about sex, consent, and sexual liberation.
Included is SEXY SEXUAL HEALTH TRIVIA, an interactive trivia game, using humour to promote healthy and fun conversations about safer sex, consent, pleasure, relationships, and communication. Attendees will leave with tools for critically evaluating the ways we learn and think about sex/consent, and feel empowered to take care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual sexual health.
Explicit language; some mention of anti-sexual violence in the context of sexual health education
How I learned to serve tea
Presented by: Shaista Latif
Sunday, November 17
There is an economy to everything: a cost, a transaction.
What we are able to give and to receive is influenced by our individual and collective understandings of class and identity.
Through acts of play and hospitality, multidisciplinary artist Shaista Latif invites workshop participants to reflect on differences of identity and to use these concepts as navigational tools rather than limitations.
At the workshops, participants are greeted by an array of carefully arranged items. Prompted to action by a series of questions, participants are encouraged to interact with the objects as a group. As implied in the name, tea is served – but the number of teacups is limited. Through facilitated dialogue, participants explore the dynamics of power as guest and host, aiming to understand what it takes to make space for others.
Through acts of play and hospitality, Shaista Latif encourages workshop participants to reflect on differences of identity and to use these concepts as navigational tools rather than limitations. Workshops will form the basis of an extended research process underpinning an exploratory public performance work or exhibit to be produced in 2020.
How I Learned to Serve Tea is sponsored by Koffler Gallery and Why Not Theatre.
Trans Voices in Canadian Journalism
Presented by: Megan Jones
Saturday, November 16
Canadian media is making room for trans voices, but the industry is only willing to give so much space. Trans people, like other marginalized groups, are largely invited to contribute on a freelance basis — most often to talk or write candidly about our own experiences and bodies. Editors say they’re making room for diverse voices, but publications and news organizations need to move beyond occasional representation if they want their workplaces — and coverage — to be truly diverse. Drawing on personal experience, interviews with other trans media workers, and audience discussion, this talk will outline some strategies media outlets can use to move beyond representation: offering trans workers stable employment, livable wages and coverage for medical expenses like HRT, for example. In a time where anti-trans rhetoric is being used to drum up fear, produce clicks and sell out misleading, transphobic lectures world-wide, news organizations have a responsibility to invest in trans contributors, staffers and coverage.
Examples of transphobic and transmisogynistic media.