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The Ubyssey Nov 19, 2004

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Array •'»!»»'
THIS ISSUE:       Different beats
Bearing it all
UBC prof researches
Vancouver's strip scene. Page 3,
Crawling through
Artists open studios at East Side
Culture Crawl this weekend. Page 8.
World music group Tambura Rasa blends
cultures through tunes. Pages 4-5.
A GAP in this logic
Campus pro-choice displays are misappropriating genocide imagery. Page 6.
Volume 86 Issue 20
^W^ Friday, November 19, 2004 ;
lSie;:iibf ssey magaxiiM
Friday, November 19,2004
Essays, poetry, photography &L printable
media with a Canadian Focus. Contact?
talynm@shaw.ca or
Tuesday, November 23, 5-8 at the Liu
Institute. Speakers: Indigenous Women
in Canada "Stolen Sisters Report",
Women in Global Conflict Zones. Film:
Abby Epstein's Until the Violence Stops"
SPROUTS, a student run, not for profit
cooperative grocery store. Find snacks,
fresh produce, ready-made- meals, baked
foods and more on the lower level of the
UB. Open 11 -6 Monday to Friday.
Resource Group for gay, lesbian, bisexual,
rransgendered students and allies. Visit our
website for events and info!
available for all subjects: essays, literature,
science... $28.00/hr. in your home. Call
PD Plus Tutoring Service @ 525-6101.
Ready for a long-term commitment?
Sign the UBC Sustainability Pledge and
explore the possibilities.
www.sustain.ubc.ca/sustainable u/
f     ' '   :; X::.l.   ft ';'■ f fft
tooKiiigfor a
Got something
Or iiist have an
announcement to
If yoti^re^astudent-
classifieds for FREE!
For more information, visit
Room 23 in the SUB   '
(basement] or call 822-1654.
Preston preaches on
church and state
Ydu too can write about Preston Manning talking a^
only it /you write for news::- .-,: mie^-^\x^^ <^^ Ljfc>ys&fey-13cz:.cz:;^
Former Reform party
leader addresses
UBC crowd
by Yumimi Pang
Canadian politicians need to open
their eyes to religious and moral
issues, according to former Reform
party leader Preston Manning.
Manning, who was a longstanding Member of Parliament and
founding member of both the
Reform and Canadian Alliance parties, was at UBC Monday evening to
discuss the "faith/politics interface.*
Manning believes that politicians don't know how to combine
their faith with their work and have
developed two key ways to avoid
doing so.
First, there is the tacit agreement
that faith and politics don't mix but
are kept in "two separate watertight
Second, parliament actively avoids moral and ethical issues like
abortion and euthanasia, said
Such issues will inevitably lead
to religious values and back to
the avoided mixture of faith and
'You believe what you believe, I
believe what I believe and as long as
we respect one another, it'll all work
out and that's the depth of...what
[politicians] say if [they] are forced
to say something on moral issues,*
said Manning.
The approach worked somewhat until September 11 and what
Manning calls the "violent intrusion of misguided faith.*
"I was in Ottawa
at the time and
raised the question
in the House: can
anybody here say
that we can keep
the faith dimension
in this [case] in
watertight compartments, in moral relativism?* asked
Manning. 'We may not know the
right way, but the way we've been
handling [religion and morality] has
been inadequate.*
Other countries have much
more closely linked political-religious systems. Over 50 member-
states of the United Nations are
guided by the Koran in their foreign
policy, cited Manning. In the United
States and the United Kingdom, the
faith perspective is also much more
"Like it or not, these peoples'
faith perspectives are probably in
some way or another influencing
their foreign policy,* said Manning.
'And at least [we should] try to talk
about it to get a better understanding of it." <<■■
Two factors are key in Manning's
rethinking of the faith/politics inter
face. There is the public's demand
for higher ethical standards in business and the government and the
changing attitude of the courts that
are 'pushing back* when given the
task to legislate what Parliament
tries to shy away from.
Manning does not have an all-
encompassing panacea to the current situation, but simply a modest
proposal—to say it's okay to talk
about spirituality and religion in
relation to politics.
There are three ways to legitimate the discussion, according to
Manning. First, religion and spirituality must be demonstrated to be
part of reality. Next there is the
need to elicit the help of eminent
persons to create change from the
top downwards.
Finally, Manning revealed his
mantra of the day—*be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.*
Manning used the biblical quote
repeatedly to illustrate his point-
when seeekLog to incorporate religion with politics, the path of sub-
tier means is preferable and advantageous.
Politicians should take the religion-politics issue to heart, especially after the recent US election,
where social conservatives and
evangelicals have been credited
with providing Bush with victory.
"There are these deep cultural,
moral and spiritual values and if you
pretend they aren't there, like the
Democrats did,* said Manning, 'you
will miss a chunk of that society.* ♦
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The difficulty of defininf terrorism
Term used "sloppily," says visiting law professor at UBC talk
by David R. Phillips
No universally accepted definition of
terrorism currently exists, according
to Dr Andreas Schloenhardt a law
professor from the University of
Adelaide, who gave a lecture at UBC
last week.
Speaking on 'Global Terrorism
and International Law,* Schloenhardt dissected the concept of
terrorism for two dozen diehards,
mostly first year law students,
crowded into a small dining room
at Green's College.
Despite the best efforts of the UN,
a definition remains elusive, he
explained. The word itself 'is used in
such an imprecise way, sloppily,
or deliberately, as to render the
term almost meaningless,' said
In the absence of any universal
concept of what the term represents,
Schloenhardt questioned the disparity between terrorism and plain
Should terrorism be restricted to
non-state perpetrators, ignoring blatant examples of state or state-sponsored terrorism? Or does it depend
on the method employed by the perpetrators, for example the random
and deliberate targeting of civilians?
'What distinguishes terrorists
from insurgents, rebels, militants,
separatists, guerillas and the like?*
Schloenhardt asked.
He suggested that there may be
no  difference. That is, perhaps
labeling groups as terrorist organisations is a political move, used to
justify controversial political and
military policies and actions.
A multilateral consensus on the
definition of terrorism would be
useful, Dr. Schloenhardt believes. A
definition could be used to measure
the extent of terrorism, and to
determine whether current efforts at controlling it are working,
he said.
In addition, a definition would
bring clarity to public policy and
debate. It would set a baseline for
international efforts against terrorism. However, for his part, Dr
Schloenhardt is 'not confident
that we will ever find widespread
Terrorism has had a profound
effect on the world and will likely continue, he stated.
In the long run, creating a culture of fear may be the most significant effect of terrorism,* said
How can we counter terrorism?
Clearly measures that rely on state
prosecution will be unsuccessful if
the terrorism is state-sponsored, he
explained. However, he pointed out
that prosecution is only one part of
the solution.
What is missing is a concerted
international effort to identify and
assess the root causes of the terrorism. Prosecution itself will not suffice
to eradicate the underlying motivations for violence, so clearly, 'punishing individual perpetrators  does
nothing  to   deter  terrorism,*   he
'Most programs aimed at combating terrorism are short-term and
tactical, they are not strategic and certainly not focused on addressing the
conditions that draw recruits to terrorist movements,* Schloenhardt
pointed out
To combat terrorism, we must
address issues such as perceived
injustice, radical ideology, alienation,
lack of opportunities, attitudes of
moral superiority and cultural imperialism.
In addition, terrorism today is
much more elusive and mysterious
when compared to terrorism in previous decades. Those who commit
terrorist acts are guided by reasons
often more mythical than rational, he
Many such acts are geared
towards causing maximal damage,
both economic and physical, and
toward inflicting massive psychological trauma. In addition, terrorist motivations are less clear than
they previously were—their organisations are more decentralised,
and much harder for to infiltrate,
investigate, monitor, and deter.
What about the future? Schloenhardt is a pessimist. His years
of research have led him to
believe that the worst is yet to
come. To avoid future calamities,
we must adapt to these changes
and attempt to come to an understanding of this global threat, he
suggested. ♦
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Friday, November 19, 2004
: he ii byisey' itiagaxi lie
researches risque
side of Vancouver
by Andrew Hudson
Stripping is a bare-all business, but revealing its history is like detective work, according to UBC sociologist Becki Ross.
Ross is researching the history of the
strip trade, a project with the provisional
title, 'Oiling the Economy: Vancouver's Strip
Trade Past*
The Vancouver city archives have no categories for striptease or burlesque, and police
keep relevant files under wraps, explained
Ross. Press clips and club licenses are some
help, she added, but her work mainly relies
on oral history.
'Unless people are willing to invest in
you as a keeper of their stories, you have
nothing,* said Ross. So far, Ross has held 45
interviews, 20 of them with ex-dancers.
Some of her insiders, like dancer Choo-Choo
Williams, are 70 or 80 years old. Others
have passed away.
Last week at Robson Square, Ross spoke
about the role that nightclub owners played
in the golden years of Vancouver striptease—
1950 to 1975. A small, well-informed crowd
came to hear her, including a CBC archivist who offered some useful film footage
While flashing slides of clubs, jazz musicians, and showgirls past, professor Ross
painted a portrait of Vancouver's early nightclub owners, revealing 'the tricks these men
employed, the risks they took, and the lines
they both crossed and buttressed.
'Club owners openly exploited men's fascination with nearly naked female bodies,*
she said. 'They operated quasi-legal establishments, and were widely stereotyped
as sleazy, low-life mobsters, bookies, and
From interviews with owners and the
jazz musicians who backed up their shows,
Ross has mapped the way strip clubs have
reflected the city's 'long-standing, class-
based, and racialised separation of East
from West*
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history. Her many interviews have revealed much
UBC professor Becki Ross' research examines an unexplored part of the city's
about the world of the strip trade in Vancouver, nic fensom photo
West of Main Street, upmarket clubs like
The Cave, The Penthouse Cabaret, and Isy's
Supper Club featured the best-looking, *A-
list* girls in razzle-dazzle stage shows.
Before the 1970s, when the strip trade shed
g-strings, live music, and gender-mixed
crowds, a club owner made his biggest
bucks with spectacle.
Isy Walters' Supper Club featured girls
like Bonnie Scott, who stripped inside an
eight-foot tall champagne flute, and Evelyn
West, whose breasts were insured by Lloyd's
of London for an eye-popping $50,000.
North of Las Vegas, Vancouver was the bur
lesque capital, with enough top girls to outstrip Montreal.
Walters also booked nearly nude 'girlie
shows* for the PNE. Every year there were
two tents, one for Caucasian dancers and
the other for black, 'Co-Co Cabana' shows.
East of Main, the nightclubs were like a
year-round third tent. On the east side,
club owners and their dancers were non-
Caucasian, on the west side they were
almost exclusively Caucasian. Ross noted
the fact that the Chinatown clubs like the
Kublai Khan billed their girls as 'exotics.*
Clubs on both sides were subject to raids
by the *Diy Squad*—police cracking down
on liquor license infractions. At Ernie
King's Harlem Nocturne, the only black
club Vancouver had in the late 1950s,
police raids were more common than anywhere else.
Ross' extensive work has exposed many
of these neglected aspects of Vancouver's
social and economic history.
'I'll have to stop at some point,* she said.
'It's been seven years.*
Perhaps when she is finished her
research, the Vancouver city archives will
have to make a file for striptease. ♦
GAP presence on
campus questioned
by Students for
An anti-abortion Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) display outside
the SUB on Wednesday sparked
debate about UBC's approval of the
controversial group's presence on
Lifeline UBC, a student club that
opposes abortion, brings the display
of graphic photographs depicting
both aborted fetuses and victims of
genocide to campus twice a year.
The display this week was met
with a counter-demonstration by the
Students for Choice club, who in addition to advocating a pro-choice
stance on abortion, also voiced their
belief that the university ignores
their concerns about GAP's impact
on campus.
The university is involved in
booking groups that want to gather
on the plaza in front of the SUB. As a
safety measure, the university
imposes a 32-foot buffer zone that
must be maintained between the
two groups' demonstration activities, said Michelle Aucoin, executive
coordinator VP Students.
The specific requirements for the
buffer were recently clarified after
last year's confusion about the
buffer's purpose. The space between
the groups is a safety measure and
is meant to offer a space for people
uninvolved with either group to
engage in dialogue with the demon-
stating parties, said Aucoin.
Though Wednesday's demonstrations went without major incident,
the AMS executive and the Safety
Committee will be issuing a letter to
the UBC administration regarding
GAP's presence on campus and the
safety concerns involved in the displays, said AMS VP Administration
Lyle McMahon.
A full story will follow in
Tuesday's issue of the Ubyssey. ♦
aims to liven
Graffiti art competition for conversation pit wall emphasises
students over commercialisation, says AMS VP Admin
by Yumimi Pang
The proposals are submitted and
the selection process has begun in
the search for an artist or artists to
create a graffiti mural in the
Student Union Building (SUB).
The mural, which is scheduled
to be completed by Januaiy, will
adorn one wall in the SUB conversation pit, which is located on the
main floor of the building.
The project is intended to challenge the idea that graffiti is hate
and bias-motivated. In addition,
the mural will establish a commitment to public art in SUB, according to Lyle McMahon, VP
Administration for the Alma Mater
Society (AMS).
"There's the potential for such
a piece to come across as being
rather negative but we are trying
to address [the anti-hate, anti-bias
aspect] in a proactive and positive
way,* said McMahon.
As part of the awareness component, the public will also have a
chance to voice their views, and
collaborate with the chosen artist
through forums to be held within
the next couple of weeks. The
forums will be open to all members of the public, though McMahon anticipates a mostly student audience.
'We're trying to provide some
unconventional ways for students
who don't normally concern themselves with these types of issues to
get involved,* said McMahon.
The contest received five entries. McMahon hopes to have the
winning artist create the mural in
the public eye. While the mural is
being created, he plans to raise
further awareness by providing
leaflets on various social issues
and on the prevalence of hate and
bias-motivated graffiti on campus.
The need to prioritise student
needs over commercial interests
is also a driving force in the mural
"Although the commercial businesses do give us revenue which
in turn fund student services, I
don't want any one student to
come into the building and think
it's a shopping mall," said McMahon. 'It's a fine line ||etween
student and commercial inter-
ests], but I'd like to think that
small things like painting a mural
will improve the atmosphere in
the conversation pit*
The target wall is currently a
drab shade of red and is a backdrop
to the burgundy couches where students often congregate.
Graham Ewanchuk, a regular at
the conversation pit, thinks that
the mural will, 'liven up the area
a bit, since it's pretty dull the
way it is.*
Another regular at the conversation pit is enthused about the
mural and its goals.
'It adds to the fact that you
shouldn't hate this or that [based on ignorance],* said Coriana
Constanda. ♦
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want to tea star?
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want to play the si tar?
yeah, me neither
but email me to start writing features
'■■alex at features@ubys£ey.bc.ea
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the Aliiahe
Oirectofs- Lab - Ed
application deadline Ja
Attending the Canadian Film Centre was the single best thing
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the Canadian film centre gratefully acknowledges the support of: Telefilm Canada • Ontario Media Development Corporation
riday, November 19, 20041
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World Music group Tambura Rasa
blends cultures through melody
text and photos by Alex Leslie FEATURES EDITOR
It begins with a rhythmic drumming from the floor. The violin
and guitar enter, then the bass. The violin embarks on a languid improvised solo and the guitar picks energetically to a
growing beat. Meanwhile, the drum and bass are still pumping.
Halt Recollect. And go on.
The musicians are sitting in a circle facing each other, the guitarist, violinist and bass player in chairs while the drummer kneels
on the ground. He is playing tablas, traditional Indian drums that
he later tells me he began learning to play as a child. The music
stops and is discussed. Should the tempo be faster? Beats are
passed around the circle. The bassist plays a suggestion - 'Did you
want this?" The music starts up again, ascends, then dwindles
again. The players are so highly attentive, the musical circle so tight
in its intimate exchange of rhythm and melody, that I feel like an
The drummer stops to tell the others about something he
remembers they did on the CD: leaving a space of silence after a
dramatic swell, to leave the audience hanging. This is experimented with and soon the melody is swinging steadily, the bass player
grinning as he crouches over his instrument and the drummer
watching the others intensely, as if sensing the beats from their bodies. His small hands dance across the skins of the tablas. "If we get
into this at the show, people are going to go nuts/ says the guitarist
when they finish.
The guitarist is Ivan Tucakov, a UBC graduate and founder of the
group. I'm here to watch the rehearsal of Tambura Rasa. The group
is not present in its entirety. At their performance later this week,
the four here will be joined by musicians playing the xiao, the diza,
a Tibetan flute and a duduk—instruments from across the globe.
Tambura Rasa is a World Music group, comprised of a revolving
host of sounds from locales as varied and far-flung as India and
China, western Africa and Tibet, Australia and Europe—an audio
melting pot of cultures. Borders fade into one melody.
Sound fills the room once more. The Indian tablas on the floor
intertwine with a rhythmic line from the electric bass and a liminal
plucking from the guitar.
'Mixing cultures, it's unpredictable what might come out,*
Tucakov tells me later. "Of all the influences, something new gets
Tambura Rasa began as a small group of UBC students with a
common interest: playing music from different cultures. Tucakov
studied physics and computers at UBC, while Tarun Nayar,
Tambura Rasa's drummer, graduated with a degree in oceanography. Tucakov met Nayar at a veggie lunch; the two began playing
together, inviting other musicians to join them for jam sessions.
Given UBC's multicultural environment, the sounds that emerged
hailed from several different countries and continents.
'To be honest, I think that the fact that I was at UBC exposed to
so many different cultures [was the reason] that the whole think
picked up,* Tucakov tells me. The group expanded as Tucakov and
Nayar met and included other musicians from the Vancouver
music scene. Expanding as an open collective of different cultures,
the group erased the regular bounds of the Eastern and Western,
the foreign and local, the modern and the classical. The group's
recent album, Sunrise on a New World, produced by Tucakov,
included a didgeridoo, the vocals of a Guinean singer, and a
Chinese flute played by a musician who has studied Gregorian
chant and sung sacred polyphony in Churches.
Tucakov became exposed to different kinds of music while traveling, but did not find a community open to collaboration until he
moved to Canada. In Portugal and Spain, he encountered an unwill
ingness to break musical boundaries. 'People were really devoted
to the music they play, and considering I'm a person who's been
exposed to a lot of different styles, if I tried to show them stuff that
I know, they were not very interested,* he explains. "That's where I
noticed the close-mindedness kind of came from.*
In Canada, Tucakov found a change in climate, a greater openness among musicians to adopt other beats and contribute their
own. The close-mindedness was no longer present He attributes
the difference partly to Canada's relative youth in comparison to
ancient cultures, such as those of India and China. Tambura Rasa
thrived from this openness to the combination of cultures. *Where
there's world miisic, [people are] interested in doing music in a way
where people can sit down and accept anyone to play whatever they
UX I I Ifjj   JJLX*
Like Tucakov, Mares came into contact with different forms
of music through her travels. After graduating from university,
she traveled for five years, living for nine months in the Middle
East. Since returning to Canada, she has applied her experience
of other cultures to several esoteric musical groups. Among
them was an Aboriginal folk band, which participated in the
first-ever indigenous peoples festival at the Plaza of Nations, and
(wait for it) a Romanian gypsy swing band.
'I really believe that playing world music, you can fuse cultures and break down barriers,* she tells me. Echoing Tucakov,
she explains that people have a tendency to become focused on
their own culture, and that music permits for a peaceful, constructive meeting of differences. 'You open up that door,* she
says, holding her violin across her lap. *I really believe that playing world music you can fuse cultures and break down barriers.*
On the floor nearby, Nayar begins tapping quietly on his
Tarun Nayar has played the tablas, or Indian traditional
drums, since the age of seven, when his father gave him a choice
between the tablas and the piano—he chose the piano, only to
change his mind later on. The tablas date back 3000 years in
India in the form of two small drums attached end-to-end,
played from both sides. Nayar is classically trained in Indian
music—being half Indian, his music is a touchstone of his personal sense of heritage.
Nayar's interest in mixed music began at the age of 17 when
he heard music that combined the influences of classical Indian
music and electronica. The music had come out of the UK, where
the younger generation of England's large Indian population
had appropriated traditional sounds to modern DJ beats. 'About
ten years ago they started putting together these crazy combinations of electronic music with Indian classical music,* he tells
me, 'that scene's really evolved now.* Nayar now runs a DJ collective called Beats Without Borders that blends electronic
music with Indian classical and performs in Vancouver clubs.
*I heard that music for the first time when I was 17 and all of
a sudden I was, like, 'this is what I like, I like this," he says
enthusiastically. In Tambura Rasa, crossing cultures is accomplished in the tangible, but intangible, medium of music. *I
think because I'm a mix, I've been mixing stuff up for my whole
life. Because I'm half white, half Indian, I've been in these two
different cultures, so other cultures I don't think there's much of
a barrier.*
Beyond its personal significance, Nayar takes a larger message from the open cultural dialogue provided by groups like
Tambura Rasa. 'It goes beyond politics and talking about stuff,
you can just play...one of the most beautiful things about this
global sharing is new, common cultures.*
A blank
er on
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Music has often been said to be a carrier of culture. Every
region, and era, has a sound specific to itself; on a smaller level,
every commimity and individual has its own rhythm. Suzka
Mares, Tambura Rasa's violinist, recalls that the traditional role
of fiddlers in Europe was to travel between communities, sharing stories through their music. 'Their job was to travel around
the world...that's how you best learn stories.*
After watching the rehearsal, I am intrigued by the process by
which the music is made. None of the musicians read from
sheet music; only the bassist follows his chords from an open
binder. They watch each other closely as they play, moving flu-
idly through the different phases of the Latin-style melody.
Occasionally, Tucakov shouts out a beat, or the playing halts for
a quick discussion before the song resumes.
Tucakov later explains that the composition of the music
operates with a large amount of flexibility, forming to suggestions from all sides, and assuming the different tones and
nuances of the cultures at play. 'Tarun will be on the tablas and
do some progression and a lot of people are not accustomed to
it...and they start picking it up. And then after a while everyone
brings their own style and everyone starts picking up everyone
else's—and then all of a sudden we have this combination of different styles. We can still hear all the other styles within the
songs, in different parts, yet a combination of them brings a
completely new idea.'
The concept of world music is summed up in Tucakov's
explanation for the name of the band. Tambura Rasa is drawn
from two elements: the expression tabla rasa, and the meaning
of the word 'tambura.* Tabla rasa is the idea that when a person
is born, their mind is clean—they are formed completely by the
influences, positive and negative, of their life. 'Tambura* has
several different meanings: guitar, lute (a string instrument
common throughout Asia and Europe), a joyful dance and, in
Hindi, flavour or taste. 'Tambura Rasa means having that clean
approach to whatever comes out of my guitar, and to add any
other musical style into it," Tucakov concludes.
Since graduating from UBC, Tucakov has made Tambura
Rasa his primary focus, despite having obtained his degree in
physics and computer science. "People think 'I have to focus on
[university], I have to get my career going, otherwise I'm going
to fail...because the overall atmosphere, it can be intense, stressful and everyone feels like they need to keep up, which is not
true at all," he tells me. "You can just relax and do what you feel
like doing.
"Get involved in other forms of music, new forms of music,
see what there is out there." ♦
Do You Suffer
From Acne?
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No Cream
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'*£+*$' a ubyssey supplement
November 19, 2004
Fighting for
the golf course
by Jonathan Woodward
When Delbert Guerin thinks of the University
Golf Course, he remembers a picture taken in
1912, looking west from 33rd Avenue and
Carnarvon Street towards UBC.
"It was nothing but forests," says the 66-
year-old Musqueam elder. "I took my grandson up there—he was about
"^ three-years-old at the time—
and I showed him that picture, and said, 'This is what it
used to look like, long before
I was born."
The Musqueam have felt
a deep connection with the
land that they lived on for
^ thousands of years, and it's
the land they're fighting for.
Now that the $ 11 million, 146-acre golf course
land has been sold by the BC government to
UBC, it's out of reach of any treaty that could
be signed. This has led the band to file to stop
the sale in BC's highest court.
If they get the land, they won't turn the
clock back on development Instead, the band
wants to use the golf course to get jobs for the
band's 1,100 members—and that means sending Musqueam people to work on the course
and building houses to rival the University
Town development that will be built along the
road past UBC's gates.
"Our unemployment rate is very high," said
Guerin. "We need to do these things to get our
people into the working world."
UBC's plan for the land couldn't be more
different: they've signed into the deal a
covenant that prohibits subdivision and forces
the university to operate a public golf course
The land was first used as a golf course in
1929, and now at 63,000 rounds a year is one
of the most popular public golf courses in BC.
UBC plans to let University Golf Course continue operating the course at least until their
lease runs out in 2015.
UBC is the only university in Canada that
owns a golf course.
"It made sense for the university to own it,
as opposed to anyone else," said Don
Matheson of UBC Properties Trust "It's right
beside the university, UBC has a golf program,
and as a long-term investment it had a reasonable yield."
The money for the land came from UBC's
$700 million endowment fund, which it invests
to raise money for other ventures. The golf
course will bring in about $500,000 per year.
The government sold the land to encourage
development, clearing $ 11 million in the sale.
"We want to make sure it remains available
to the community, it's not turned into a private
golf course, or condos, or something else like
that," said UBC lawyer Hubert Lai. "But the
main driver here is that it's a good investment,
and it makes sense to diversify our portfolio.*
What the Musqueam case at the BC Court of
Appeal draws attention to is how that sale happened: whether there was a consultation
between the band and the government over
the sale. The constitution requires it, and the
sale fundamentally interferes with the band's
efforts to get their land back. The sale was
delayed for over a year while every possible
consultation took place, say UBC and the
province, but Guerin called it a "rubber
stamp"—he said the sale had already been
agreed to before the Musqueam were brought
to the table.
A lesser court has already ruled that year
was enough. The band is hoping the appeal—
whose ruling is expected before the end of this
year—will overturn the decision. If that doesn't
happen, Guerin hopes to bring it to Canada's
Supreme Court
If they lose there, then the only thing the
band can do to bring the Musqueam's native
territory back home is buy it from each third
party, piece by piece. "It's not something we
can drop at this stage,* said Guerin. "We've
spent too much money already.* O
This ain't no "Injuns Are Us?!
I am writing in regards to the ongoing cultural oppression at UBC and the degradation
of First Nations people reflected in mainstream educational institutions and centres
I am referring to such examples as the current UBC campus student residences of Totem
Park, and how the various buildings
are labeled "Haida," "Kwakiutl,* 'Nootka,"
"Shuswap," "Dene" and 'Salish." This appropriation of a commodified image of First
Nations people is demeaning and insulting to
those of us who are from the cultures that
these labels refer to. It is especially offensive
to those of us who know our cultures intimately and are aware that these names have
specific and complex histories tied to the
respective land bases and languages of these
First Nations cultural groups.
I believe this right to our own terminologies falls under intellectual property rights.
The names of First Nations groups, crests and
symbols belong to First Nations peoples and
not outsiders.
Not only are these names outdated, but
they are also being used in a such a context of
ignorance by non-First Nations people in a
context not involving the voice of First
Nations. One can't just say "F*** Haida!* (as is
spray painted on a garbage bin near the
"Haida" House) without understanding what
Haida culture is or not even having met a
Haida person.
We are not mascots. Not only is that a
degrading concept from an identity perspective, but it is also dehumanising and racist
First Nations people in this region were never
"conquered" and our rights and land titles
never ceded. This misperception alludes to
some notion that "conquest" of Indigenous
populations gives the coloniser the right to
appropriate the symbolic imagery of
Indigenous populations and turn us into a
degrading form of a caricature. For instance,
just look at the widely popular use of caricatures represented in sports team logos such as
the Indian head for the Chicago Blackhawks or
the Washington Redskins.
This is hardly an example of some sort of
"multiculturalism" at work here—it is much
more and less than that at the same time. The
notion of having these labels appropriated
into a leisurely and fun pastime is narrow-
minded because they tie into an oppressive
political, cultural and social agenda that does
not support positive relations across cultural
groups and barriers, let alone with First
Nations people.
The antiquated misrepresentation of First
Nations people is keeping UBC's attempt at
positive relations stagnant If the university
were to correct this situation, and move
towards promoting a more culturally sensitive
relationship and environment with First
Nations people, this would require a change to
such things as the cultural appropriation evident at the Totem Park Residences. We are living people, not mere commodities.
What can be done about this? Well how
about we change the names to something like
the "Yuppie House" or "Redneck House."
Need I list more discriminatory labels? The
white He of UBC's cultural sensitivity is
silenced from what effects this cultural appropriation has for UBC and for First Nations peo
ple at UBC.
Although the recent totem pole rededica-
tion ceremony at Brock Hall may be seen as a
more positive and somewhat constructive
example of countering this dilemma, it is not
new. The organisers, the Scow and Neel famines, made UBC liable to increase the enrolment and participation of First Nations people at UBC over 50 years ago. First Nations
leaders were involved in the process of decision-making to the rights of crests and symbols used by the UBC Thunderbirds, and legitimised them ceremonially and publicly at two
events at Brock Hall, in 1948 and in 2004.
Including First Nations leaders in determining how the media portrays the images
and the identities of First Nations people is
very important First Nations people should
have authority over the use of First Nations'
crests and labels when used by non-First
Nations people. Oftentimes these images are
part of complex stories protected by intellectual property rights, and demand the respect
and recognition of this cultural distinction.
This is the year 2004, we should move
beyond these cultural misnomers and
strengthen ourselves through understanding,
not misguided assumption. The social constructions of identity are very important to us
as First Nations people, it is a continual political reality surrounding our communities and
our people, reflecting which voices are heard
in society, and which voices are silenced. O
—Dustin Johnson,
Ts'mksxye'en / Gitkxaahla and President
of the Indigenous Student Society of the
Aboriginal programs key to enrolment
by Hywel Tuscano
Provincial grants and initiatives promise the growth of First Nations
programs in the next year but Aboriginal enrolment at UBC is stagnating, say program directors.
Two grants awarded to UBC by the Ministry of Advanced Education
this year promise a speaker's series by the First Nations Studies
Program (FNSP) and the creation of Supporting Aboriginal Graduate
Education (SAGE), an initiative hoping to increase graduate level enrolment by First Nations students across British Columbia.
Line Kesler, director of FNSP, believes the speaker's series will
strengthen the growing program.
"There's going to be class running concurrently with the speaker
series focusing on governance and land claims issues, a hot political
issue at the moment with the province," said Kesler.
The small program currently sees about 70 people taking its offered
courses each year with about eight or nine interdisciplinary majors
a year.
While nascent programs and initiatives show promise, enrolment
numbers for UBC as a whole do not inspire the same kind of optimism.
'There are about 500 aboriginal students at UBC right now," Kesler
said. "Not a particularly robust enrolment considering the percentage
of the population in BC or Canada. It is certainly underrepresentation."
Madeleine Maclvor, associate director of the First Nations House of
Learning, has been observing the trend in growth. "The numbers rose
quite rapidly for a number of years but they seem to be petering off,
stagnating, if not decreasing lately," she said.
Maclvor is happy about the growth of the undergraduate program
in recent years but believes the climate at UBC is rhaTtging 'As this university moves more and more into a research intensive phase I'm concerned about access for Aboriginal students at the graduate level,*
she said.
Graham Hingangaroa Smith and the SAGE program addressed
Maclvor's concern by setting a target of 250 First Nations PhDs by
2010 in BC universities. Smith's work with the Maori communities in
New Zealand resulted in 500 Maori PhDs over five years, a fact which
makes his goal seem attainable in BC.
"Graham's strategy of inter-institutional study is not focusing just
on UBC. As long as we keep it collaborative there is a possibility of
reaching that goal," said Maclvor. "There are a large number of
Aboriginal students throughout the province with undergraduate
degrees and many are interested in graduate study."
Aboriginal students surmount unique social problems over and
above the usual hindrances that most students face. Funding cuts by
the Depaitfment of Indian Affairs, increasing tuition and the cost of living have all exacerbated the situation, says Maclvor. Further deterrents
include late admission when students apply through special programs,
cutbacks to the grant portion of student loans and the fact that two-
thirds of Aboriginal students do not receive funding from their bands.
■ liyMm:^**
MADELEINE MACIVOR: Associate Director at First Nations
House of Learning, trevor gilks photo
A large gender disparity also exists in Aboriginal enrolment; a
recently released survey of 2000 graduates from 2002 by Planning and
Institutional Research at UBC showed 72 per cent of First Nations students were women.
"Men typically working in the resource extraction industry do not
traditionally need advanced education to be able to make a good living," Maclvor said. "Many students are also opting for vocational training instead to make money sooner.*
To improve the situation Kesler notes that student populations and
representative programs go hand in hand.
"There's quite a strong link between having something like a First
Nations studies program or an ethnic studies program and the ability
of a university to recruit and maintain minority students," he said.
The provincial government's attempt to support increased
Aboriginal enrolment includes the Aboriginal Specific Projects grant
from the Ministry of Advanced Education, which put aside $ 1.47 million this year and is funding SAGE and the speaker's series.
But SAGE and the speaker's series may not continue beyond their
inaugural years. "We were really blessed to get two pockets of money.
We're really appreciative of that seed money," Maclvor said.
"Unfortunately ongoing funding for these projects is the issue.*
The push for First Nations enrolment and programs is parallel to
the emerging African studies program endorsed by the Ahna Mater
Society this year.
"Existence of curriculum like this seems to make a real difference
in [minority students'] sense of who they are in the institution," Kesler
said. "Otherwise many ethnic minorities feel their own experience to
be marginalised or alienated within the institution." O *l
November 19,2004
November 19,2004
a ubyssey supplement
Friday, November 19
to Saturday, November 20
7:00 Hero
9:30 Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Screenings @ Norm Theatre in SUB
Admission: S3 and Membership: $20
Fsim Society Hotline: (604) 822-3697    7;00 P0V Fl,ms
http://vww.ams .ubc.ca/clubsffilmsoc    '.'30 Clerks
Wednesday, November 24
to Thursday, November 25
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A FREE Theatre Workshop with David Diamond
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The EARTH Project explores issues of environmental sustainability and social justice through
the arts. This workshop requires no experience and is open to anyone aged 15-25 (approx.).
Please note that this is a two-day session, and participants must attend both days.
Saturday November 27th, 12:00 - 6:00pm (Jandali Studio) and Sunday November 28th,
10:00 - 4:00pm (Birmingham Studio), The Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street
To register contact zanita@judithmarcuseprojects.ca or call 604-606-6408
the First Nations Community at UBC
a ubyssey supplement
in motion
UBC Professor publishes First Nations writing
by Elizabeth Green
Dr. Ronald Hatch is white—about
as white as you can get, actually.
So why is he publishing First
Nations poetry?
In a colloquium held Monday,
November 15, Hatch explained
his transgression—his own word
for his cross-culturalism—in
choosing to talk about Native
Canadian poetry. Hatch believes
that Canada's First Nations have
become a "subject/ They have
become something to talk about,
an engaging topic. It is time for
them to do the talking, says
Hatch. By discussing the various
levels of violence that can be
traced alongside the development
of First Nations poetry. Hatch
reveals some larger issues reflected in the literature of our country's original inhabitants.
"One of the big questions is,
should I, as a Scottish-English-
Canadian, be publishing Native
people?" Hatch said. "It's a big
question. The Native peoples
themselves would say, 'if there's a
native product, buy tihat,' and that
makes a lot of sense. Obviously
they want to get their own infrastructure going so that they can
tell their own stories." Hatch feels
that directing a willing publishing
house is his contribution to the
building of this infrastructure. As
the publisher for Ronsdale Press,
he has published more than his
share of First Nations literature,
including a collection of poems by
Connie Fife.
Poetry has not gained prominence as a popular cultural
expression for First Nations people, but Hatch suggests that it
should. There have been First
Nations poets as far back as the
late 18th century when Joseph
Brant lived and wrote.
First Nations did not fully find
their voice in poetry until the
1960s and 1970s, in part as a
reaction to the civil rights movements in the US. As the rest of
Canada was celebrating its cen
tennial, Chief Dan George, the
renowned First Nations poet,
wrote his "A Lament for
Many First Nations poets reacted to the exclusivity of white culture by rendering their own art as
difficult for readers outside of their
culture to fully understand their
deeper meaning. Poet Sarain
Stump included drawings in his
poems that lent them a shamanic
nature; Gregory Scofield wrote
his poems in Cree, providing
an English interpretation to
emphasise the foreign nature of
his language.
Another group of First Nations
writers reflected the need to give
voice to the transgressions they
had witnessed. Connie Fife wrote
the true story of a mother who
attempted to defend her children
from police who arrived to take
her children to Social Services.
The mother confronted the police
on her front porch, rifle in hand.
When the police officer fired, the
bullet went right through the
mother's body and into her son,
killing them both. Fife wrote: "my
son/I stopped the bullets/for as
long as i could/until my heart was
torn from my ribcage."
Throughout history, the poetry
that has grown out of the experiences has evolved and becomem-
ore complex over time. First
Nations poetry originally was
often very simple, both in its language and its ideas. 'They wanted
to tell these stories and they told
them in the most direct and moving way possible," Hatch said. "As
they gained confidence, it was no
longer enough to simply state
their experience, they wanted to
go forward and explore it,
and exploit it, and to suggest
new ways of living within that
"Most of the contemporary
First Nations writers are from an
urban setting, so that they have
very different interests from what
you often read in the papers,
which tends to be land claims,"
said Hatch. "At least 50 per cent of
the native peoples are now living
off-reserve. So there's obviously a
new traditional way of a life." This
is reflected in not only the subject
of their poetry, but also its structure. "I talk about the way in
which these writers transgress in
their very syntax, in their diction,
in their language so as to disrupt
the contemporary situation," continued Hatch.
The diversity of experiences
also poses difficulties to generalisations of First Nations poetry.
The move to urban settings has
brought about a fracturing of the
traditional communities. Now,
many poets no longer represent a
First Nations community, as they
often no longer directly belong to
such a group—they speak as isolated individuals conveying their
experiences as an Aboriginal within a larger society.
"Normally you talk about literature as being reflective of a people
in a community, like Shakespeare.
Well, in particular with native people this is not possible," explains
Hatch. He adds that many First
Nations now also have a mixed
heritage and are struggling to find
an identity within a segmented
multicultural community.
"You're finding that many of
these people are speaking out, giving voice to native issues that
many natives find to be very valuable, and like our own Caucasian
populations, others just ignore it,"
says Hatch. But the good news is
that the voices are gaining confidence in their ability to elucidate
the complexities of the existing
issues. Hatch and other publishers of First Nations poets are helping Aboriginals to give that voice a
forum and an audience. Through
this, the initial transgression of
being an outsider can be annulled
and a greater purpose can be fulfilled.
As Hatch said himself, "it's not
very often that you find professors
who have their own publishing
houses." O
Peoples invisible despite honour
by Ritu Kumar
An image has been brought back to life
upon the UBC landscape, newly resurrected. Wings outstretched, it has returned
home to its rightful place.
The 16-foot totem pole that was recently
erected in front of the entrance to the
Brock Hall Welcome Centre is the reincarnation of one that had been removed from
the campus three years ago.
The original was carved by Ellen Neel
and was presented to the University during
the 1948 Thunderbird football homecoming game by Chief William Scow of the
Kwakwaka'wakw nation. The totem pole
symbolised the recognition by the university of the use of the Thunderbird in
Kwakwaka'wakw law. It was given the
name "Honour Through Victory."
Originally erected in front of Brock Hall,
it was later moved south towards the
Student Union Building. The university
was forced to remove it in 2001 when it
finally perished at the hands of vandals,
having survived the erosive force of weather for 63 years.
On October 18, over three years after
the university removed the carving, a replica of the original totem was unveiled in an
afternoon ceremony that included local
band leaders.
UBC Archives trace the affiliation
between the ancient mythological
Thunderbird and the university to the Pep
Club and the Ubyssey in 1934 when they
decided it was time to adopt a university
mascot. Fourteen years later the
Thunderbird was recognized as an official
university symbol by the Kwakwaka'wakw
and Musqueam peoples, when Chief Scow
granted the university the right to use the
powerful bird as the UBC mascot.
Artist Ellen Neel was a pivotal figure in
the popularisation of native art. Neel is
also known as the first female carver in
the tradition of totem pole and woodcarv-
Neel hoped that the totem would symbolise UBC's commitment to the native
community. The gesture was meant to help
show that the university would welcome
native students from around the province.
As she presented the totem to the university, Neel articulated a promise to the
First Nations population: "To the native
people of the whole province we can give
our assurance that our children will be
accepted at this school...with kindness and
understand ing."
Unfortunately the dream of Ellen Neel
has not become a reality, but has faded into
UBC folklore. Lastyear, UBC Public Affairs
reported that only one percent (equal to
five hundred people) of the student body
identify themselves as belonging to the
First Nations, while the 2001 Census
showed that province-wide over 170, 000
people identified themselves as of aboriginal descent.
It has been fifty years—what has really
What happened to the noble dream that
Neel sought for the future of her children?
Is a totem pole all that is left to remind us
of her promise?
Or does Neel's hope still linger with the
reincarnation of the Thunderbird and the
revival of one of the most powerful symbols in native lore? O
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Art that dispenses with stereotypes
Robert Davidson's anachronistic artwork transcends cultural barriers
Museum of Anthropolgy
Until January 30, 2005
by Carol Domanko
After passing through a tranquil forest
of timeless faces atop soaring treelike
poles, the air quiet and still, one enters
a room full of vibrant colours and
shapes, of immobile life and of
smoothly contoured designs. There is
a different ambiance in this room; the
otherwise predictable sculptures suggest an intrinsic meaning beyond what
is perceivable to the eye and the paintings contain a similar depth—a mysterious yet harmonious blending of traditional and contemporary styles.
This is the effect Haida artist Robert
Davidson, who has been showing his
work at the Museum of Anthropology
since June, achieves with his show
"The Abstract Edge."
Robert Davidson is a highly
esteemed Canadian artist best known
for his  personal  interpretations  of
Haida art that have become his signature iconography. His Haida name
means Eagle of the Dawn. This name
is certainly appropriate considering
his pioneering vision of incorporating
the modern with the traditional.
Upon viewing Davidson's work, I
noticed immediately that it was special. After spending a short time
mulling over exactly what struck me
about the art that at first glance
appears to be typical native painting,
carving and printmaking, I realised
that some of the colour and design elements were unique. Not only does
Davidson use the traditional black and
red of Haida art, but he also incorporates bright greens, blues and yellow.
The mediums used are also a combination of old and new; for example,
Davidson employs acrylic paint on a
deerskin drum. Furthermore, I noted
that the shapes and imagery favoured
precision of detail rather than form,
suggesting a freedom of line and
appreciation of shape. These elements
combine to make a piece that is pleasing to the viewer not because what we
see is recognisable, but rather because
the symmetry or asymmetry, overall
movement and balance of the piece,
achieved both through physical shapes
and colours, is so precise that we are
captivated by its perfection.
My favorite piece was "nand
sdang," a diptych with thick black and
red diagonal stripes that flip from foreground to background, overlaid with
bright green curvilinear lines that
seem to pop out against the red in a
startling optical illusion. I likened his
work to the shapes and systems found
in nature: sporadic yet stunning forms
that derive their beauty from economy
and balance.
The work expresses a duality
between traditional and postmodern
effects, which seems contradictory but
in practice works to the artist's advantage. By blending seemingly random
forms and unexpected colours (a quality of postmodernism) with the conventional icons of Haida art and culture, Davidson indeed achieves "an
edge." Stretching the boundary of what
is acceptable in both postmodern and
traditional genres, he challenges the
boundaries of old and new by merging
not only styles but also eras and making the past more tangible by preserving tradition in a new and unconventional way.
So, then, is his work native art or
conventional abstraction? The answer
is both; it succeeds in stripping away
the binding stereotypes of native art
and allowing our imaginations and
perceptions room for cultivation.
From the point of view of one who
is partial to the aesthetics of postmodern abstraction, I found stereotypical
native art somewhat unapproachable
because I couldn't respond to what the
art was articulating. Davidson's artwork, conversely, adds a modern twist
that brings his ideas down to a level
where I felt I could communicate with
it and understand his purpose.
His work is important because it
strengthens the viability of cultural
and traditional integration. When we
enter Davidson's exhibitory space, it
feels as if we are transcending the
boundary between the past and present; in other words, his work and his
goal to keep Haida traditions alive is
far more tangible, though no less beautiful, than the archaic totems that
museum goers first encounter when
they enter the building. His work is
strong enough, however, to avoid conveying a "selling out" of tradition, but
rather to give a more unified feeling to
native art. O
*.«~U..,,JCT*^M0~j;.:,^WWnjW!<SWS8B4|S«^^ 4
FOCUS: the First Nations Community at UBC
November 19,2004
a ubyssey supplement
Big Brown Beautiful Bannock-stuffed Indians
Big Brown Beautiful Bannock-stuffed Indians
are puttin' on their bingo shirts
and headed down to the hall early for the good seats
grab seven chicken and spud meals to go—
alright, gimme 20 dollars worth and a Bonanza!
darkened and bulging eating muscles
just a goin' to beat ol' sixty
with a smoldering pihtwan dangling here
and a pepsi making the rounds there—
I can't get lucky, I was born luckyj
Big brown beautiful bannock-stuffed Indians
are dancing all night in great circles
ribbon shirts and wranglers
and numberless children all doing the indigenous shuffle-
hey, anybody see where my kids went?
bannock-slapped and neck-boned to the brim
with room only for tea...and the next meal
food always tastes better when it's free
besides, who needs money on a good rez anyway?-
ho-la, there's a lot ofneechees here tonight!
Big brown beautiful bannock-stuffed Indians
are trying to win and round-dance in the cities
tradition is taking its own sweet time
but it's coming and everybody knows everybody—
Dear Uncle, it's just like you said it would be...
home-fed scouts and wide-eyed warriors
are in every place you care to look
pounding on pavement, doors and drums
and recreating ourselves constantly—
I am home, I am home, I am home
■Larry Nicholson, Cree
Rant of a half-breed
I am a reversed apple—red on the inside,
white on the outside. While a fruit analogy
may seem simplistic, my existence as a half-
breed (or more accurately quarter-breed) has
been anything but simple. My identity, or
rather the perceived definition of my identity, has been an important catalyst in regard
to the ways in which I self-identify.
As a teenager there were many instances
when I felt forced to choose who I was. "Do
you consider yourself white or Native?*
"How much Native are you?" As an adult, I
have participated in many a dialogue surrounding the issue of First Nations identity.
From scholarly analysis to impromptu discussions with peers, I have accumulated
knowledge of how we view ourselves in this
global melting pot we call western mainstream society.
Yet years later, I still find it strange how I
feel the need to explain the connection to my
First Nations roots. I am Pavlov's dog when
it comes to self-identification. I am salivating
with explanatory discourse when I hear the
faint chimes of inquiry. I catch myself in discourse with acquaintances and I start to
explain even before they speak those words
laced with doubt "Oh you're...* Yes I am
Native, I know I don't look Native, but I am.
Growing up on a reservation on a remote
island off the central coast of British
Columbia, if I were to ever forget who I was
or where I came from I was quickly reminded through stories relating back to my late
grandfather. The first elected Chief of our
Laichwiltach Nation of Cape Mudge, my late
grandfather played a key part in the revitali-
sation of a culture nearly annihilated from
colonisation and residential school
In my teenage years, I found it difficult to
be "given* so many things because I am
Native. Maybe it would have been different
if I looked the part, but there were too many
issues within myself to understand just why
I deserved such gifts. Even in the knowledge
that these "gifts" I had been given were due
to past heinous crimes against humanity—I
still wondered who am I to be the recipient?
These struggles never happened to me.
I hurt for my father's people when some
drunken redneck declared to me in slurred
gibberish "just a buncha chugs," when a
group of First Nations men walked by. The
man thought I would understand, thought I
would be in agreement with his derogatory
comments—the man believed I was
fully white.
I suffered big time when my mother,
who is non-Native and who married my
father because she loved him so purely, was
chastised by the women of our reserve.
"You're nothing but some stupid white
woman!" they would say when an issue completely devoid of ethnicity would arise. This
was ignorance in its truest form.
It wasn't until my indoctrination into the
echelons of university that I started to really
scrutinise my identity. I was delighted that
my Canadian history professor focused
much of the course on deconstructing
ethnography and focusing on the true history of Canada. I felt personally invested in
understanding the ways in which stereotyping, cultural assimilation and the decon-
structions of such played out in the story of
my people. I continuously engaged in conversation and felt that I had agency to make
such comments because, hey, after all, I did
grow up on the "rez.* Yet I later found out
that some people were initially uneasy with
my diction.
After becoming friends with a Native girl
in my class, she admitted to me that she
wondered who I was to be talking like I
The Call of the Moose
My mother Adele
is a hunter
She inherited this from my father
after he passed on
She says she gets this feeling in her hands
just like my father used to
and she has to go out to the bush where the
moose graze
She never misses
always has good aim
Right between the eyes
Very amusing
for the other gender
she knows it's a gift
from the Creator
that he'll provide for her
even though my father is gone
knew the cultural ways and traditions. Who
was I to not only understand the tragedy of
residential schools, but to talk of their residual dysfunction with less detachment and
more humanity? Who was I to speak of
Native issues with such ferocity and passion? My friend admitted to me later that
she though I was just "some white girl.*
Yet as I get older and gradually more
comfortable in my "skin," I find the issue of
identity more of a social reflection than an
internal insecurity. I find that while I hve
within two worlds, those worlds overlap and
I am ultimately all the better because of it
Perhaps I don't identify solely as First
Nations, because, well, not only is it blatantly
obvious that I'm not, but I also honour my
other lineage. One of crumpets and tea,
goulash and sauces, vodka and malt
ale...and yet, perhaps sometimes feeling
almost apologetic for my "white" look is a
symptom of how "Indian" I feel inside.
I am a reversed apple. I am white on the
outside and, well ok, maybe pink on the
inside. What does it mean to be Native anyway? Must I become one of those individuals who eat, sleep and breathe their culture
in order for it to be so? Must I ardently
attend every pow wow, poflatch and ceremony in order to prove to others and myself
that I am Native and I venerate my cultural
lineage? From now on I've decided to stop
explaining my cultural affiliation to those
stunned strangers that I happen to bump
into. I will not be apologetic for the walking
contradiction that some see me to be. I will
hold my head up, I will know who I am, and
when people say "you don't look Native," I
will smile and with confidence, tell them
that I left my bow and arrow at home. O
—Shauna Lewis, Kwakwaka'wakw
coyote dreemz
met her over there,
eye suppoze?
whut happind?
said he dream'd abowt coyote
and rocks
what kind of rocks?
oh, you know,
the blue ones and red ones
and maybe one night yell-oh
he thinx
so now where is he,
our neffew?
bye the river
ficksing a fire
you now,
he sez she's sen-say-shun-al!
and she frah-lix
like nobuddy's bizness
izzat light?
and he alreddy lit the rocks
the blue and red ones,
prob'ly even the yell-oh
betcha it's got
sumthing to doo with colors -
always duzz with hym
even sees colors in the dark, him
c'mon, better get,
help 'em ficks that swet
it's sumthing to wunder abowt
you know what they say,
after coyote dreamz,
nuthing's ever the same
"eha is a Cree word meaning "Vies77
—Larry Nicholson, Cree
Upcoming Events
Responses of Resistance
Thursday, November 25, 12pm
Norm Theatre - SUB
A forum on the dispossession of First Nations
and Indigenous Lands and the following responses of resistance from communities and their
Jam at Chief Dan's
Saturday, September 11, 7pm-10pm
Chief Dan George Centre, 639 Hornby St.
By donation.
Performances by musicians, writers and storytellers. Phone Nicola Campbell at 604-268-7872
by December 7 to share your talent
—Lorna Billy, Tsilhqot'in
jjp**" IDAYi
World Music group Tambura Rasa
blends cultures through melody
sical boundaries. 'People were really devoted
^y, and considering I'm a person who's been
ferent styles, if I tried to show them stuff that
very interested," he explains. "That's where I
idedness kind of came from."
)v found a change in climate, a greater open-
zilns to adopt other beats and contribute their
tedness was no longer present He attributes
to Canada's relative youth in comparison to
u|jh. as those of India and China. Tambura Rasa
iiJenness to the combination of cultures. "Where
cjfpeople are] interested in doing music in a way
iijaown and accept anyone to play whatever they
%«it drum
ip| played the tablas, or Indian traditional
^ of seven, when his father gave him a choice
ipjknd the piano—he chose the piano, only to
later on. The tablas date back 3000 years in
Dtlbf two small drums attached end-to-end,
Sides. Nayar is classically trained in Indian
Indian., his music is a touchstone of his per-
mixed music began at the age of 17 when
bombined the influences of classical Indian
a. The music had come out of the UK, where
on of England's large Indian population
ditional sounds to modern DJ beats. "About
ted putting together these crazy combina-
usic with Indian classical music," he tells
ty evolved now.* Nayar now runs a DJ col-
Without Borders  that blends  electronic
assical and performs in Vancouver clubs.
c for the first time when I was 17 and all of
'this is what I like, I like this," he says
ambura Rasa, crossing cultures is accom-
ble, but intangible, medium of music. "I
, I've been mixing stuff up for my whole
white, half Indian, I've been in these two
other cultures I don't think there's much of
lal significance, Nayar takes a larger mes-
I cultural dialogue provided by groups like
>es beyond politics and talking about stuff,
ie of the most beautiful things about this
common cultures."
Like Tucakov, Mares came into contact with different forms
of music through her travels. After graduating from university,
she traveled for five years, living for nine months in the Middle
East. Since returning to Canada, she has applied her experience
of other cultures to several esoteric musical groups. Among
them was an Aboriginal folk band, which participated in the
first-ever indigenous peoples festival at the Plaza of Nations, and
(wait for it) a Romanian gypsy swing band.
"I really believe that playing world music, you can fuse cultures and break down barriers," she tells me. Echoing Tucakov,
she explains that people have a tendency to become focused on
their own culture, and that music permits for a peaceful, constructive meeting of differences. "You open up that door," she
says, holding her violin across her lap. "I really believe that playing world music you can fuse cultures and break down barriers."
On the floor nearby, Nayar begins tapping quietly on his
A blank
>een said to be a carrier of culture. Every
sound specific to itself; on a smaller level,
id individual has its own rhythm. Suzka
fa's violinist, recalls that the traditional role
was to travel between communities, shar-
leir music. "Their job was to travel around
you best learn stories."
After watching the rehearsal, I am intrigued by the process by
which the music is made. None of the musicians read from
sheet music; only the bassist follows his chords from an open
binder. They watch each other closely as they play, moving flu-
idly through the different phases of the Latin-style melody.
Occasionally, Tucakov shouts out a beat, or the playing halts for
a quick discussion before the song resumes.
Tucakov later explains that the composition of the music
operates with a large amount of flexibility, forming to suggestions from all sides, and assuming the different tones and
nuances of the cultures at play. "Tarun will be on the tablas and
do some progression and a lot of people are not accustomed to
it...and they start picking it up. And then after a while everyone
brings their own style and everyone starts picking up everyone
else's—and then all of a sudden we have this combination of different styles. We can still hear all the other styles within the
songs, in different parts, yet a combination of them brings a
completely new idea."
The concept of world music is summed up in Tucakov's
explanation for the name of the band. Tambura Rasa is drawn
from two elements: the expression tabla rasa, and the meaning
of the word "tambura." Tabla rasa is the idea that when a person
is born, their mind is clean—they are formed completely by the
influences, positive and negative, of their life. "Tambura" has
several different meanings: guitar, lute (a string instrument
common throughout Asia and Europe), a joyfiil dance and, in
Hindi, flavour or taste. "Tambura Rasa means having that clean
approach to whatever comes out of my guitar, and to add any
other musical style into it," Tucakov concludes.
Since graduating from UBC, Tucakov has made Tambura
Rasa his primary focus, despite having obtained his degree in
physics and computer science. "People think T have to focus on
[university], I have to get my career going, otherwise I'm going
to fail...because the overall atmosphere, it can be intense, stressful and everyone feels like they need to keep up, which is not
true at all,* he tells me. "You can just relax and do what you feel
like doing.
"Get involved in other forms of music, new forms of music,
see what there is out there." ♦
Do You Suffer
From Acne?
IMtAft ^ v1,               <s l_MMB
^~ ,'■
^Bdiore m
No Drugs!
No Cream!
604-763-SKIN (7546)
#701-1281 West Georgia St.
,    "OFF
card- '"■■■   -■''
#270-609! Gilbert Rd. Richmond V^^
Cdiitrifoutfe toy^ie^Z^^^ei/^
■:'■■■■'-x- ff        -"."-.^v/';-"-.-;■:";■"^-..^ -.;:■;■..:•.'' ---y-■:..-.■ ';'■'■-fy
*"ho\v muchAve buv"- f
ft-v\-Here tlie moires £oes"M'
^•"'i\ hybuying stull worsens vour soul"''
y:"y[J/ui,>ler<i Sy ihe mvsterv .that is thern" -
■'■'•■'."."'"■ *   ■ '•...'* *..-•.-'""■'•■...
"-\ our busby berkelev dreams''"
email 1 lie coorclinator, that
bene\ blent mvstical beino;,
at ;'-buyrtp things
Watch for the Btiy N
--on stands Wbv. 26—
£* £ i
Jesse Marchand
Sarah Bourdon
Dan McRoberts
Ania Mafi
Eric Szeto
Alex Leslie
Nic Fensom
Paul Carr
Michelle Mayne
Carrie Robinson
Paul Evans
Elizabeth Green
Hywel Tuscano
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University of
British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday by The
Ubyssey Publications Society.
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation,
and all students are encouraged to participate
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They are the
expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the
views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the University of
British Columbia.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
All editorial content appearing in The Ubysseyis the property of The
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artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced without the
expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey Publications Society
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include your
phone number, student number and signature (not for publication)
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Ubyssey reserves the right to edit for length and style.
"Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750
words and are run according to space.
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Fernie Pereira
Dave Gaertner
Shalene Takara
The following people all decided to have a contest to see who
could stand on their head the longest while reading The
Ubyssey: Anna King, Jesse Marchand. Carrie Robinson.
Michelle Mayne, Paul Carr. Paul Evans, Alex Leslie, Liz Green,
Hywel Tuscano, Sarnii Bourdon, Dan McRoberts. Eric Szeto, Nic
Fensom, Ania Mar:. Joel Libin, Carina Cojeen, Levi Barnet.
Trevor Gilks. Yunuini Pang, David R Phillips, Andrew Hudson.
Jenn Cameron, Jesse Ferreras, Glen Chua, Carol Domanko. And
Zach Goieman won.
Trevor Gilks
Paul Carr
Canada Poet Sal** Agreement Number 40S78022
Anti-abortion group's campaign
misleading, offensive
Friday, November 19,2004
When does a group go too far?
Everyone at UBC knows about
GAP, if not by name, then by sight.
Twice per year,  (GAP) the  Genocide Awareness Project puts up
a display in front of the SUB condemning   abortion.   But   GAP's
stance on abortion is not the reason for its reputation on campus.
Rather, they are known for their
method of conveying this message: displaying large images of
the bodies of victims of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide,
the killing fields of Cambodia and
lynched African Americans alongside  graphic photos of aborted
fetuses.   Many   students   learn
quickly after their first encounter
with GAP's displays that the best
method of coping is avoidance-
taking an alternate route to get
to the SUB, or turning away completely.
GAP  is  an initiative  of the
Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a
group that operates out of the US
and makes its appearance at UBC
via the campus club Lifeline UBC.
Every year, Students For Choice
and Lifeline  come head-to-head
when the  displays roll around.
This year, the protest reached a
new level when the AMS Safety
Coordinator organised a "safety
tent* beside the displays, inviting
students  to  submit their comments regarding GAP's presentation and the counter-demonstration put on by Students for Choice.
The tent's organisers received 140
At the Ubyssey, we can only
imagine what those responses
Whatever one's personal stance
towards the ethics of abortion, to
be confronted with oversized,
graphic photographs depicting
some of the twentieth century's
most depraved and horrific
moments during a quick walk
between classes is, to say the least,
disturbing. No less disturbing is
the logic behind this display.
To employ the term "genocide*
is to open an ugly can of historical
worms. The GAP website purports
to prove that abortion is a form of
genocide because genocide is "the
deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, racial, religious,
political, cultural, ethnic, or other
group,* according to Websters
New World Encyclopedia, and
"America's 'unwanted' unborn
children" are a national group.
The website also states that
through abortion clinics, these
babies are "being terminated in an
elaborate network of killing centres."
GAP should be reminded that
abortions are performed as a personal choice. There is no national
conspiracy or network or unified
response to pregnancy by American women. Each woman who
has an abortion does so as an individual. To suggest that abortion
clinics are "killing centres* is to
demonise medical professionals
and women who make that personal, difficult choice.
The objective of the GAP display is to equate historical and
deplorable instances with abortion
to prove that abortion is inexcusable. But unlike the deplorable nature of the genocides in
Cambodia and the Mauthausen
death camp, the nature of abortion
create. 2 a person having such power: Shakespeare
3 a great natural ability of a specified kind: "'     "
piano well, but he had a genius for composing^^ptb spec*
character or spirit of a person, nation, age,
Shakespeare gave expression to the genius of
S a guardian spirit of a person, place, institution,
of the hill. 6 a personification of a quality. 7 eithe
one good and one evil, supposed to influence a pe:
8 a person who powerfully influences another. 9 in
disposition. 10 a spirit; genie; iinni. (< L genius god
over birth, ult. < genere beget)
genius io	
saidol] adj. of or having
rgen»0»Cide   ('dsena.said] n. systematic measures for the
extermination ot a national, cultural, religious, or racial group
{< Gk. genos race + -cide1; coined by R. Lemkin in 1944)
the genius
two spirits,
s fate.
s] n., pi
in hat
—adj. of or having to do witl
ge«nome   ['d3inoumj n. Genetics, the full DNA sequence,
containing the entire genetic information. It may refer to a
is a contentious issue. The argument put forward by GAP through
their displays creates the perception that like abortion, the tragedy
of the killing fields of Cambodia
and the Mauthausen death camp
are debatable issues.
The GAP website displays a
graphic that implies a link
between the the murder of Jews by
Hitler's Reich, the murder of
African Americans during slavery
and civil rights conflicts, and the
murder of babies by abortion. This
link is fallacious and absurd.
Where to begin? The use of images
from these tragedies is a misappropriation of the pain they carry
for many
Further, the use of photos of
genocides is highly disrespectful
to the victims of genocide and
their families. Displaying the photographs of innocent, brutalised
victims to be seen by thousands of
passing people is a disgusting and
reprehensible method of persuading others to adopt one's own
views. Similarly, displaying fetuses, contorted into dramatic positions for the camera, illustrates a
blatent disrespect for the very
thing they purport to protect.
The AMS executive, along with
the AMS Safety Committee, will
shortly be drafting a letter to the
university, which will likely ask
UBC to reconsider its allowance of
GAP displays in the future. In addition, they will be including students' feedback they collected at
the safety table on Wednesday.
One concern that will probably be
emphasised, according to AMS VP
Administration Lyle McMahon, is
the potential psychological distress experienced by passers by as
a result of viewing GAP's graphic
images. We support the AMS's
action in addressing their concerns to the university, especially
with the addition of student feedback.
We at the Ubyssey understand
that the university wants and
needs to encourage free dialogue
between student groups. However,
the GAP display goes too far. While
it is important that all groups have
their voices heard on campus, this
should not include such misleading and offensive campaigns. ♦
^.ampui development fiying under radar
by Karen Ward
So, Campus development There's
no transition sentence there at all.
You see cranes, note the bus stops
moving about, hear and see things.
However much time you spend on
campus, or for that matter where,
you see it, and what seems to be happening is the pricey condos around
the north and west, mixed student/market housing to the south,
and the main entrance. People
always say how the campus is beautiful, and it is—and this last space,
really, is the last bit that we can try to
have some kind of sway over. So not
only in the abstract (words like
"open" and "sociable" are vague and
silly), but in physical and economic
terms (where? what? who owns it?),
how should this space be?
The call for proposals is out. Visit
www.universitytown.ubc.ca for the
details. I suggest that interested people with skills in oh, I don't know,
Community and Regional Planning,
Landscape Architecture, and such
check out the details online. This
proposal will mandate the incorporation of a certain percentage of
commercial space; the AMS should
do what it can to ensure that some
percentage of those are student-run,
or used for an expansion of the student union itself. It's pretty obvious,
but since I might forget to mention it
otherwise, there you go.
What I wony about is the fact that
the university administration is
breezing past this process and students will again be caught uninformed and unaware. It is difficult to
engage people on important issues
during exams, for example. Yet next
April is when the voting on the top
three designs for the university's
main gate will take place.
What   I   really   worry   about,
though, is that the symbolic will
again be actualised (UBC is very
strange for doing this). The Gates (at
10th and Blanca), which project only
an idea of entrance, are re-built on a
colossal scale on Wesbrook Mall and
University Boulevard. The difference is that the symbolic gate is for
students, based on a perhaps antiquated notion of scholarship, while
the new gates seem more likely to
reinforce  and discipline  already
existing structures  of power and
injustice. A gated community, which
means that if it starts with me talking about "structures of power and
injustice," it's really a quick hop-
maybe five years—to no more Arts
County Fair and $10,000 per year
for tuition, and add in, for fun, out-
of-control living expenses, given that
the university itself, not to mention
its penchant for building luxury
suites (helpfully ensuring the election of right-of-centre representation
for years) is likely to remain proximate to Vancouver for some time to
come. As LTBC becomes a company
town, that company, by the by, is
looking more like an research and
development firm based on a corporate model, rather than a public educational institution. I like the idea of
equal access to higher education,
based on merit, the idea that higher
education needs to encompass a
range of options, and the idea that
students should probably have the
opportunity to have a meaningful
say in how the educational process
and institution is run. I'm a "radical," of course.
In other words, I worry that
things will get worse, and that sometimes the university plays sneaky
calendar games with us to fool us
into not noticing.
—Karen Ward is a
Graduate student, History
Food bank a necessity
When I read Carina Cojeen's feature (November 10, the Ubyssey,) I
was rather surprised to discover
that UBC does not have a food bank.
A friend of mine told me about
organising a food drive in Totem
Park to help other students in need,
so I assumed the food from her
campaign would go toward an
established student food bank program on campus. But I guess I was
wrong and this was several years
ago anyway.
Setting up the UBC food bank
project team is a step in the right
direction. Surely students need to
have their basic needs met in order
to participate actively in classes
and contribute meaningfully to discussions. It's pathetic how the UBC
administration continues to brag
about how "no otherwise eligible
domestic student will be denied a
UBC education because of financial
constraints." It should go a step further to make sure all students get
the best possible experience here,
and that includes learning on a full
Some have said the government
needs to do more to address the root
problem of poverty instead of shifting the onus on food banks. While
we can debate whether or not the
government has created the social
problem of poverty and food insecurity and is responsible for finding a
solution, the situation remains:
these students are still hungry.
Opening a food bank at UBC can
foster a greater sense of community. The positive experience at SFU
can be replicated here at UBC if students are made more aware of the
student hunger issue. I agree the
government needs to look at formulating a long-term strategy to
combat poverty, but in the meantime, students can gather together
to come up with meaningful ways
to ensure everyone in the UBC community is fed. And the food bank
doesn't need to stop at only food,
but it can give out clothing, blankets, and even school supplies—all
necessities of life at UBC.
Deuteronomy says, "The poor
shall never cease out of the land." A
food bank will help us embrace all
members of the UBC community,
regardless of financial status.
—Kenneth Chan
Host of Solarization on CiTR PAGE FRIDAY
Friday, November 19, 2004
1931 7
Controversial Cannes entry returns
Film may be
flawed/ but proves
hauntingly effective
at the Pacific Cinematheque
Nov. 19-22,24-25
by Jesse Ferreras
Vincent Gallo earned the ire of
almost every film critic on the planet for his latest film, The Brown
Bunny, which screened at Cannes in
2003, and was widely denounced
and reviled as the worst film in the
history of the prestigious film festival. Gallo became famous for his
retorts against critics who panned
his film, and after tarnishing his
reputation at Cannes and various
other festivals, Gallo took his film
back to the editing room and
trimmed off half an hour of footage
in preparation for a possible theatrical release.
The Brown Bunny made its
Canadian theatrical premiere at
Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver
last Friday for a few select members
of the press. In my opinion, his film
is far from perfect and boasts a number of flaws, but the truth is, the film
is shockingly haunting and effective.
Film editing is a tool by which filmmakers rearrange their films in
order to create a coherent story—in
the case of The Brown Bunny, it is
both Vincent Gallo's redemption and
the film's saving grace.
The film follows a motorcycle
racer named Bud Clay, played by
Gallo, who has just come off losing a
race in New Hampshire and immediately sets off across America to Los
Angeles in a black, bug-spattered
Chrysler van to take part in another
race. A theatrical chronicle of Bud's
odyssey across America, the film
catches every brooding expression
as he travels along a lonely road
towards California. Along the way, he
encounters a number of characters,
most notably a number of women
whose company he sorely desires,
but cannot seem to commit to. Many
female encounters later, the audience very gradually realises that Bud
is yearning for Daisy, played by
Chloe Sevigny, a girl he recently lost,
but we never find out how or why
until the film's closing minutes.
Bud's search for love is the arc of the
film's drama, and we catch every
minute ofhis brooding misery as he
traverses the United States.
The film is particularly notable
for an allegedly unsimulated oral
sex scene in its closing minutes—it
is the film's gimmick and has been
the centre of its controversy. It does
serve some purpose in the plot and
will definitely draw moviegoers, but
it is too sensationaiistic to be considered a virtue.
Essentially a one-man show, The
Brown Bunny is a drama that hits
the right notes in most of its scenes,
but is often far too long and drawn-
out for impatient members of an
audience to care. The effect is sometimes poignant, other times drawn-
out, and at some points it is just
plain boring—enjoyment of the film
rests solely on the audience's ability
to be patient with Gallo's style. ♦
Authors explain their message in an interesting lecture
Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter
Tuesday, November 9
UBC Robson Square
by Zach Goleman
The authors of The Rebel Sell: If We All Hate
Consumerism, Why Can't We Stop Shopping? offer a left-wing critique of what they
call the counter-culture movement. But that
needs a lot of explaining. Their theory analyses a very specific form of political thought
and expression, and offers a very specific
critique of the actors and actions involved.
Explaining their theory and analysis alone is
worth the words to make readers understand why they've come to the conclusion
that they have.
First off, what do they mean by counterculture? In their analysis, counter-culture
thought and activism is based on the belief
that there is a culture of a system that is
totalitarian, a system of interlocking and
overlapping institutions such as education,
business and media that encourages consumerism, capitalism and conformity.
Counter-culture thinking has labeled these
three C's as negative, and therefore any
non-conformist action is inherently political. Counter-culture thinking holds that individual expression and non-conformity is the
essential way to subvert the system in place.
Liberation from conformity is the answer to
political problems. In the author's description of it, counter-culture thinking is almost
reverse Marxism: culture dominates the
economy and political systems in existence,
and thus to reform the economic situation,
one must undermine the cultural foundation of it. Moreover, Heath and Potter note
that every generation thinks that it will be
the source of the real, true cultural rebellion, whether it is folk music in the 1950's,
disco in the 1960's, or punk-rock in the
1970's. Inevitably, yesterday's revolution
becomes tomorrow's mainstream, and
every subsequent revolution accuses its
predecessors of being co-opted by the system.
Counter-cultural movements are not synonymous with the Civil Rights movement,
the Anti-War movement, or the waves of
Feminism that have changed society; none
of these movements, although in many ways
successful in their goals, have changed the
culture of conformity. In fact, many counterculture activists have criticised the legal, liberal democratic reforms of the past century
as "changing merely the institutions."
Heath and Potter argue that this view of
culture is based in fiction, not fact. The
truth about culture is that consumerism
doesn't connect to conformity. They argue
that brand name clothing is distinguishing,
not homogenising. The intense competition
between products guarantees that there will
always be more options available for people
to consume, and thus people will find preferences everywhere. They don't believe that
corporations encourage conformity, and
therein lies what they call the irony of the
counter-culture movement: non-conformity
actually promotes and flows with the
consumer-capitalism in existence. When
Starbucks begins to offer Fair Trade coffee,
or when communities begin car collectives,
or when Adbusters begins its Black Spot
Sneaker campaign, none of these things are
threats to the robust capitalist system. In
fact, they simply offer more forms and varieties of consumption.
Heath and Potter suggest that leftists in
Canada organise to better utilise what they
describe as a "the responsive political system" already in place in government. For
example, to cut down on advertising-related
consumption, they suggest making corporate advertising only 50 per cent deductible
to companies. This would have a major
effect on how many ads we see up all over
the place. They favour issue-specific lobbying, rather than huge rallies against globalisation or trade.
In the question-and-answer format of
their talk, the two academics came off as
comfortable, funny, and very animated. They
discussed their frustrations with various
organisations that they'd been a part of, and
exchanged anecdotes about their hippy families, and quoted the Beastie Boys and
Seinfeld to make their points about fighting
for your right to party, or wanting to wear
sweat pants every day of their lives. They
delivered an interesting lecture on an interesting book. However, it takes a while to
understand what they are—not talking about,
and once they get their target in their sights,
it seems to be the already weakened creature
of years of attempted rebellion. ♦
«*e 8
Friday, November 19,2004
Arntzen joins crawl
One of many artists at Eastside
Culture Crawl opens up his studio
by Jenn Cameron
There's something innately cool about an artist's studio.
They must have some sort of artist's studio guidebook so
they know exactly what kind of a place to look for. Either
that or they have an innate ability to find the perfect studio—a sort of artist's sense that links' the studio space to
their art It's hard not to think that such an ability exists
after I saw Arnt Arntzen's studio for the first time. This
furniture designer and sculptor creates his art in a funky
looking, aged red building situated amongst quaint old
houses on the East Side.
Arntzen is one of over 200 artists and artisans participating in the eighth annual Eastside Culture Crawl this
weekend. On Friday November 19 at 5pm these artists
will be opening their studios for all of Vancouver to see.
Arntzen brags that over one thousand people will be
trudging their way up and down the streets between Main
and Commercial and Waterfront and 1st Avenue to see
what these Vancouver artists have to offer.
The Culture Crawl is a non-profit organisation, completely run by volunteers —the artists themselves— to give
them a chance not only to show off their work, but for art
lovers to have something interesting to do on the weekend. And don't forget, artist's studios look cool.
Arntzen's studio is jam packed with large scraps of
metal and pieces of wood, not to mention some ofhis own
furniture pieces hanging from the ceiling. I notice a coat
hanger with billiard balls on the end and a copper end
table shaped like a rocket Art or furniture? You decide.
Born in 1958 in North Vancouver, Arntzen has been
experimenting with sculpture since age 13. Tm pretty
much self-taught; a lot of my training came from my
father. He was a carpenter and he was interested in boats,
so I helped him build a steel boat in the backyard in the
70s," Arntzen tells me. At the end of the day, Arntzen
would take the extra scraps of metal and weld them
together to make sculptures that he'd stick in the backyard. Later, after a brief spell of tree planting, he developed his carpentry skills renovating old houses around
Vancouver and designing furniture on the side. He's even
done some designing for Science World.
However, finding himself doing more and more furniture design, he eventually gave it his full attention, setting
up his own studio about 15 years ago. Arntzen thinks of
furniture design as a challenge where he can fuse functional pieces with sculptural design. "My favourite kind of
furniture is furniture that has a sculptural aspect to it For
me this is a way to be a furniture designer as well as a
sculptor," he says.
"I use found pieces. I have a lot of objects that I've gathered over the years from metal yards and old buildings
and things like that," he continues. All of the wood he uses
he cuts himself from fallen trees around the city, adding a
unique quality to the design that he says he wouldn't have
if he got his wood from a lumber yard.
Although he has duplicated some ofhis smaller pieces
a few times over, most of the larger pieces are one-of-a
kind high-quality functional art pieces. Arntzen says that
he wants to make furniture that has a timeless quality
about it, pieces that the owners won't get tired of ten years
from now.
If you're looking for something to do Saturday afternoon, remember that the Culture Crawl is a rare and
interesting opportunity to browse a few of the many studios that house Vancouver's communities.
Besides, it's not often that you get to see a bench made
from pieces of a helicopter. ♦
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Need to relax before exams?
The Ubyssey presents Blade 1
& 2 in the Norm Theatre
Watch Blade 1 and Blade 2 at the Norm on November 22nd
and be sure to check out Blade Trinity Dec 7 at the Norm.
Get your punch cards fo win the XBOX at the door.
Stop by the Ubyssey to get your guaranteed ticket
to Blade 1 and 2. Prizes available fo early arrivals at each
event including Blade Trinity advance passes.
"For arrival minimum 5 minutes prior to start of film.
Keep reading the Ubyssey for more info on upcoming
Blade 3 screenings.
Tour de force cast in
Les Miserable*
Nov 10-14
At Queen Elizabeth Theatre
by Glen Chua
In a way, critiquing such a famed
musical as Les Miserables has
become an almost trivial task. The
musical, in and of itself, is a work
of mastery, in its musical score,
visual illustrations, and underlying themes. But when these elements are interpreted and
expressed by a cast as passionate
and convincing as the group that
graced Vancouver's Queen
Elizabeth Theatre, the musical
simply calls out for another round
of review.
As a theatrical adaptation from
Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, Alain
Boublil and Claude-Michel Schon-
berg's Les Mis made its Broadway
debut in 1987 receiving eight
Tony awards—including best musical. Set in the streets of France in
the years that precede the revolution, the story follows the life of a
convict named Jean Valjean,
played here by Randal Keith, who
is released after 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. Realising that,
in all the misery, there is a beauty
that transpires in the form of
grace, Valjean rededicates his life
to further the compassion imparted to him in a tumultuous time in
France. As the civil battle gains
momentum, relationships unfold
in environments laden with social
problems, where poverty and
moral debasement thrive.
The current touring company
features a remarkable cast, with
several characters that make the
experience for the audience unforgettable. Although personally not
(on Campus, beside Bank of Montreal)
one for theatrical musical performances, I was rendered speechless at the pure sound of Randal
Keith's voice. He provides a passionate performance with a flexible voice that can thunder with
indignation while being capable of
embracing fragility and tenderness—as in the beautiful prayer
"Bring Him Home" in which Keith
reaches falsetto notes with
unimaginable ease.
Eponine (Melissa Lyons) offers
an emotionally compelling performance, fully embodying her
character to illustrate the sorrow
of unrequited love in her heartrending solo "On My Own." She
joins Marius (Adam Jacobs) and
Cosette (Leslie Henstock) to intertwine melodies so perfectly harmonious and moving that you feel
obliged to melt right there in your
In addition to the seamless
fusion of dialogue and music is a
masterfully crafted set, including
adjustable barricades and a
revolving stage that conveys a
sense of perpetual motion. The
lighting enriches different scenes
on stage, such as that of the sewers
where small streaks of sunlight
leak into the rank underground
world. The costume designs and
make-up work wonderfully in distinguishing different characters at
various points in their life;
Valjean, is first introduced in
dirty rags and disheveled hair,
reappears in a finely tailored suit
and a stylized wig.
The relevant themes of Les
Mis, from political struggle and
social tolerance to the yearning
for individual freedom, support
Victor Hugo's claim: "Les
Miserables is written for a universal audience" ♦
Large Selection of
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