Politics of the Plate

A slow-food dinner conversation about the politics of what we eat

Thursday, October 27, 2005
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Toronto Free Gallery

Admission? Free if you bring a desire for conviviality and a dish of your choice to share, made from something locally-grown. Dish or not, all are welcome!

politics_of_the_plateWhy should we “eat lower on the marketing chain”? Can a politically aware eating experience still be pleasurable? How have processed and packaged foods separated us geographically and psychologically from what we eat, and from each other? Is it realistic to ensure healthy and locally-grown food for all Torontonians all the time? Is it possible for city-dwellers to eat what they grow themselves? Can the fair food, slow food, organic food, and other such movements, help to eradicate the risky ecological footprints caused by our consumerist paradigm and over-consumptive lifestyles? How can we integrate fairer food practices into our everyday lives?

Join us for a slow-food dinner conversation where we will be engaging with these critical questions while partaking of a lively community dinner together.

The conversation around the dinner table will be enriched by the research and experiences of the following Toronto-area food activists:

Whose University?

Nick Dyer-Witheford and David Noble in Conversation

Monday, September 26, 2005
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Toronto Free Gallery

Back to school special! How are commercial interests reshaping Canadian universities? How is the neoliberal agenda playing out in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences? What is it like to teach and learn in a university in an age of entrepreneurship? Is the university a place of diversity? Relevance? Do students and young academics have just cause to be cynical? Can critics really say that the university today is simply a pawn to profit? What strategies might be used to challenge the corporatization of education? What might the university yet become?

Join us for an intimate conversation around these questions with Nick Dyer-Witheford and David Noble—two of Canada’s foremost analysts of global capitalism, higher education, and social movements. Nick and David will talk for about 45 minutes and then the event will be open to audience discussion.

There will also be a screening of John Greyson’s Motet for Amplified Voices (2004, 5 min.), documenting the recent megaphone choir action at York University.

Nick Dyer-Witheford is a professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at University of Western Ontario in London, where he coordinates the Media in the Public Interest program. He is author of Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism. Dyer-Witheford’s essay on the university in the era of cognitive capitalism will be published in a forthcoming collection, Utopian Pedagogy.

Scholar and activist David Noble teaches at York University. His books America by Design, A World Without Women, The Religion of Technology, and Digital Diploma Mills have reshaped our understanding of the evolution of technology, religion, and education. His latest book is Beyond the Promised Land: The Movement and the Myth. Noble has an essay on the contemporary university in the September issue of Canadian Dimension.

Precarity Forum: Discussion + Screening

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
7:30pm – 9:30 pm
Toronto Free Gallery

mayday2005Undocumented workers. Young chainstore employees. Communication freelancers. Artists with reputation but not rent. Sessional university teachers. Short-term contract holders. These evoke radically different situations, but they share a quality of precariousness: non-guaranteed jobs, insecure incomes, uncertain futures. Work overtakes life. Precarity is becoming a norm in the ‘flexible’ economy. What are its roots? How is it lived? How is it being resisted? Join us for a discussion of these questions. This will be followed by a screening of Precarity (2004), a video which documents anti-precarity struggles that are flaring up around the world.

Jean McDonald – No One Is Illegal – Toronto
Sonia Singh – Toronto Organizing for Fair Employment
Kika Thorne – artist
Leah Vosko – Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy, York University

Precarity (2004) is a compilation of videos documenting the rebellion of precarious flexworkers across the continents. From the occupation of abandoned factories in Argentina, to the interruption of French prime time news, to the devotion to Saint Precarious at the May Day Parade in Milan, Precarity is advertising a new brand of labour activism. It is a toolbox to investigate new modes of collective action and an instrument for the radical organization of the consumerized younger generation.

Sponsored by: CMCE / Centre for Media and Culture in Education at OISE/UT

The Precarity Forum is the pilot event of Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry.