Inciting intersectionality and intercultural theatre in Vancouver and beyond.

Video Release: Diversity vs Decolonization - an Honest Conversation in Technicolour

Andrew Loewen, Omari Newton, Margo Kane, Brenda Leadlay, Shanae Sodhi, Kathryn Shaw


We are thrilled to release our first videos on Visceral Visions' new Youtube Channel!

Diversity versus Decolonization: an Honest Conversation in Technicolour (or How to Avoid Doing a Robert Lepage) is a timely conversation about cultural appropriation, presented by Visceral Visions and the Museum of Vancouver on November 28, 2018.

When someone mentions "cultural appropriation" or "decolonization", do you feel intimidated or confused – or even angry? Have you wanted to incorporate more equitable practices in your artistic work or organization, but feel paralyzed because you're afraid of making mistakes? Or maybe you're wondering where the line is between artistic freedom and freedom of expression (protest), or the border between censorship and criticism?

Using Robert Lepage's responses to community criticism of his productions of SLAV and KANATA as a jumping-off point, six brave panelists reveal their best practices on the RIGHT things to do through three case studies – real-life situations in which people like you found themselves in the midst of a very uncomfortable cultural controversy. Talking through the process of how they created a space that resulted in positive outcomes – while ensuring all involved felt respected and heard – we are pleased to present the evening's program divided into 4 videos, ranging from 14 to 24 minutes each:

  • Introduction and full panel tackling the intricacies of history, cultural appropriation, and freedom of speech in the context of Robert Lepage's controversial work
  • Case Study #1: Omari Newton (artist) + Andrea Loewen (former board president, Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards) discussing the 2015 open letter calling out the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards for systemic racism
  • Case Study #2: Shanae Sodhi (artist) + Kathryn Shaw (Artistic Director, Studio 58) discussing the establishment of Langara College's Studio 58's very first student diversity committee in 2016-17
  • Case Study #3: Margo Kane (Artistic Director, Full Circle: First Nations Performance) + Brenda Leadlay (Executive Director, BC Alliance for Arts + Culture) discussing the process of decolonizing the 2018 Unrestricted Conference

Curated and moderated by Visceral Visions' Artistic Producer, Valerie Sing Turner.

This talk was programmed by Visceral Visions as part of its development of CultureBrew.Art, our digital platform featuring a searchable database of Indigenous and racialized artists.

To view all four videos, check out Visceral Visions' Youtube Channel!