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Collective Futures in the Downtown Eastside – Forum & discussion led by the desmedia collective in Vancouver

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Collective Futures in the Downtown Eastside

Nov 26, 2011 | 2pm
FREE

Audain Gallery

The Audain Gallery will be hosting a panel discussion by the desmedia collective. desmedia will host Collective Futures in the Downtown Eastside, a public forum where DTES artists and residents will be invited to discuss the successes and challenges of, and possible futures for, cultural collectives in the community.

About desmedia

desmedia (downtown eastside media), a collective of artists committed to working on engaged collaborative arts projects with other residents and members of the DTES, began running drop-in workshops in May 2000. Describing their project as a “living archive”, desmedia challenged the “dominant media’s over-arching image of the DTES”, and facilitated the production of painting, video, photography, and text. Exploring ways of documenting life, histories, and the vitality and creativity of the area, the workshops provided an opportunity for the possibilities of self expression, reflection and self representation.

Collective Futures in the Downtown Eastside
Panel discussion by the desmedia collective

On the occasion of this exhibition, desmedia will reassemble their complete archive in the Audain Gallery, including a workstation, shelving, videotapes, paintings, and related ephemera, and discuss potential collective models and the dissolution or morphing of desmedia (and their archive) into another form. desmedia will host Collective Futures in the Downtown Eastside, a public forum where DTES artists and residents will be invited to discuss the successes and challenges of, and possible futures for, cultural collectives in the community. Although present in the gallery, the desmedia archive will not be available for public access, only on display.

Speakers included:

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Gallery Gachet

Vancouver Moving Theatre/Heart of the City Festival

Lower Mainland Painting Co.

Red Gate

AHA Media

Enterprising Women Making Art

Lifeskills Film & Video

Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts

W2 Community Media Arts

DTES Artists Space Coalition

Points/questions for Panel participant’s response

How do you work collectively, what methodology/structure/practice and
guidelines?

What is the collaborative practices you do?

How do you engage your art practice as a collective with the DTES and
DTES residents? What support can you offer to participants living with
barriers to their practice; marginalized artists, homelessness, and
health issues?

What are the best practices/strategies that you have found in working
collectively in the DTES?

What are the challenges, difficult issues you have faced in carrying
out your work? What support/services are you accessing in the
community to further your skills in this regard?

If you have developed an ‘archive’ or body of work, how do you deal
with the issues of ownership, copyright, presentation/distribution,
and access? What if the participants change their minds a few years
down the line and want to change the way material is used that they
participated in producing or that includes them/their representation?

How can we work together to build alliances, to overcome fractures in
the community and to build on our strengths? How can long-term
resident’s voices, histories, and practices be included and what
weight do they carry in relationship to new projects and spaces?

What would you propose we do to work on creating a sustainable art
collective that is focused on providing support and opportunities for
DTES residents and members of the community, as well as being open to
people dropping in?

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