Listening as The River Talks
October 22, 2018
Members of King’s Social Justice Club and students in the Social Justice and Peace Studies and English programs took part in The River Talks: A Gathering at Deshkan Ziibi, presented by the London Environmental Network at Museum London on October 19-21, 2018.
On Thursday, October 19, the King’s Social Justice Club led a workshop entitled The Inequality and Irreversibility of Water. Victoria Almeida, Danielle Bushey and Jillian Bjelan gave an interactive presentation that explained how river water can be polluted from farming, industry, tourism and everyday life. They asked members from the audience to attempt to construct water filters based on instructions given the restraints found in different parts of the world. They also discussed local initiatives for river cleanup in London.
On Friday, October 20, Dr. Ian Rae, Associate Professor of English joined Dr. Michael Darroch, Associate Professor of Media Art Histories and Visual Culture at the University of Windsor to present How River Festivals Reimagine Cities. The pair spoke about how London might improve the relationship between the river and arts communities using the examples of the 1951 Festival of Britain in London, England and the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
Later on October 20th, students from Social Justice and Peace Studies and Writing Programs joined together in the Gender, Justice, and the River student panel. The panel came about after Shawna Lewkowitz, Sessional Professor at King’s and Community Based Learning Coordinator, Social Justice and Peace Studies, and Dr. Tom Cull, professor of English at King’s brought their classes together on a river walk and clean-up to discuss the responsibility of knowing your river.
Claire Linley, a 4th year student in Professor Lewkowitz’s Social Justice and Peace Studies course gave a presentation and King’s students Kayla Skinner, Grace Campbell, Samantha Minniti, Viktoria Churilla, and Nuri Garza De Rojas read their poems, all based on how they felt about what they saw along the river.
The River Talks: A Gathering at Deshkan Ziibi was an assembly of Indigenous leaders, city managers, environmentalists and academics to re-envision our relationship with the river. Museum London’s new Centre at the Forks hosted talks, walks, activations, and art that explored the future of Deshkan Ziibi / the Thames River.