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The Ubyssey Jan 14, 1992

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Array the Ubyssey
N
(Mis) representation
issue
Founded in 1918
Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, January 14,1992
Vol 74, No 27
«-**•
¥*- Classifieds 822-3977
RATES: AMS Card Holders - 3 lines, $3.00, additional lines, 60 cents, commercial - 3 lines, $5.00, additional lines
75 cents. (10% discount on 25 issues or more) Classified ads payable in advance. Deadline 4.00 p.m., two days before
publication. Room 266, SUB, UBC, Van., B.C. V6T2A7, 822-3977.	
05 ■ COMING EVENTS
FREE LECTURE: 'A Better Idea.' Keith
MacLeod explains how we can live in harmony with nature by eliminating price. 8pm
Jan. 19 at Technocracy, 3642 Kingsway,
434-1134.
11 - FOR SALE - Private
79 HONDA ACCORD HB, good mech. cond.
New snow tires. AM-FM cass. Little rust.
Asking $1750. Ph. 736-4263 anytime.
30 - JOBS
75-WANTED
20 ■ HOUSING
WHISTLER full kitchen, sauna, pool, fire
place, sleeps 6. $100 per night Phone 222-
9243. Walk to Whistler lift 7 min to village.
2 BEDROOMS available, family environment, r/b or shared accom. Foreign students
welcome. 224-4608.
ROOM FOR RENT, large bright, in shared
house in lovely character home i n Mt. Pleasant Female n/s pref. All expenses incl.
Nearbusstope to all locations. Avail.immed.
Phone Catherine 873-2028. Leave message.
SUBLET? U of A Law Student seeking 1 br
furnished apt in Vancouver for summer
only (May 1 - Aug 31). Call Mark collect
(403) 452-9696.
25 - INSTRUCTION
MAKE $$$ WORKING part-time. Flexible
Hours. Call Franco « 290-9368.
MATURE PERSON req. for childcare, Sunday moms, 10 am - 12. Pis. call 228-0938.
University Hill Congregation.
TEMP. NANNY/BABYSITTER needed for
part-time flexible morning hours in my UBC
area home. Energy & enthusiasm a must.
Perfect for student Phone 228-9025
SAILING INSTRUCTORS. Sea Wing Sailing School is seeking candidates for the 1992
Spring C.Y.A. Instructor's clinic. Successful
candidates will be offered emp. with Sea
Wing. Call 669-0840.
PART-TIME
Established sunglass company based in
Toronto looking for a student with a
professional attitude, high energy and
initiative to service Vancouver
account base.
Two days professional training, with
ongoing management support
8-10 hours per week with potential for
increased summer hours.
Salary and service fee. Car required.
Call Collect 1-416-338-2422 between
9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday-Friday; ask
for Stephen or Liz.
ATTENTION LADIES! Nation's Number
One Image company is looking for serious
women to train as professional reps. No
prior exp. nee. P/T or F/T. Call Helena at
521-3004.
TWINS NEEDED for SFU Film study. All
ages, please call 251-5522.
80-TUTORING
START OFF "92 with better marks. MSc
student with 5 yrs. exp. as TA & 3 yrs. exp.
aB private tutor available for tutoring in
CHEM/PHYS/MATH. $20/hr, 1st session
free. Call Steve at 822-6549 or leave msg. at
739-0380.
SPANISH TUTOR req. one hr per week for
intro. level Spanish. Call Karey at 251-3571,
Mon - Fri, 9-4 pm.
ESL/ENG 100 tutor with exp. in Europe &
Asia. Call Joanne 261-7470.
85-TYPING
PROFESSIONAL TYPIST. 30 yeare exp.,
WD Process/typing, APA/MLA, Thesis. Student rates. Dorothy, 228-8346.
OVERCOME SHYNESS
AND ANXIETY
SPEAK UP MORE IN GROUPS
A 4-session training program (free)
offered as part of counselling research.
Please call 822-5259 NOW!
Between
Deadline for submissions: for
Tuesday's paper is Friday at
3:30pm, for Friday's paper,
Wednesday at 3:30pm.
NO LATE SUBMISSIONS
WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Note: "Noon"»12:30pm
Tuesday, January 14th	
Dance Horizons. Jazz I (Noon).
Ballet I (2 pm). Modern Dance
(3:30 pm). Jazz 11(5:00 pm). SUB
Party room. $4 drop in.
TREEPLANTERS wanted. Experience preferred. Keith Chapman, 261-1714. Sommit
Reforestation.
STUDENT COMPUTER consultants
needed. P/T hours (b/w 9:30 - 4:30 Mon-Fri).
MS-DOS, MAC, UNIX knowledge an asset
Good communication skills required. Leave
resume at Computing Support Centre: CPSI
Bldg - Room 209.
Ctr. for Research in Women's
Studies & Gender Relations.
"Women Writers Pioneering Modernism."' Dr. Gerd Bjorhovde, Prof,
of Eng. Lit, U of Tromso, Norway.
Noon, Scarfe 1005.
Wednesday, January 15th
Womens'Students Office. Mature
Women Students' Support Group
every Wednesday. Noon - 1:30 pm,
Women Students Lounge - Brock
Hall, Rm 261.
Dance Horizons. Stretch &
Strength. Noon, SUB Party room.
$4 drop in.
• AMS WORD PROCESS-ZING *
GST ANNIVERSARY SALE!
Well pay the GST on resumes (new
projects, edits, reprints, storage —
everything!) for the month of January.
Room 60, Student Union Building or
phone: 822-5640 Mon-Thurs: 9-6; Fri: 9-5
WORD PROCESSING ON laser, essays,
proposals, theses, resumes, etc. & editing.
$2/pg&up. Donna 0 874-6668.
WORD PROCESSING, professional and fast
service, competitive rates. West end location, call Sue 683-1194.
ALL TYPING SERVICES, assignments,
projects, essays, etc. Fast service, reasonable rates - discount for students. Call Kim
at 987-5723.
Thursday, January 16th	
Dance Horizons. Jazz I (noon).
Funk (2 pm). Jazz II (5 pm). SUB
Party room. $4 drop in.
Friday, January 17th	
Dance Horizons. Stretch &
Strength. Noon, SUB Party room.
$4 drop in.
tfF
%
JANUARY 15
The Ubyssey'* staff meeting will feature a competing, insightful presentation by the National
CUP conference delegates. Attendence Imperative for those contemplating future editorship,
Journalism-ship, or just plain human being-ship.
BE THERE!!!
%
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DISCOVER THE
COMPETITION
low low prices
• free services
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224 6225
FAX 224 4492
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
M-TH 8-9 FRI 8-6
SAT-SUN 11-6
AWARDS
W1LUAMG. BLACK
MEMORIAL PRIZE
William G. Black Memorial Prize - a prize in the amount of
approximately $1,600 has been made available by the late Dr.
William G. Black. The topic for the essay will be designed to attract
students from all disciplines. The competition is open to students
who are enrolled in undergraduate or professional programs and
who do not already possess a graduate degree. A single topic of
general nature related to Canadian citizenship will be presented to
students at the time of the competition. Duration of the competition
will he two hours. Candidates should bring their student card for
identification.
The competition will be held:
DATE: SATURDAY. JANUARY 25. 1992
TIME: 10:00 A.M.-12 NOON
PLACE: ANGUS 110
WRITING
THE APRIL
MCAT?
Kaplan's
MCAT
test prep course
starts January 28
Stanley H. Kaplan
Educational Centre Ltd.
944-7717
GMAT    LSAT
GRE
Weekend Test
Preparation
Next seminars:
GRE: Jan. 17 -19
LSAT: Jan. 25-26
Call: 222-8272
Spectrum Seminars™
PROFESSIONALS IN TEST PREPARATION
Ecumenical Worship
for Week of Prayer for
Christian Unity
7:00 pm
Sunday, January 19
Lutheran Campus Centre
All welcome
Sponsored by-
Lutheran Student Movement
Anglican Community at UBC
United Church Campus Ministry
Student Christian Movement
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January 17-19,1992
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Sponsored by SCM
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2/THE UBYSSEY
January 14,1992 ■'"?//' x'?,
f.iij.,*S...S.'..,S.,.	
**3T"
NEWS
Visiting an unlivable city
by Raul Peschiera
CENTRAL Lima is always in
chaos. Hundreds of people
walk haphazardly over the sidewalk and pour onto the narrow
streets, avoiding fruit carts, beggars and a variety of trinket and
black-market vendors anytime of
the day. The reek of food and fruit
rotting in the gutter is in the air
and all the buildings have faded
and run-down.
Just around the corner from
where I am, is the Plaza de Armas,
the main square of Lima. There
busloads of tourists swarm around
the monument of a mounted
Pizarro to visit the cathedral, the
townhall, the archbishop's palace,
the government's palace and the
black market right next door.
Amidst all the fetid smells
and noise and the constant flow of
people everywhere, a car bomb
explodes and people instantly fan
out and take cover. Members of
the nearby ejercito, or military
police, rush over cocking their guns
and push people out ofthe way.
Everytime I've come to visit
my family here, the city seems to
have gotten worse. After four visits, Fve learned not to stay long
enough to gawk and try to make it
back to my aunf s house before the
traffic turns to a standstill.
The next morning my uncle
reads the story out loud over
breakfast. One security guard was
killed and 12 people were seriously
iryured in a blast; he ends by saying, -"This country has gone to rot."
Before I had arrived, there
had been one car bomb every week
and the government had warned
that, if it could be helped, people
should not stay over night in the
rural sections surrounding Lima
because of the recent rash of robberies and murder. Though some
of my uncles have farms out there,
no one seemed very worried and I
planned aday trip to Canete, about
160 kilometers south of Lima.
Daniel, the man who works
for my uncle, is driving me and as
we approach the outskirts of the
city and enter the desert, we begin
to pass through the shanty towns.
Each year, as the poverty and
destitution grow, it takes longer to
go through. In Peru, all the people
of poverty are the indigenous
people.
Peru's steadily worsening
economy and the hyper-inflation
caused many factories, mines and
farms to close down, leaving the
workers—mostly Indians (known
by the derogatory "cholos")—with
out jobs, and many without their
last pay cheque.
With nowhere to go, they,
along with the people emigrating
from the mountains, moved to the
capital to find work. But the city
has literally nothing for them.
The people squat on unused
government land, they build small
houses and the shanty towns begin
to grow. Once in a while, if the
people settle away from other
shanties, the police will arrive and
evict them. Armed with tear-gas
and rifles, they disperse the
squatters and burn their homes.
IN one televised incident, the
police confronted 300 squatters and although most ran away,
some were seriously hurt or killed.
When the police initially confronted them, many had said they
would rather die than move from
their homes. As usual, all the
houses were burned down.
Many shanties that expand to
occupy large areas are rebuilt and
turned into pueblos nuevos (new
towns) by the government. Pueblos nuevos are abundant around
Lima and are made distinct by the
uniform single-room brick houses
and the streetless street lights.
Ubyssey photographers go to great heights to nail the shot.
BOB FORICER PHOTO
Local Colour challenges VAG
by Karlyn Koh
Fabled Territories, currently
showing at the Vancouver Art
Gallery, is an exhibition of British
photographers of South Asian descent.
This event has become the
impetus for the formation of the
Artists' Coalition for Local Colour,
which is seeking to address the
discrimination and racism in Canadian art institutions.
Sher-Azad Jamal, the
Coalition's spokesperson, said the
works are a reaction to the exclusion of South Asian artists by the
white art institutions in Britain.
Canada is also guilty of such exclusion.
"We are totally in support of
the show," she said, "but we are
fighting for changes in arts policy,
and access and accountability in
VAG."
The VAG did not hold a public
opening for the exhibition, and the
Coalition, reacting to this elitist,
racist and. non-inclusive gesture,
organized an opening on November
19. "The opening was put together
in three days, and the place (Video
Inn) was filled with artists from all
different backgrounds," Jamal
said.
The support for the Coalition
is indicative ofthe feelings among
the local artists of colour that VAG
events are simply not enough.
"People who are dealing with
the public programme part (ofthe
VAG) see the community of colour
as a monolith, and are not aware of
the layering within in each community, andthe diversity present,"
Jamal said.
It is this view which the Coalition sees as the ideology behind
the VAG's expectation of Chinese
artists, for example. They are expected to show ink-painting. "This
view is an anthropological, white
and Eurocentric traditional construction of what communities of
colour and the artists they produce
are," said Jamal.
The VAG's cultural
programmes and events seem to
show an effort to implement
change, but Jamal points out that
they are only cosmetic.
She cites one example where
the Women Artists Workshop,
which was attended by eight
women, half of whom were women
of colour, only received $400 in
funds from VAG during the whole
period. And the only space in the
Gallery available to show the finished works was the Children's
Gallery—adjacent to the public
washrooms.
The alternative is a two-year
wait for an exhibition space in main
gallery. This, she points out, "says
a lot about the system," and shows
the lack of access for local artists.
The actions of the Coalition
have generated much support from
the artists in the exhibition.
One of the artists, Allan de
Souza, wrote a letter to the Coalition which stated, "My feeling of
continued on 5
Throughout Peru, the indigenous
people are often cited as the cause
of all the country's problems and
are in turn hated by the upper and
middle class. I have heard it all the
time and once I had to argue with
a friend of my cousin that people of
different colours are not, as he
argued, different species and
therefore inferior.
He had emphatically stated
that a doctor-friend had told him it
was true, and that a doctor is one
to know these things. When I asked
him if he even knew what a species
was, he had to confess he really
didn't, and I had to ask if he or this
doctor even knew what the hell
they were talking about.
But while many people fear
and hate the poor, many others
sponsor children in poverty and
volunteer to distribute free food to
the pueblos nuevos.
The dangers to the volunteers
are great. Once the truck runs out
of food, they have to make sure
they are near the town's exits or
they get pelted with rocks and
mobbed by those whom the food
did not reach.
As we pass the pueblos nuevos
and shanty towns, Daniel pulls
out a pistol from his belt, checks to
see if it is loaded and tells me the
desert highway at night is full of
cut-throats who place black-
painted boulders on the road to
wreck your car so that they can rob
you of everything, including all
your clothes and leave you alone or
dead.
He said a group of his friends
were driving back to Lima a few
nights ago when it happened to
them and all but one died in the
crash. When he visited his friend
in the hospital, his friend was delirious and kept on repeating,
"They're robbing us, they're robbing us..."
He then reassured me that
should it happen to us, he'd carefully aim and take the robbers down
one at a time.
We pass several white crosses
by the side of the road, which
honour the dead of traffic acci dents,
and as we climb up a cliff, he tells
me ofthe kidnappings and brutalities of people who are too lazy to
get a job like he did.
By the time we reach Canete
and turn onto the dusty and bumpy
road to my uncle's house, I am
exhausted and all I think about is
the old saying, "Es ser humano
odiar los que mas has echo sufrir."
(It is human nature to hate those
you have hurt the most.)
Artist dons many
cultural hats
by Effie Pow
^^   UNIL Gupta considers
r*J   himself an activist rather
than artist.
"I sit on many platforms and
try to work with other people,
doing collaborative work," said
the curator of Fabled Territories,
an exhibit of British South Asian
photography showing at the
Vancouver Art Gallery until
January 26.
Gupta is part of the 1980s
emergence of Black art that established a base for artists of
colour, even though not all identified with being "Black."
"Black was seen as a political word rather than literary
word to describe skin colour.
Though it was not totally accepted by people of colour," he
said.
"It's a problem because you
set yourself up to believe you
represent communities and your
mom and dad won't see the work
because they don't believe they
are Black."
Bornin India, he immigrated
to Montreal with his family in
the '60s. He got abusiness degree
to be an accountant, but began
his photography career in New
York. He moved to Britain to go
to art school in the late '70s and
established himself there.
Fabled Territories came
about when he answered an ad.
He said it is a touring photo exhibit that represents artists with
a range of art training, but has
also been contentious.
"The main problem in art
shows is that it is race-oriented.
Some criticisms are that it fills
the equal opportunity slot."
As well as curating, Gupta
takes photographsfor magazines
and AIDS awareness. He has
worked with British filmmaker
Isaac Juli en (Young Soul Rebel s),
and sits on the editorial board of
Bazaar, a South Asian Magazine
focussed on arts. He has coordi
nated an exhibit that deals specifically with cultural representation
of AIDS, called Ecstatic Antibodies.
"When you do things around
AIDS, people want you to speak
[on the topic]. But I can't speak for
the community behind me, whether
it be the HIV community or the
South Asian, community. All I can
do is interpret what I see," he said.
Economy of Signs is a project
of Indian photography that he also
coordinated. The photographs
range from street scenes to portraiture. "Some of the photographers in An Economy of Signs were
lesbian or gay but could not be
out," he said. "I could not ask them
to be out because they're living at
home and there's no structure to
support them."
Since 1988 British legislation
has prohibited art that promotes
homosexuality as a "pretend"
family relationship. Its purpose is
to censor school materials but it
affects art-making, Gupta said. His
own photographs in Fabled Territories, which were developed during protests against the
homophobic legislation, depict
power dynamics between interracial gay subjects.
Changing politics in Britain
coincided with the emerging subculture of young artists, who became part of a new art history, he
said.
"[Artists of colour] have spent
ten years chipping away at
Eurocentric art history."
Artists of colour in Britain now
have a more substantial base, he
said. "There is a Black visual arts
library, so finding people to work
with is easier, whereas before one
was usually isolated."
A centre for artists of colour is
in the planning stages and research
teams are addressing aspects such
as programming and policy. Assuming the ever-changingrole of a
cultural worker, Gupta is involved
in the latter committee.
January 14,1992
tH£ UBYSSEY/3 Visionary's crypt
by Xp
(For the Beothuk who
were extinguished by
Canadian genocide.)
"The wild bird
flies; the caged bird
sings of freedom."
At a distance, a
Jasmine plant grew in
the sand, later to
become the Rose with
thorns sprouting from
its sides.
In this dream, the
visionary stood naked
on the beach and
began to run in the hot
sands, looking for a
place.
Earlier, the big
picture of truth had
frightened the worshippers of the golden
cow and out of fear
they had thrown
daggers through the
screen into the wind—
hoping to hit the
visionary.
There, they knew
vultures would fly, as
their arrows chased the
running target.
Long ago, in the
shaman's crystal, a
"brown and agile"
child ran across the
beach "strong as the
wheat" like a "delirious bumble bee."
Now birth had
circled to death, the
visionary knew the
end had been reached.
There would be
no room, there would
be no place.
That a flower
could grow in the sand
had only been a
mirage—a moment in
life.
The Rose was a
Ruse.
The words wa ai
nee marked the sand,
the visionary's grave,
until the wind blew it
away.
But had the wind
carried the visionary's
seeds? No one knew.
UBC DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT HOL'SIMi
Invites Applications for the Position of
RESIDENCE ADVISORS FOR 1992-93
These positions are open only to registered U.B.C. students. Successful applicants will be required to live in the Residences. Applications
and detailed job descriptions are available at the Housing Office,
Ponderosa Bldg., and at the Front Desk of each single student
residence area: Totem Park, Place Vanier, Walter Gage, and Acadia/
Fairview Crescent.
INFORMATION MEETING FOR PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS:
6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 9,1992 in the Maclnnes Lounge,
in the Gage Residence Commons block.
App licalions will be accepted from January 2 to January 17,1992 at the
Front Desks ofthe single student residences, or at the Housing Office.
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Few whites enter here
•*••*-
by Jonathan Wong
BARRANQUILLA—
They live in poverty, in
filth, in diseases.
Children are abundant, living in ignorant
suffering. The rich
abuse and exploit the
poor, who cannot fight;
they are crippled by a
lack of education or any
form of power. They only
know how to beg.
They know nothing
of dignity, self-respect or
enrichment in life. They
can only think in terms
of survival: Where is the
next piece of bread coming from?
In Barranquilla's poorest barrio, las Malvinas,
garbage and dirt fly randomly and whip against
the hot dark skin of half or
fully naked Colombian
children who run—with
out shoes—with wild dogs
in their time of play.
Sewage runs from win-
dowless houses into black
streams on every road. A
wooden board on a rock
acts as a bridge for pedes-
Garbage and dirt
fly randomly and
whip against the
hot dark skin of
half or fully naked
children
trians to cross. The stench
is acerbic.
Foreigners—the few
who pass here in the decade—must use protective
glasses to shield their eyes
from flying sand.
"Few with white skin
dare enter this place, let
alone foreigners," says a
resident, sitting on his
porch.
"Are you lost?" he asks. **
"I don't think you want to
be here."
It's easy to get lost.
There are no street signs •
in this large neighbor- ..,
hood. And there is no garbage collection. Garbage
can be seen in heaps on
every street—some in the
air carried by the wind.
Flies    are     every- ■*-
where—on clothes, on
skin, on wood. They chew
on anything.
There are no churches   •>
within two miles of this „
neighborhood, which is
geographically bordered
and economically cut off
by a surrounding stream.
Malvinas lies in the   ■«
heart of Barranquilla,  «.
away from the rest ofthe
world.
4/THE UBYSSEY
January 14,1992 NEWS
'•SO* ** *
Head tax stays
unreconciled
by Martin Chester
IT has been 45 years since restrictions to Chinese immigration were lifted, but Canada has yet
to make amends for its racist policies.
From 1885 to 1923, Canada
charged a head tax on all Chinese
immigrants. The head tax began
at$10,butin 1904 it was raised to
$500 and was not removed until
1923 when nativist sentiment,
centred in British Columbia, pressured the government to stop immigration from China.
The Chinese Exclusion Act
was not repealed until 1947.
The National Redress Committee of the Chinese Canadian
National Council and other organizations are pushing the government to deal with the situation
immediately.
Gary Lee, who is the chair of
CCNC's redress committee, said
"We have been at this since 1984.
We stepped up the campaign in the
1988 election campaign, but we
have yet to see the Progressive
Conservatives live up to their unwritten promise to us in 1984."
Lee said the Conservatives
promised a parliamentary resolution acknowledging the injustice
to Chinese Canadians and discussion ofthe situation.
"We've met with Gerry Weiner,
the multiculturalism minister,
three times. The best we have had
from him is that he does wish to
conclude this.
"We hope that he will bring
our case to [the federal] cabinet
forcefully because we don't have
access to cabinet at that level," Lee
said.
Weiner is expected to make a
report to cabinet soon, but no date
has been set.
The Redress Committee is
calling for individual redress for a
minimum of $23 million to be returned to surviving head tax payers or surviving spouses ($10,000
each). This is the amount which
was paid as head tax. The committee is also calling on the government to acknowledge the injustice.
"The driving force behind this
claim is that a wrong was done to
individuals as well as the community," Lee said.
"This is not just a racism issue
or a multiculturalism issue. This
is an individual justice issue. We
still have individuals who have
directly suffered."
He compared the issue to the
redress demanded by the people
born after their mothers used
thalidomide during pregnancy. He
said both groups have asked for
individual redress for the same
reason, that individuals suffered.
Lee said the thalidomide case was
one of negligence while the head
tax was a case of "deliberate, raci st
legislation by our parliament that
lasted until 1947."
"What replaced the head tax
in 1923 was far worse—the Chinese
Exclusion Act. That was more recent and had a much larger effect,"
Lee said. The effect included the
forced separation of families, he
said.
Lee said the CCNC picked up
the issue when they were flooded
with requestsfrom elderly Chinese
Canadians who had paid the head
tax. Since then the CCNC has found
considerable support both within
and outside of the Chinese Canadian community.
"I think it has picked up in the
last few years. The head tax payers are elderly and there are only a
few thousand left, so they don't
have a lot of force," Lee said.
However, when people in the general community find out the details
ofthe immigration restrictions they
tend to be sympathetic, he said.
Lee is hopeful that the government will respond in the near
future.
"We have done the research
and presented our arguments. The
government has no excuse anymore not to respond to the details.
We're hoping to get some sort of
green light in the near future," Lee
said.
ftBettw**    - "-ft***
5
c
3>
o
o
z
1
o
continued from 3 ^^■^■"■^■m
the exhibition was that one of its
*"      strong points was its rejection of
>.      boundaries....To hear that this
dialogue is being prevented by
what appears to be a colonial tactic of divide and rule (in this case
between national and international artists) is contrary to what I
*■**      believe to be the ethic ofthe exhi-
^     bition, and certainly to my own
practice."
The Coalition has drawn up a
list of recommendations for structural change, and the VAG has
until the end of February to re-
*■ spond. The five recommendations
are:
• The appointment of two people
of colour to the board and staff of
every VAG committee. These
people should be active in communities of artists of colour, First
Nation artists and cultural workers.
• People of colour should be hired
as curators, guest curators and
programme coordinators.
• Active community outreach to
communities of colour should include studio visits, advertisements
in community newspapers and
community centres, and reports
on outreach progress should be
made public on a regular basis.
• Anti-racist work-shops organized
for the employees, board, all members of the VAG and the volunteers.
• Anti-discriminatory advisory
committees should be struck to
report on the VAG's outreach
progress, to advise on how to
implement changes on artistic and
cultural values, and systems of
accreditation that may be dis
criminatory and to recommend the
hiring of consultants from local
communities of artists of colour
and First Nation artists.
According to Jamal, this demand for change is a long time in
coming, and the old system has to
be discarded.
"The WASP norm is not there
anymore. The changing demographics and tax-base shouldmake
the VAG responsible to people who
pay for it," she said. "It is imperative that they educate themselves
on the issues of power and race.
"They have to do more than
the tokenistic 'right thing.' The
multicultural paradigm, the united
Benetton approach isbankrupt and
not relevant becau se it minimali zes
our differences by saying that we
are all the same."
• STAFFERS •
Come pick up the junk you've been
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it, then we'll re-use or recycle it on
Saturday the 25th! Consider this your
first and maybe only warning and get
your butts in here!!
LONDON FLIGHTS
From
$578
return
Depart prior to April 30. Maximum 30 day stay.
Some conditions apply. Flights subject to availability.
Ask TRAVEL CUTS about the
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and if a seat sale occurs, we will automatically
REDUCE your fare and REFUND you the difference!
See TRAVEL CUTS for full details:
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I1RAVELCUT5
l Going Your Way!
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School of Business, McMaster University
Michael DeGroote Business Building 104
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Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
(416)525-9140, Ext. 4433
January 14,1992
THE UBYSSEY/5 FEATURES
Searching for a cultural centre
by Effie Pow
My mother would certainly
not have gone with me to see the
recent exhibit Self Not Whole had
it not been the location itself—
the Chinese Cultural Centre on
Pender Street. She took great
pleasure in reading (in Chinese)
the small white cards that accompanied the artwork and explaining what each one was about,
even though I was reading the
text in its original English.
Self Not Whole, an exhibit of
contemporary art by Vancouver
Chinese-Canadian artists addressing their cultural background, successfully targeted a
Chinese audience. It ended November 30 with an attendance of
5,000.
However, curator Henry
Tsang says, it's a project that
should have been done a long
time ago.
"It was aleaming experience,
and it was a year of work I wish
someone else had done," says
Tsang, who graduated from
UBC's fine arts programme in
1986.
Tsang, 27, has addressed a
Chinese audience with his own
visual work and says the site was
an appropriate focus for the work
by Chinese involved with Western
art practices.
"I thought it was a prime location for the people investigating
their relation to Chinese culture.
Why would you place their work
in a place to address non
Chinese?"
Architecturally, it was
a difficult space to work
with, yet it seemed to fit,
he says.
"It is also a cross-
cultural programme
bringing communities
together—Chinese-Canadians working in non-
traditional art practices
placed in a centre that
tries to uphold a traditional sense of Chinese."
(On the day I viewed
the exhibit, children were
rehearsing a pseudo-traditional song and dance in the auditorium.)
Tsang"s working relationship
with the Centre represents the differences between various Chinese
"communities."
"Ifs kind of tricky why they
[Chinese Cultural Centre] dont put
a lot of interest in contemporary
art. They have their staff and
funding problems; they are limited and not motivated to look for
the work." Tsang says he was an
outsider moving into unfamiliar
terri- tory,
but
commends the Centre for backing
the project ("They put their neck
out, [especially when] the chairman of the board wanted to take
things down.")
Tsang, a self-professed cynic
of people, wears simple wire-
rimmed glasses, the occasional
wild-printed shirt, and ear-muffs
when ifs cold out. He jokes that as
a graduate from UBC, most people
think it's the first thing he wants
to forget about, but tells me professor Roy Kiyooka greatly influenced his work. Kiyooka is a
multi-media artist of
Japanese descent whose
work is recognized nationally.
"When I was
there in second year
you learned technique and then you
were left to explore.
Thaf s why I don't
have a lot of technique," he says.
"I didn't take a
drawing course."
Tsang began or-
ganizing Self Not
Whole more than a year
ago with Lorraine Chan,
co-director of the In Visible
Colours international film festival of women of colour in 1989.
Visual artists included Diana Li,
Kiki Yee, Sharyn Yuen and Paul
Wong, as well as, performers and
writers.
The artistic environment has
only recently been more open to
cultural questioning, but not without contradiction and irony.
When applying for grants,
Tsang observed, the project was
quickly compared to Yellow Peril
Reconsidered (last year's national
exhibit of multimedia work by
Asian Canadians, curated by Paul
Wong).
At least one funding agency
representative said funding for a
project like Self Not Whole had
already been fulfilled with Yellow
Peril.
"Yellow Peril validated Asian
Canadian artists to white artists
and art institutions," Tsang says.
"Self Not Whole deals specifically
with art objects and cultural
identity."
Artplaced in artist-run centres
reach a limited audience of artists,
writers and "people in the [art]
community, most who happen to
be white," he says.
"Self Not Whole is located and
site-specific to the Chinese Cultural Centre, where the place is an
issue. Their audience is not necessarily educated in art history.
"Like Paul [Wong] said, his
video [Ordinary Shadows, Chinese
Shade] had finally come home."
The catalogue which features
three commissioned essays, including one by Rosa Ho of the
Museum of Anthropology, should
be available by Chinese New Year,
Tsang says.
The politics of
Asian sexuality
He is a fine, attract!ve-lookin
by Carol Hui
TOKYO—"Fucking whore," muttered a middle-aged Japanese man
to me as he got off the train. He
was carrying a comic under one
arm and his briefcase in the other,
as he got off the train. I was sitting
and laughing with an American
friend on a busy Japanese train in
Tokyo. Dave was male and blond.
The trendiest young women
in Japan today have three lovers—a Black marine with a square
top haircut (or dreadlock, reggae
singer), a white young professional,
and a middle-aged Japanese senior executive.
Since only a small percentage
of Japanese men ever become powerful and rich enough to fall into
the favoured category, the majority of Japanese men are left feeling
like eunuchs in their own society.
Their resentment becomes apparent when they see an Asian woman
with a white male; seeing this
relationship as the crux of their
own castration and lash out.
The trendy Japanese women,
Roppongi gals, reveal the most
prominent sexual stereotypes of
men. Black men are insatiable
sexual animals and are the ultimate sex machines. White men
are the all-round heroes, princes,
to sweep ur. off our feet. Asian
men, what they lack in sexual appeal, they make up for in power
and prestige, therefore become
useful. The irony that the desirability of Asian men has nothing
to do with their sexuality render
some Asian men socially dysfunctional.
One way Japanese men try to
overcome their feeling of castration
is to engage in sexual activities
with the ultimate symbol of womanhood—the white woman, preferably blond and big-breasted.
In Vancouver, driving along
East Hastings at night, it somtimes
can be seen, a group of Asian men,
clad in business suits, entering
cheap hotels, obviously not to stay
the entire night. With the belief
that sexual intercourse with a
white woman would somehow
boost sexual ego, many Japanese
men are willing to pay for artificial
esteem increases.
The sexuality of some Asian
men in North America fall into
similar patterns. While Asian
women are dehumanized by being
exoticized and regarded as the last
bastion of feminity, Asian men are
seen as technological, mathematical geeks. In the American documentary about Asian women in
film, Slaying the Dragon, one
woman says it is difficult to think
of Asian men in sexual terms when
popular American culture shows
them only as laundromat owners
and other demeaning roles.
When Phillip Rushton published his controversial thesis
about biological differences
amongst nations, the allegations
towards Blacks having inferior intellectual power made headlines,
yet his comment about Asians being the least sexual went largely
uncritcised.
The sexuality of Asian men is
further truncated by the socially
accepted notion that they have
small sexual organs. Empirical
studies comparing penis sizes are
not common. But it is recognized
that penis size have little to do
with sexual prowess, yet the constant belittlement and self-inferiority felt by Asian men diminish
their sexual confidence. Some
Asian men therfore take on the
ABA    attitude—anyone    but
continued on page 7
r—
6/THE UBYSSEY
January 14,1992 FEATURES
The story of a Chinese woman
Peng Hua Chu two months before her death.
by Jonathan Wong
TORONTO—White walls surround Peng Hua
Chu (Chrysanthemum) as she lies in what has
been her home for two years: a room in a hospital. Still
lucid, but unable to speak, she communicates with her
grandson through her eyes and by grasping his hand.
Half her body is paralyzed.
"She had lived a violent life,"
says her grandson. "But she has
retained her vision of beauty in
life, and in people, despite the cruelties she endured."
Married to a Kuomingtang
(KMT) legislator and diplomat for
China, Peng received a fine arts
degree in England while her husband met with two rising leaders
in Europe—Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.
In Nanking, then the capital
of China, Penghadlived in a "house
with 400 rooms," her grandson
says. But that quickly changed with
what has now been dubbed the
Rape of Nanking. More than
250,000 citizens were either raped
or executed by Japan's Army.
Peng, with her husband, two
daughters and three sons, fled to
the countryside of southern China.
As China's medical outlets became
inaccessible on the way, her
youngest son died of an undiagnosed sickness.
Eventually Peng's husband
rejected his KMT leadership nomination and quit the party because
of its corruption. With the imminent Communist take-over, Peng
and her family fled quickly again.
But in the rush, she became separated from her youngest daughter
and did not reunite with her until
more than 30 years later.
A metal shack without
plumbing or electricity in the
shanty suburbs of Hong Kong became Peng's new abode. Her husband would remain unemployed
for more than a two decades, stubbornly refusing to accept a position lower than his previous one.
Peng had to support her husband
and three kids by teaching at a
secondary school.
"Consideration is such a
beautiful word and often ignored
concept today," says her grandson. "It characterizes what she
had. She was also very responsible."
Peng's retirement from
painting occurred as soon as she
graduated. She financially shouldered and morally supported her
kids through high school and university. The three would eventually receive American Phds.
In 1968, her first grandson,
an unexpected bastard child, was
born to her oldest son in the U.S A.
Peng named him Success-China.
Hisfamily moved to Canada, where
he would be abandoned by his
mother while his father worked too
often to see him. Peng would later
arrive to be his nanny. She worked
as a dishwasher in a pizzeria and
later at the Toronto's Sheraton
Hotel where she took Success-
China.
"She had always
been able to see
beauty through the
cruelest of times. I
believe that's what
kept her beauty."
In 1972, Success-China's
mother left and in 1974 she would
lose a divorce custody battle for
Success-China's younger brother
and sister.
Success-China would be given
the responsibility of parenting his
younger brother and sister while
his father worked. Success-China
would have to give up much of his
own life to assume additional domestic responsibilities: cooking,
cleaning, grocery shopping, vacuuming, lawn-cutting and taking out
the garbage. From generation to
generation, a torch of burden seem
to pass. Peng woul d live in another
city.
In 1978 Peng's husband, who
had remained a recluse, survived
a brain tumour operation. In 1982,
her oldest son was diagnosed with
cancer.
"That was a difficult time,"
her grandson recalls. "At the time,
my father had angered me greatly.
He had taken out his frustrations
on me in extreme ways over the
years. And yet, there was a threat
of having no parents. She (Peng)
would cry to me and beg me to
forgive him."
"I gave in. Having known my
grandmother, it has always been
difficult for me to turn on someone.
Who the hell did I think I was, she
would say."
"My father did not die. It was
discovered a year and a half later
he was misdiagnosed. But the face
of death really influences how you
treat people when you live, no matter what you think about them.
Now, ifs making me think again."
In 1985, Success-China
graduated from secondary school.
It was the last time his parents
would be seated in the same room—
family politics.
"They used me as a showpiece
and I felt they had no right to claim
they contributed to the awards I
won, but I saw my grandmother
there and my anger disappeared.
The politics of Asian sexuality continued.
Asians—and think a white
woman proves his sexuality to
the world.
OtherB do not dare explore
outside the Asian enclave, preferring to judge their sexuality
with other Asian men only.
There is nothing wrong with
this ostrich attitude, except in
cases where the man harbours
secret fantasies to be with a
white woman, without ever liv-
ingit out for fear that he may be
"too small."
The sexual is political.
Popular culture diminishing the
manhood of Asians js merely reflective ofthe politics of racism. In
Canada, Asian men were forbidden to marry white women until
the 1940s. It was even illegal for
Asians to employ white women, to
prevent any illicit events from
taking place. Rapes during the
wars signified one group of men
dominating another (if you take a
man's woman, he is conquered).
The struggle for sexual definition has been an area often
overlooked in battles against racism. Malcolm X, however, recognized the importance of sexual
identity and pride and started the
"Black is beautiful'' slogan.
The systematic castration of
Asian men has hindered the fight
for recognition of racism against
Asians. Asians should not want to
be with Asians because of fear of
rejection from other groups.
Nor should Asians want to
desperately claim honorable status by having white partners. Being comfortable with your own
sexuality andin being Asian should
allow sexual relations to take place
with Asians and non-Asians, without looking at race as a factor.
Racism does not exist in a
vacuum and racist notions, such
as the sexual inferiority of Asian
men, prevail in Asiaas well as in
North America. Reclaiming and
redefining our sexuality is essential for Asians to become autonomous, breaking away from
the legacy of imperialism in Asia
and institutionalized racism in
North America.
Carol Hui is a former Ubyssey
staffer currently living in Tokyo
a nd writing for the Japan Times
Weekly.
CHUNG WONG PHOTOS
She had this way of teaching me to
see beauty. I was saddened, however, by the words she wrote on my
card."
Peng hinted she woul d not live
much longer when she wrote: "I
hope to live and see you at your
university graduation."
Said her grandson: "A university degree is perhaps the most
important thing a Chinese person
wants to possess. Perhaps, without
much money, it's one of the few
stakes we can make."
Peng's husband would suffer
two strokes and die three years
later.
In 1986, after more than fifty
years of other duties, Peng painted
and held her first exhibition. Soon
after, however, she suffered a
stroke and would remain semi-
paralyzed for the remainder of her
life.
"She had always been able to
see beauty through the cruelest of
times," her grandson says. "I believe thaf s what kept her beauty."
"It seems she lost
everything...but this beauty. I feel
very sad that she had few people
close to her who could see that. She
was very committed to her values,
but we live in a world where generosity, loyalty, devotion,
selflessness...are now pejorative
terms and nolonger humanitarian.
They don't yield much status. Ifs
very sad. I feel sad when I see her
suffer."
Continued sports from
page 12...
Golden Bears and the Pandas this
Friday and Saturday nights.
Hockey
After beating the Manitoba
Bisons to win the Diachem Tournament over the holiday break, the
Thunderbirds lost twice to the same
team in Winnipeg this weekend.
The Bisons blanked UBC 5-0
on Sunday after dumping them 8-3
on Saturday. Dave Bond scored
twice and Darren Kwiatkowski got
one goal for the Thunderbirds on
Saturday.
The Thunderbirds host the
Regina Cougars, first in the Canada
West, this Friday and Saturday at
the Wnter Centre. The games start
at 7:30 pm on both nights.
Canada West Standings
W   L T    F A Pta.
Regina 11 3 2 102 67 24
Alberta 10 3 3 79 65 23
Calgai-y 9  6 1 77 71 19
Saskatchewan 9   7 0 71 66 18
Lethbridge 7   7 2 72 77 16
Manitoba 7  9 0 63 59 14
UBC 4 11 1 62 91 9
Brandon 2 13 1 53 83 5
January 14,1992
TtfEUBYSSEY/7 r 375s? W.KHh Ave
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NOTICE OF
HEARING
Take note that the Students' Court is convening to hear
the following matter: "to decide whether or not the
$15,000 fine on the EUS should be collected in light of
the fact that the Board of Govenors did not collect EUS
fees for the 1990/91 academic year." Student Council
Minutes, July 10,1991.
The hearing is to be held at 3:00 p.m. on the 17th day of
January, 1992, in SUB Room 206.
Persons desiring to give evidence or submissions on this
matter are directed to give notice to the Clerk of the
Court before commencement of the hearing.
Bring your Student Cards
AS A SPECIAL MARKETING TEST A MAJOR TRAVEL BROKER IS
OFFERING EVERYONE WHO CALLS WITHIN 72 HOURS OF THIS
PUBLICATION DATE.
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certificate valid for a fabulous vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii This certificate entitles the user to receive 8 days
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ano one free airline ticket, transfers.
baggage handling and all taxes. You
need pay for only one airline ticket at
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There is no other product to purchase
and there is no charge for this special
certificate. We will however limit the
number of certificates to be issued in
this market to those that call w.-thin 72
hours of the publication date of this act.
The reason for this special offer is that
we wish to test the drawing power of
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of our special travel programs.
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FlVSerAWS Hotel M-30 S.W. /fane Dr. Vancouver • 261-72/7
Ankur—A strong force
that's here to stay
by Far-hat Khan
"When I read this magazine I
felt like a part of it because it's put
out by people who belong to my
community."
Aman Sangha, Letter to the Editor,
Ankur Vol. 1, No. 3.
Close to 100 years have passed
since the first person from the Indian subcontinent set foot on Canadian shores. The history of South
Asian Canadians has been one of
continuous struggle andchallenge.
Until the 1960s the South Asian
community remained quite small
due to the restrictive immigration
policies of the Canadian government. The community grew dramatically in the 1970s as a result
ofthe liberalization of immigration
laws. Today, the community is
composed of people from many
different regional and linguistic
backgrounds as well as a growing
number of people born and raised
in Canada. It is a vibrant, complex
and diverse community.
Space for a community to express and debate its concerns and
issues is a fundamental. And a
forum that reflects the dynamic
cultural identity and heritage of a
community, which is accessible to
all members, strengthens a community. With this in mind,
Vancouver Sath Literary and
Cultural Societypublishedthe first
issue of the quarterly journal
Ankur in April 1991 and formed
the Ankur collective.
Ankur means "budding" and
it represents a new beginning in
many senses. The journal is a
publication for and by the South
Asian community in BC and
records the some of the history of
South Asians in Canada—a history that has been either virtually
invisible and inaccessible to us or
has been grossly misrepresented.
Images ofthe community and
issues that should concern us are
often defined by the mainstream
media and then imposed upon us.
Having our own journal counters
the stereotypes ofthe South Asian
community and self-defined images forge a solid foundation for
mutually beneficial relations with
other communities:
Ankur includes poetry, community profiles, fiction, art and
cultural reviews. The magazine has
received support not only from the
South Asian community, but other
communitiesin BC, across Canada
and some international response.
The Ankur collective welcomes
original submissions and participation from all South Asians.
Anyone interested in obtaining the journal or getting more
information should write to Ankur,
Box 67681, Station 'O', Vancouver
BC, V5W 3V2.
Masters Student Gives Up Arranged
Marriage to Find Her Own Way
by Cheryl Niamath
Until the time Sukhi Sohi left
her family in Williams Lake to
earn her BA in English at UBC,
she thought she would have an
arranged marriage.
"I grew up with the belief that
parents know best and there was
no way I could go against their
wishes. In the East Indian community, parents decide who you're
going to marry, and I couldn't see
any way of avoiding that."
Sukhi, 28, is now working on
her MAin Counselling Psychology.
She studies conflicts between second-generation Indo-Canadian
women and their parents.
"My interest in this area grew
out of my own experiences with my
family," she says.
"I was very East Indian as a
really young child. My parents
never had any white friends—all I
was exposed to was the East Indian
culture. Once I hit school, it was a
whole new world. I wanted to be
like the other kids, but I knew I
was different. I didn't want to share
the Indian side of me.
"As a teenager, I faced the
pressures of dating. Being East
Indian, you know there's no way
you can date, because parents
consider dating immoral. My parents never dated. The first time
they ever saw each other was the
day they were married.
"Parents have all kinds of expectations for their daughters.
Girls are supposed to be pure, they
aren't supposed to question their
parents, they're supposed to be
virgins when they get married. I
heard stories of girls being killed
because they married someone
their parents hadn't chosen for
them."
Sukhi says it can be difficult
to conceive of how much power
East Indian parentshave over their
children.
"Remember how involved in
your life your parents were when
you were a teenager? Once you're
an adult it's easy to forget how it
felt to have to ask for permission to
do anything. Well, take that feeling and multiply it by a hundred,
and thafs what it's like having
traditional East Indian parents."
Sukhi's parents wanted her to
marry an East Indian; they wanted
him to be of the same social
standing as her family, and they
wanted him to belong to the same
religion. She says they are now
reconciled to the fact that she will
marry whomever she chooses.
According to Sukhi, the philosophy behind arranged marriages is that marriage is the
joining together of two families,
notjust two people. Often, extended
families live together in the same
house, so a woman is not just
marrying her husband but also his
parents and siblings. She will likely
spend more time with her
husband's mother and sisters than
she will with him, so itisimportant
that his family approves of her.
A woman who goes against
her family's wishes and dates or
marries of her own free will causes
difficulties for her family once her
actions become known in her parents' social circles.
However, Sukhi says, the East
Indian community is slowly
evolving and even though marriages are still arranged, prospective husbands and wives are now
allowed to see pictures of each
other, correspond, or even meet
each other before they are married.
She has so far interviewed five
women experiencing conflict with
their parents.
"One woman I spoke to actually went ahead and had an interracial marriage. Another woman
has dated non-East Indian men,
but knows she will give in to family
pressures and marry an East Indian."
Sukhi said there are different
levels of conflict, depending on the
age of the subjects. Children and
teenagers often need help in dealing with their cultural identity.
Young adults run into problems
over dating, marriage and independence.
Sukhi presently works as a
counsellor at Langara Community
College and says she might like to
work within the education system
to help people from different ethnic groups deal with culture-oriented problems.
Despite the fact that she is not
following her parents' wishes,
Sukhi says she is very close to her
family.
"I understand what my parents are going through. I'd feel the
same if all of a sudden I was in
India, faced with social rules which
I thought were wrong. I do understand where my parents are coming from."
Compounding her conflict with
her parents, Sukhi must deal with
the conflict within herself. "You
know, you grow up wanting to
please your parents, but then you
realize that ultimately you have to
please yourself. And sometimesyou
have some really hard choices to
make."
ft
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*«*■
8/THE UBYSSEY
January 14,1992 FREESTYLE
Half plus half equals one
by Cheryl Niamath
My sister calls us "halfies."
We used to say we were one
scoop of chocolate and one scoop of
vanilla, and my uncle says we're
coffee with cream.
We were born into two cultures
instead of one, yet we don't quite
fit into either.
We have roots all over the
place—in Canada, Trinidad,
Northern Europe and India—but
it's hard to tell just by looking at
us.
It seems to make people very
uneasy when they can't slot us into
some kind of ethnic group—we're
not Italian, Greek, or Portuguese,
Hawaiian, Mexican or Spanish.
When we say we're Canadian,
people ask us where we're really
from.
When our parents got married,
well-meaning people told them not
to have children—Canadian society in the mid-60s just barely tolerated mixedmarriages, and would
never accept interracial kids. But
they had us anyway.
In a way, those well-meaning
people were right.
It's not like my sister and I
were ever ostracized or anything.
But we—she, especially—were
subjected to the same racist teasing and name-calling in school that
the other, "whole" ethnic kids had
to put up with.
Everyone knows how important it is to fit in when you're going
to school, to be just like everybody
half plus half
equals one
quarter plus quarter
plus half equals
one
four quarters
or eight eighths or
two quarters
and a half
or one?
what's the difference?
just find a
common
denominator.
else. All children want to be accepted by their peers, and anything
that makes you different from your
classmates—colour, religion, some
kind of disability—turns into a
barrier that separates you from
the accepted group.
At the schools we went to, East
Indian kids were targeted as the
"out" group. So there we were, trying tofitin,listening to racist taunts
at lunch and recess, sometimes even
joining the other children in the
teasing, and always feeling in the
backs of our minds that what we
were doing was wrong, but never
making any effort to stop it.
American literature boasts
many stories in which the plot or
subplot centres around an interracial character who tries to hide or
deny his or her genetic heritage in
order to get ahead in the world, or
in some cases, just survive.
I remember reading a story
when I was about 13 years old
about a Southern woman who commits suicide because her husband
cruelly rejects her when he discovers she's been hiding the fact
that she isn't really "pure" white.
I remember thinking how glad
I was that I wasn't American and
that I didn't live in the South, where
people had to pretend to be white
even if they weren't, really, just so
they could be accepted. It didn't
occur to me that my sister and I felt
like we had to deny half of our
cultural heritage in order to keep
ourselves out of the "out" group.
We grew up, though, and grew
out of wanting to be accepted by
the narrow-minded.
We learned things on our own
about the other, non-white half of
our heritage. (In school we learned
a lot about Canadian and European geography and history but
the only thing I remember learning about India was that it had a
population problem and that cows
were allowed to lie in the streets
and we didn't learn anything at all
about Trinidad.)
We stopped taking it for
granted that we'd get roast beef
and baked potatoes for dinner at
one grandparents' house, and
curry and roti at the others', and
began to appreciate how unique
our family was.
We met other people who are
half European and half something
else—halfJapanese, half Chinese,
half Black and even half Trini-
East Indian like us—and we began
to realize that being ahalfie is way
more interesting than having only
one cultural background.
Those well-meaning people
who told our parents not to have
us were right about society, then.
But just like we grew up and
began to value both our cultural
backgrounds, society is growing
too. It isn't rushing out and welcoming halfies with open arms or
anything, but it's learning to accept us.
Which is a good thing, because it looks like there'll be a lot
more of us around in the future.
The University of British Columbia
FREDERIC WOOD THEATRE
SARCOPHAGUS
by Vladimir Gubareyev
Directed by Kathleen Weiss
Chernobyl - a 20th century tragedy
January 15-25
Special 2 for 1 Wednesday January 15
Curtain 8:00 pm
Reservations and Information 822-2678
Support Your Campus Theatre
%^
COMPUTER CLASSES
> Learn the basics of a DOS based microcomputer
>Use word processing to make your assignments professional
QuickStarts are hands-on computer workshops designed for students.
They last one hour, cost $8.95. and are held Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:30.
Intro to Micros for Students — February 6
MS-DOS for Students — February 20 and March 1 2
Using MS-WORD 5.0 to Produce Documents — February 27
Using WordPerfect 5.1 to Produce Documents — March 19
Registration: 8:30-4:30, Mon-Fri, Computing Support Centre. Computer Sciences 209.
Valid student ID is required to enroll. You must register in person.
Payment in cash, cheque or requisition at least 24 hours before the class.
Register early to avoid disappointment!
\jl/*i/\J/slAsiAjt    Students receive a 25% discount on all regular
Wf/WW^       ucs workshops and semjnars. v/e offer a wide variety
fV    C,'     '     ,      of computer classes. Pick up our brochure
W...   }Cfh*4*&l4.     from ,he Computing Support Centre, CSci 209.
UCS Educational Programs
University Computing Services, UBC
i
The Groove- Wed thru Sat     Surreal McCoys- Sun thru Tues
Raise money for your group! Hold a Roxy
fundraising party! Call the party hotline at 684-7699
• Wednesdays are student nights •
• Free admission with your student card ♦
932 GRANVILLE • 684 - 7699 ■
January 14,1992
THE UBYSSEY/9 I
WV-W^«"   *w*
I]
Construction of native identity:
A history of oppression
by Ted Young-Ing
"If the texts were really to consider American history from the
perspective of American
Indians [sic], they would
have to conclude that the
continent had passed
through almost five
hundred years of unmitigated disaster, beginning with the epidemics spread by the
Europeans and continuing on most fronts
today."
(Frances Fitzgerald,
America Revisited pg.
103 NY: Vintage Books,
1979)
HISTORY for Ab
original peoples,
continues to be a white
creation full of lies and
distortions whose sole objective is the reinforcement of white values,
white views and the all-
important white self-image. Many historians and
anthropologists have undercut the rich histories
and traditions of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada
by calling their cultures
"a primitive society."
If one is to believe most
history texts, North
American history begins
in 1492 with Columbus's
"discovery" of America, yet
there is evidence of diverse
Aboriginal cultures in
Canada as early as
100,000 BCE (Before
Current Era).
Although early anthropologists saw the
drastic changes that First
Nations cultures were
undergoing, and the
troubles that these
peoples were struggling
with, nothing was ever
done to help Aboriginal
peoples cope with the
changes. Studies and research were limited to issues related to the Canadian government's political agenda of assimilating Native Peoples and
destroying their cultures.
Religious institutions
have a long history of oppressing and attacking
cultures which they deem
In 1876, the Indian Act legislated a
social genocide of the Aborigial peoples.
J*V
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TODAY YOUR HOST
IS
WET'SUWET'EN
PAUL GORDON PHOTO
In the shadow of the former law courts, the Vancouver Art Gallery currently displays the work of
contemporary artist and Cheyenne Native Edgar Heap of Birds from Oklahoma State. Using eye level street
signs as a link to the public, the artist strove to privilege the name of ten regional tribes over the name of
the province. The words are meant as a play on corporate talk found in today's society, but, more
important, serve as a reminder of the ancestral heritage of the Native peoples.
inferior, and the cultures
of the Aboriginal peoples
were not exempt from this.
Early missionaries destroyed thousands of irreplaceable totem poles, ig-
norantly dubbing them
heathen and pagan. These
missionaries believed that
the poles were worshipped
like some god by Aboriginal peoples; in fact, these
totem poles recorded the
history of specific families.
White government
sought initially to exterminate the First Nations
people. Early attempts at
genocide included the issuing of blankets to Natives which were infested
with the smallpox virus,
with the intention of killing off entire tribes. The
Canadian government
paid the Mic Mac Nation
to kill members of the
Beothuk Nation in Newfoundland. All but one of
the Beothuks were killed
in this scheme.
In 1876, the Indian Act
legislated a social genocide of the Aboriginal
peoples. They were
ghettoized into reserves,
their political powers were
taken away (Natives only
got to vote in Canada in
1963), their rights to self-
determination were cut,
their economic powers
were virtually eliminated,
the education which was
available to Native
peoples was restricted,
school-aged children were
forced to go to Residential
Schools. The only powers
which were given in the
document were those
given to the Department
of Indian (sic) Affairs.
The era of Residential
Schools meant that two
entire generations of Aboriginal peoples were socialized into believing that
they were inferior; that
their cultures were bad
and that they should feel
shame for speaking their
Native languages. These
generations lost their
parenting skills, and had
no means of passing on
their history to their children.
The Church and the
government were the two
institutions responsible
for Residential Schools.
The two fundamental institutions of white society
banded together to ci eate
a negative self-image for
the Native person.
The contributions of
Natives to Canada's nation-building and national
identity have largely been
ignored. Although Simon
Fraser is credited with
"discovering" many parts
of British Columbia, most
historical texts ignore the
fact that First Nations had
been inhabiting these areas for hundreds of years
prior to his arrival in
Canada. Fraser would
never have been able to
reach the "Fraser" River
were it not for the Aboriginal guides who led'
him to it, yet the identity
of these guides is forever
lost. LaVerendrie,
Champlain, Thompson
were all equally indebted
to their Aboriginal guides
for their discoveries.
Studies of Native cultures by non-Natives continue to see them as novelty items, having little
historical significance or
relevance. The dominance
of white historians and so-
called experts ensures
that this trend will continue. White society refuses to accept Native cultures as having a place in
universities and schools.
White society prevents
a revalued sense of individual and cultural identity by failing to teach and
study the rich culture of
the First Nations. Their
past is made to seem irrelevant, unimportant and
uninteresting.
The study of Native
issues and history is seen
as unacademic by many
institutes of higher learning and in grade schools,
the Native histories are
completely ignored.
Where they are offered,
classes on Native history
show a very selective and
biased representation.
The study of Native
cultures today still maintains that there is no
present and thus no future for the Native
Peoples; Aboriginals existed only in the past.
In 1992, Canadians
seem to think that Native
issues are being dealt
with, both socially and politically. The facts suggest
that the awareness and
sensitivity to Native issues is only slightly better
than in 1876.
The truth seems to be
that attempts to sympathize are only cosmetic.
There have been no real
attempts by white leaders
to sit down and discuss
issues with First Nations
leaders; instead there is a
lot of preaching from white
politicians and white experts.
The Aboriginal peoples
of Canada are not, and
have never been, a
"primitive society" but one
that is rich in cultures,
traditions, and a healthy
respect for the world in
which they live. In light of
this, perhaps we should
get rid of the underlying
assumptions that Western society is unquestionably superior. Consequently, we must revise
the question of fitting the
Native peoples into the
white society and instead
find a way to merge the
two groups into a mutually respecting and mutually supportive union.
10/THE UBYSSEY
Januacy 14,1992 *^pSV*w«wa}f*M*VA«>^w^vt>ivivJvvw f
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Proud and sadly warped identities
by Lynne Wanyeki
FREDERICTON—While trying to
decide which aspect of exclusion of
minorities to focus on, I realized
what I was interested in and concerned about was not the simple
history of such exclusion, nor even
the diverse ways by which such
exclusion—conscious or otherwise—is maintained. Rather, I
remain deeply concerned about the
effects of such exclusion on the
groups that are termed minorities
in this society.
What I am talking about is
identity. One's sense of identity
can be fiercely proud at one level
and yet profoundly and sadly
warped at another. For me to
identifymyselfas
aBlacklesbianis
at once a source
of strength—and
at the same time
a direct response to the cultural
pressures I have intuitively felt
and resisted and yes, succumbed
to, all at the same time.
To fully understand what I
gain and lose by identifying myself
as a Black lesbian, one has to first
understand how those words came
to be recognized as my identity.
I was born and brought up in
Kenya, the daughter of a Gikuyu
father and a Scottish/English Canadian mother. I was consciously
aware of myself as being mixed-
race all my life in Kenya—for in
Kenya, unlike North America and
the Caribbean, miscegenation is a
fairly recent occurrence, and it is
still very easy to identify those of
mixed race.
However, when I arrived in
Halifax four years ago to go to
university, I noticed something
very peculiar. In this city, mine
only through my mother's birthright, it was the Blacks I saw in the
street who nodded to me, who
mouthed words of casual greeting.
This puzzled me. Ihadn't been
aware that there was such a large
Black community in Halifax, I
certainly knew nothing at the time
of its history, and I felt no connection to the community. My
Canadian side was white—and my
Blackness was from African,
Kenyan, Gikuyu blood.
Perspective
My culture and tradition were
so separate from these Blacks who
smiled greetings at me on the
Halifax streets. Their gestures,
which sought to claim me as one of
their own, were intensely disturbing. I literally wanted to
scream, to make them stop looking
at me with such easy recognition
in their eyes.
But then I opened my own
eyes. I saw people, white people i
treat me with utter indifference—
at least until they found I was a
"real" African, at which point I
became an "exotic". I heard white
people assume I was an immigrant,
saw their eyes widen as I told them
the actual story of citizenship.
This happened
over and over
again, until I began toidentifyin
anger with the
"unreal" Africans—the immigrants
with whom I was being confused
because of the colour of my skin.
And throughout this all, the Black
people of Halifax still nodded to
me in gentle solidarity on the street.
It was a shock, a slap in the
face, to realize that I was excluded
from the white society that I had
always assumedin naive ignorance
to be partially mine. I began to nod
back to the Black people in the
streets. I stopped thinking of myself as mixed-race or "point five" as
we jokingly say in Kenya. In
Canada, I am Black.
I am Black. I stated this first
in sharply reactive anger. I stated
this first with real and deep bitterness towards the ugly and
deeply ingrained racism in Canada.
But now, Black is a sense of myself
that I acknowledge with pride and
knowledge of a shared history with
people across the five continents.
It has opened my eyes and my
heart towards understanding and
connecting with and supporting
Blacks everywhere. There are
powerful commonalities.
This is a conscious awareness
of race that can both make strong
a person, if not evaded. Exclusion
can go further than actually
changing the sense of self in the
psyche of a person termed a minority. That sense of self can be de
formed by the desperate grimace
to avoid accepting full responsibility for one's race. And in no domain
doe s thi s become more evide nt than
in the domain of personal relationships. I have met Black men who
only date white women; Black
women who only date white men;
Black men who date only Black
men; Black women who date only
Black women. This too is the result
| of recognizing exclusion from white
society. This kind of exclusivity, in
my mind, is on the one hand a
horrible denial of race, and on the
other hand a glorified and sanctified awareness of race. I personally find this exclusivity very
dangerous, and quite the opposite
of empowering—which is what a
conscious awareness of race ought
to be. But certainly, being of a
group termed a minority necessitates a careful examination of all
the possible motives for moving
into an interracial relationship of
any kind.
Lynne Wanyeki is the current editor of The Brunswickan, student
newspaper ofthe University of New
Brunswick. She also the programmer of a lesbian community radio
show called Dos Lesbos.
 UBC AWARDS >>
HAVE YOU PICKED UP YOUR B. C. STUDENT
LOAN OR EQUAUZATION PAYMENT?
Students who applied last summer and fall for aid through the B.C. Student Assistance Program and
qualified for B. C. Student Loans are reminded that their loan documents (Certificates I) are available for
pick up in the lobby of the General Services Administration Building outside the Awards Office (Room 101)
on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Schedules 2 for the second disbursement of Canada
Student Loans are available at the same location. Picture I.D. must be presented. Loan recipients are urged
to claim their Certificates I as soon as possible. These documents must be taken to the bank for
negotiation, a process which can require several days.
Students who qualified for Equalization Payments should report to the Awards Section of the Department
of Financial Services in Room 101 of the General Services Administration Building to claim their cheques.
Photo I.D. will be required.
BCSAP applicants are also reminded to complete their Statements of Personal Responsibility and return
them to the UBC Awards Office promptly. Failure to do so by the end of the term could disqualify applicants
for Loan Remission after graduation.
Second term tuition Is due by January 10,1992. UBC awards for second term (such as bursaries,
scholarships and fellowships) were applied to fees on the night of January 3. If there are any funds
remaining after fees are fully paid, cheques for the balance will be available for pick-up in Room 101 after
January 8.
The Awards Office has made every attempt to defer the payment date for second-term tuition fees until
February 1 for students who have loan disbursements in January. Individuals can confirm this by calling
TELEREG, signing on as directed in the TELEREG Guide, and using the M# command. The deferment
should give all borrowers ample time to claim their loan documents, cash them, and remit the full amount
of second term tuition. All loan recipients have signed a declaration stating that the first use of their
loans/EP will be to pay tuition fees owing to the educational institution.
Ty Vin, 4, sandwiched between bosom buddies,     ma chia-nien photo
A
^»^$*a^
FREE ADMISSION
First 72 people through the door receive a FREE slice of pizza and a Dad's Root Beer or Calistoga!
CALISTOGA
FROM TX Kont WHO MMG VOU KHMEfT
SUB AUDITORIUM
Every Wednesday
12:30 -1:15 pm
January 15 - April 1
SPONSORED BY
1 PIZZA CO. 11
January 14,1992
THE UBYSSEY/11 SPORTS
Varsity sports back in gear
by Mark Nielsen
It's a brand new semester at
UBC. And along with a chance for
students to redeem themselves it
also means that varsity sports is
back in action. Here's a look at
what's happening and what the
Thunderbirds can look forward to:
Men's Basketball
The Thunderbirds gained sole
possession of first place in Canada
West play with a sweep of the
Lethbridge Pronghorns over the
weekend.
Veteran fifth-year guard J.D.
Jackson scored 35 points in UBC's
91-77 victory on Saturday night
after getting 34 points the night
before when the Thunderbirds won
90-75.
The Thunderbirds were down
by as much as 17 points on Saturday night before pulling to within
four at halftime and then pulling
away for the win.
Jackson, meanwhile, was
playing with a nine-stitch cut to his
face, suffered when a Lethbridge
player intentionally elbowed him
on Friday night.
The former national team
member also looks to be running
away with the Canada West scor-
ingtitle. Currently Jackson has219
points, averaging 27.4 per game,
well ahead of Victoria's Tom Johnson with 170 points or 21.3 per
game.
UBC's conference won-lost
record now stands a 6-2. The
Thunderbirds host the Alberta
Golden Bears, tied with the Calgary
Dinosaurs for second place with 5-
3 records, this weekend at War
Memorial Gym.
The Bears moved into second
by sweeping the Saskatchewan
Huskies, ranked number one in the
country heading into the weekend.
With the losses the Huskies fell to
4-4.
Game times are 7:45 pm on
both Friday and Saturday nights at
War Memorial Gym.
Canada West Standings
W L F     A   Pet. GBL
UBC 6 2 741 643 .750 —
Alberta 5 3 619 604 .625 1/2
Calgary 5 3 650 643 .625 1/2
Saskatchewan 4 4 727 718 .500 1
Victoria 2 6 631 654 .250 2
Lethbridge 2 6 609 715 .250 2
Women's Basketball
The women's team also swept
Lethbridge to improve their Canada
West record to 4-4 and earn a ninth
place in this week's national
rankings.
The Thunderbirds won 73-62
on Saturday behind a 21 point effort from Carrie Carlson and 14
rebounds from Cheryl Kinton. On
Friday, UBC won 63-59 in overtime.
The women host the Alberta
Pandas this Friday and Saturday
nights at War Memorial. Game time
is 6 pm both evenings.
Canada West Standings
W L     F     A  Pet. GBL
Victoria 8 0 617 363 1.000 —
Lethbridge       4 4 512 501 .500 2
UBC 4 4 489 558 .500  2
Alberta 3 5 451 505 .325 2-1/2
Saskatchewan 3 5 475 541 .325  2-1/2
Calgary 2 6 469 545 .250  3
Men's Swimming
The men's swim team toppled
the national champion Calgary
Dinosaurs 104-69 in a dual meet in
Calgary on Sunday after a 118-65
victory over the Alberta Golden
Bears in Edmonton on Saturday.
World ranked swimmers
Turlough O'Hare and Kevin
Draxinger and teammate Ron Page
led the way with three wins each as
the Thunderbirds won eight of 11
events in Calgary.
One week earlier,
Thunderbirds coach Tom Johnson,
who doubles as coach ofthe Pacific
Dolphins was named to the Canadian Olympic team coaching staff.
Women's Swimming
The women's team, meanwhile,
rebounded from a 93-81 loss to the
Alberta Pandas on Saturday to beat
the Calgary Dinosaurs 99-41 on
Sunday. In all, the women won five
races on Saturday and seven on
Sunday.
Anne Barnes, Carmen
Boudreau and Sally Gilbert won
two races each in the win over
Calgary.
Both teams host the University of Washington at the Aquatic
Centre this Friday evening at the
Aquatic Centre, starting at 7 pm.
In November, UBC narrowly
edged the Seattle school 152-150 in
the annual Husky Relays. It was
the first time the Husky's had lost
their home event in 25 years.
As well, the Thunderbirds will
compete in the US Swim Senior
Circuit meet at the Goodwill Games
Pool in Seattle this Saturday and
Sunday.
Volleyball
Both the women's and the
men's teams used a break from
Canada West play to participate in
tournaments over the weekend.
The women overcame the
Alberta Pandas 3-1 (15-7, 16-14,
13-15,15-8) to take fifth place in the
Super Volley Tournament in
Saskatoon.
And the men ended up in sixth
place, losing to Montreal in their
last game, attheWinnipegWesmen
Invitational.
Both teams remain eighth in
the national rankings as they head
back into the Canada West fray
this weekend when they travel to
Edmonton to take on the Alberta
... see SPORTS, page 7
Welcome to the Age
of Getting Even
by Cheryl Niamath
This is not a
jungle! It's a
civilization!
—Petie Maxwell,
Love and Anger
Five minutes into the
Vancouver Playhouse production
of Love and Anger, you start to feel
like you're trapped in a sit-com in
which everybody's yelling at you
for reasons beyond your control.
Once you get used to the noise,
however, you're hit in the face with
the message ofthe play. Over and
over and over.
Theatre
Love and Anger
Queen Elizabeth Playhouse
Jan 7 - Feb 1
It's not that there's anything
wrong with the message. Canadian playwright George F. Walker
pits ''spiritually renewed" born-
again lawyer Petie Maxwell (Bill
Dow) against the powers of greed
and corruption in the shape of evil
newspaper magnate "Babe
Connor" (Stephen E. Miller) and
his shifty lawyer Sean Harris
(Norman Browning).
Petie wants to reform the legal system (item number one on
his Hit List, which also includes
Religion, Government and Medicine). He lets his anger guide him
as he tries to make the world a
better place for "the marginal, the
disturbed and the disenfranchised."
Helping him in his secret plot
to overthrow society are three unusual women. Gail Jones (Melanie
Nicholls-King) has hired Petie to
get her wrongly-convictedhusband
out of jail. Eleanor Downey (Sheila
Moore) works as Petie's secretary
and is obsessed with cleaning up
his hole-in-the-ground basement
office. Sarah Downey (Connie
Bill Dow, Corrine Koslo and Norman Browning in the Vancouver
Playhouse production of Love and Anger
Koslo), Eleanor's insane sister, is
convinced that society's problems
are caused by "bigbeefy white guys
in big white tractor trailers."
Dow and Koslo radiate the
insanity-tinged energy needed to
carry the play. Koslo, especially, is
amazing as she zips around the
stage in a quilted dressing gown,
shrieking when she sees that the
toppings on the pizza she is about
to eat are all stuck together, and
conning Babe and Sean into believing she is Petie's associate.
Miller presents a scary portrayal of the evil Babe, but his
character is too one-sided to care
about very much. Nicholls-King's
performance as a distraught wife
who desperately wants to get her
husband out of jail was a bit stiff in
the opening scenes, but very believable by the end.
Sometimes the slapstick
humour of the play detracts from
the gravity of Walker's charges
against society, which is perhaps
the reason why the underlying
messages are repeated so many
times. And sometimes the juxtaposition of cheap laughs and seri-
ousissuesisjarringand just doesn't
work.
Comedy aside, however, Love
and Anger sets out some very important ideas to be thought about,
talked over and acted upon.
CHERYL NIAMATH PHOTO
Dancers of the Chinese Youth Goodwill Mission visited UBC as the first step of a 9-city North American
tour. Members of the 18-member troupe are students from colleges and universities throughout Taiwan.
12/THE UBYSSEY
January ±4,1992 Middle East conflict
by Lucho van Isschot
Deadly Currents, a documentary film by Canadian director
Simcha Jacobovici, is about the
long-standing political and ideological currents that divide the
Palestinian and Jewish peoples in
Israel.
FILM & LECTURE
Deadly Currents
SUB
January 13
Jacobovici takes the viewer on
a two-hour journey inside Israel's
occupied territories to meet the
people whose lives have been torn
apart in the age-old conflict.
He invites the viewer on the
one hand to mourn with the family
of a slain Palestinian rebel and, on
the other hand, to share the sombre reminiscences of an injured
Israeli soldier.
As such, both Intifadah militants and Israeli soldiers are depicted as complex, individual
people.
The camera shifts its focus
intermittently, taking the viewer
inside the offices and living rooms
of academics and analysts. In these
sequences, the historical backdrop
of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
is illuminated in all of its complexities.
While some of these expert
observers offer words of hope, most
offer warnings—warnings that a
devastating, decisive battle may
have to be fought to decide Israel's
fate.
Jacobovici himself tends to be
more optimistic about the future.
■"I am optimistic in the long
run but pessimistic in the short
run," Jacobovici said at a UBC
screening of Deadly Currents on
Monday afternoon.
Jacobovici believes that dialogue is still possible between the
two conflicting sides and he hopes
that his film may help to spark
some debate.
In early December, for instance, the film was shown in Israel
to a mixed audience of Jewish and
Palestinian people. According to
Jacobovici, the film was well-received by both sides.
"I don't think that this film
will bringpeace to the middle east,"
he said, "I don't think that George
Bush can bring peace to the middle
east either."
In his effort to facilitate discussion, Jacobovici has
endeavoured to bring the larger
political issues ofthe conflict down
to a human level. Jacobovici has
tried, moreover, to challenge the
prevailing stereotypes about Palestinian and Jewish peoples.
"Often Palestinians are depicted as terrorists, if you are
against them, or victims if you
support them. But rarely do you
see them depicted as human beings," Jacobovici said.
Jacobovici is careful to recognize his personal point of view as
well: his perspective as an outsider
and a film-maker.
"I try to remind people that
there is authorship behind the
images...that I am making editorial
decisions," said Jacobovici, who
added "-...ultimately, I am making
a film."
~  Canada's foreign secret
by Jonathan Wong
PULITZER prize-winning
journalist Alfonso Chardy
(Iran-Contra Affair) ofthe Miami
Herald once sarcastically suggested that the most effective way
to interest Americans in international affairs is to convert it into a
TV game show.
"If Americans could vote
every day by television on
whether to give aid to Nicaragua
or to El Salvador I think they'd
love it, it'd be like Wheel of
Fortune on a planetary scale," he
said.
Not too much unlike a few
political science classes. The
number of war casualties and
damage would just be points on a
scoreboard.
FILM
Diplomatic Immunity
Royal Centre
The other way to arouse
interest is to turn the game into a
movie. And that's just what 39-
year-old writer-producer Steve
Lucas did—but it took almost ten
years.
And, it paid off.
His first feature film,
Diplomatic Immunity, earned
four 1991 Genie Award nominations and recently won top prize
at the 25th Cannes Winter Film
Festival.
Lucas spent nine years
travelling to El Salvador and with
director Sturla Gunarsson raised
a meagre $2.7 million to create a
90-minute Canadian feature in
Morelos, Mexico.
Trouble followed the film
everywhere. After strange
incidents occurred during the
film's rainy-season plagued
production, the film crew hired a
local witch. Equipment had
malfunctioned and many ofthe
staff had been struck by illnesses.
The crew's Mexican head, Beto
Arellanos, had also been killed in
a car accident.
Originally intended to be a
documentary on torture victims
in El Salvador, Diplomatic
Immunity focuses on the questionable role of a Canadian
Diplomat (Wendei Meldrum) in
El Salvador.
The film documents a
symbolic scenario of Canadian
Foreign Policy: an anonymous
government source sends a well-
intentioned, but naive, Canadian
envoy with the aura of a do-
gooder to a foreign country
plagued by a complex situation
(in this case, civil war).
A small Canadian housing
compound is Canada's simplistic
band-aid solution for homeless
Salvadorans (remember Ethiopia). It doesn't work, so the
diplomat is sent to resolve the
problem—in two weeks.
She brings with her sanitized
Canadian values and soon finds
out they are incompatible with
civil war. Inevitably, her path is
also crossed by American strategists.
The film—a city rarity for
being Canadian—was funded by
the usual limited sponsors for
Canadian film-makers: Telefilm
Canada, The National Film
Board, CBC and UK's Channel 4,
which has a mandate to fund
alternative films.
Though powerful in documenting the emotional trauma of
war, the film exaggerates
Canadian influence in foreign
affairs—perhaps an indication of
an overweight Canadian prestige.
An American diplomat even
ridicules: The only difference a
Canadian makes is in their head."
Canadians have not had "real
responsibility," he insists. And
they act accordingly.
There is a ring of truth,
however.
In the end, Salvadoran
characters, by far the film's best
performers, simply become
expendable points on the cinematic scoreboard, and Canadian
players, immune from expense.
Challenging stereotypes, a Mayworks artist puts the finishing touches on a painting depicting an Asian
woman in the workplace. ma chia-nien photo
Something's fishy at the Com
by Graham Cook
I FINALLY made it to a
Fishbone concert and
although it fulfilled my high
expectations, it also confirmed
my worst fears.
I've been a Fishbone fan
since the In Your Face EP, and I
had tried to see them when I was
18, but was ID'ed. Worst of all,
my friend Ben got in just because
he had coloured hair and better
stubble.
CONCERT
Fishbone
The Commodore
January 12
Two more concerts came and
went (I was out of the city both
times), and it seemed that me
and The Bone were fated never
to meet; at least, until last
Friday at the Commodore.
It started well. Mystery
Machine, 1991 Shindig winners
from Chilliwack, gave a great
opening set of guitar noise and
the bassist did look a great deal
like Shaggy.
Then Fishbone leapt on
stage, and the proverbial crowd
went proverbially wild. Most of
their songs were off the new
album, which I found lacked the
direction and force of, say, Truth
and Soul. However, the new
songs translated really well to
the stage, and the fabled
Fishbone energy, power, funk,
and buckets-o-sweat were in full
force.
I felt a sense of foreboding
when they played Naz-tee May-
en with such gusto—a song they
bill as a "celebration of heterosexuality" with the chorus "Me
gay? No way!" I wonder what
Fishbone would say if their
friends the Red Hot Chili
Peppers wrote a song with the
chorus "Me black? No way!" and
billed it as a "celebration of
Aryan ancestry."
Well, the adrenalin was
pumping, the crowd was jumping, and lead singer Angelo was
bumping and grinding to make a
large portion ofthe audience
swoon. One swooner was shouting from the audience about
wanting to dance with Angelo,
and was brought up on stage.
Angelo, after getting her to
make a power sign with her fist,
started holding her, and the
band broke into the finale ofthe
set, "Subliminal Fascism".
Suddenly, Angelo was pulling/
flinging the woman from one side
ofthe stage to the other, then
began climbing on top of her with
an evil grin.
The woman seemed pretty
shocked about the whole thing. It
begs another question: would
Angelo enjoy a Chilis show
where a black man from the
audience was pulled around the
stage by a noose? Simulated rape
constitutes a similar "entertainment."
All artists display contradictions, especially those who
espouse progressive beliefs while
operating in the big business of
popular music. However, the
concert shattered my respect for
what I loved about Fishbone:
their mix of powerful music and
an explicit, positive message.
Obviously, funk and rock
and roll are always about sex at
some level, but to me, Fishbone
used to represent a way of being
sexy and strong in a liberating
rather than a dominating way.
The concert unfortunately
gave a glimpse ofthe real
"subliminal fascism" that lurks
behind many "progressive"
acts—the fascism of patriarchy.
January 14,1991
THE UBYSSEY/13 Misrepresentation
Of the roughly 33,000 students and
staff on campus, about 33% are people
of colour. This reflects a swift change in
UBC's ethnic face—a microcosm of
British Columbia.
But UBC is far from reaching campus
representation in its power structure
despite being pressured by provincial
legislation to appropriate 10% of its employment positions to "visible minorities".
Visibly, it is apparent that a majority
of these positions have tended to be
clerical, janitorial or cafeteria-related
What message is the administration
trying to send? Can it be that the intelligence of people of colour is at question?
Suspicion, however, has gone beyond
intelligence.
Two years ago, a customer entered a
UBC Food Services outlet and submitted a formal complaint to the
adminstration concerning two cafeteria
employees who spoke to each other in a
language other than English. The customer felt the employees were making
fun of the customer.
Immediately, the administration reacted be issuing a new regulation: English must be spoken at all times during
work. Those who did not would face the
possibility of a lay-off.
It was clear that the administration
condoned the paranoia ofthe customer.
It -was clear the employees were not
consulted about their conversation. It
was clear there was a lack of respect for
these employees.
It is this type of open fear and ignorance that has played a major role in
nourishing segregation on campus. And
when it comes from the campus' ivory
tower, the repercussions are more than
minor.
the Ubyssey
January 14,1992
The Ubyssey is published Tuesdays and Fridays by the
Alma Mater Society ofthe University of British Columbia.
Editorial opinions are those ofthe staff and not necessarily those of the university administration, or of the
sponsor. The editorial office is room 241K ofthe Student
Union Building. Editorial Department, phone 822-2301;
advertising, 822-3977; FAX 822-9279.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of
Canadian University Press
It was > quiet Monday night when the Ubyssey dance troupe trooped into
the Pit Pub. Dashing Dianne Rudolf and the Graceful Grahams- Coleman and
Cook opened the evening with a spectacular revolving human pyramid that was
iragically destroyed by Chung Wong's otherwise wonderful waltzing Raul
Peschiera's pleasant plies restored artistic symmetry and the dance went on.
Nikola Marin did the Disco Duck, while Victor Wong square danced around her.
Mathematical Matthew Johnson and Bohemian Bob Forcier did the cha cha cha.
Farhat Khan and Matthew Martin did a proud poka while Marvelous Martin
Chester, Funky Franka Cordua-vonSpecht and Elegant Effie Pow all joined hands
lo circle the ring and Maik Nielsen presented his most astounding astro-new-age
withering in the center. Crazy Karlyn Koh added a dramatic element to the dance
by torching the Pit. Instantaneously Yukie Kurahashi and Paula Wellings joined
he dance of the rising flames, while Spinning Sam Green performed the lawn
sprinkler dance. Fire person Wanda Starfish lead the troupe in the STOP! DROP!
and ROLE! but Yggy Jo (the) King was all shook up from rolling, so tangoed
terrifically with Ted Young-Ing, whose wet sneakers were squeaky. Carla
Maftechuk arrived on the scene to announce that the first movement was complete
and lead the madly tap dancing Lucho Van Isschot away.
The slightly soggy, slightly charred Pit Pub was silent. Steve Chan's
favourite socks were ruined and a guy called Jason was none too happy. Suddenly
roller-disco Paul Gordon burst into his favorite Oliva Newton-John song and
Sharon Lindores really did believe she was magic. Cheryl Niamath began to clap
along and Sam Green was stamping her feet. Don Mah lead the troupe in a friendly
mosh and Carol Hui pirouetted for world peace. All was well in the world, and even
Paul Dayson jived gently.
Editors
Paul Dayson  • Sharon Undores  •  Carla Maftechuk
Raul Peschiera  •  Effie Pow
Photo editor • Paul Gordon
-UrNe-m?
Letters
Bouncing
all the way
to the bank
Last night I waited in
the line up to the Pit Pub for
three hours. I was not surprised that there was a long
line up because it was the
first Wednesday night ofthe
year. Nor was I surprised
that after waiting at the end
of the line for twenty minutes I heard the fact that it
was possible to pay ten dollars and be allowed in the
back door circulating
through the line, this is common knowledge to anyone
who frequents the bar on
Wednesdays. What did surprise me was the extent to
which this bribery occurred.
During the five minutes
that I stood outside the exit
to see if there was any risk
involved, I sawthree parties,
nine people in total, discreetly press money into the
large bouncer's hand and
walk freely inside. I soon
r eali ze d that the Pit security
could stand to make several
hundred dollars in one busy
night, all tax free, if they
simply held the line at the
door long enough to provide
those with ten extra dollars
a good enough reason to cooperate with their scheme.
The Ubyssey welcomes letters on any Issue. Letters must be typed and are not to exceed 300 words in lergth. Content
which Is Juried to be libelous, homophobic, sexist, racist or factually incorrect will not be published. Please be concise.
Letters may be edited for brevity, but It is standard Ubyssey policy not to edit letters for spelling or grammatical mistakes.
Please bring them, with Identification, to SUB 241K. Letters must Include name, faculty, and signature.
There seem to be only
three options for thirsty
people at the Pit. Either you
have to arrive in the early
afternoon to avoid the line,
or face waiting in line for
several hours, or pay the
Security to let you inside,
unless the manager or the
AMS does something to stop
this injustice.
David Halmai
Arts 2
Only a
fabrication
Ian Weniger ofthe coalition against the Reform
Party began his Ubyssey
letter (Jan 7) with "Robert
Christian says he can't find
anything racist, sexist, or
anti-gay about... William
Gairdner..." Well, I didn't
say that. What I did say I
couldn't find was a certain
definition (see the next
paragraph) and evidence,
anywhere, for The Reform
Party's sexist, racist, and
anti-working class politics,"
this expression having come
from a letter by a Mr. Don
Holmsten. The above "anti-
gay" is a fabrication, as is
the "William Gairdner."
Mr. Weniger's next
paragraph began with "The
Ubyssey suggests some page
numbers for the fans at
home."AsinterpretedbyMr.
Weniger, this happens to be
a distortion. The Ubyssey's
title to my letter was an echo
of my question "Will Mr.
Holmsten please come up
with a page reference?" Not
page references as interpreted by Mr. Weniger, but
a page reference to an explicit definition. Specifically,
about Mr. Holmsten's claim
that William Gairdner explicitly defines "real" Canadians as white, Anglo-saxon
Protestants in his book The
Trouble With Canada. (As of
this writing, no appropriate
page reference has shown
up. I suspect that Mr.
Holmsten's claim is another
fabrication.)
Next, the passages
quoted by Mr. Weniger as
"racist" simply aren't racist,
with no mention of racial
determination of culture or
ofracial superiority. They're
not at all like the racist stuff
put out by the National Socialist German Workers'
Party (the Nazis) during the
years 1933-1945. (Now that
regime was racist.)
Next, the passage
quoted as "sexist" simply
isn't sexist! Anti-radical
feminist, perhaps, but not
sexist. I believe that many
realistic, intelligent
women—for example, those
i n the group REAL women—
would find nothing wrong
with the opinions expressed,
and would oppose contrary
opinions.
Finally, Weniger ended
his letter by labelling
Gairdner's book as "out and
out WASP bigotry." This is
simply absurd, and backed
by no evidence whatever.
Robert Christian
Dept of Mathematics
(Retired)
Your letter
This could have been
your letter. Instead of reading the mindless drivel of
Ubyssey staffers or readers,
you could churn out mindless drivel of your very own.
Not that it's all mindless drivel of course—some
of our drivel is of top-notch
quali ty, hardly surpassed by
any in the province (that's
BC of course (not)). Get your
name in lights ... send us
something, anything, well
most likely print it, as long
as you don't say anything
too nasty or too long (see
guidelines above).
This could have been
your letter. (Note sophisticated use of the sandwich
effect.)
Writer's rights
Surprise, surprise!
What is a 432 writer who
has expressively criticized
The Ubyssey doing with an
article in here? To make a
point about UBC "journalism" and the rights of the
writer.
Many people have come
to realize that The Ubyssey
has failed to effectively represent the opinions and
ideas of its directed audience, the UBC student
populace. However, this is
also true of The 432, The
Underground, The nEUS-
lettre, and The Independent.
The truth is, these
publications are merely the
product ofthe efforts of fellow students. In order to
presentinternal unity, their
editors have to make specific decisions as to which
articles are included and
which are excluded.
This gives rise to a
"publication personality"
which, unfortunately, tends
to supersede that of many of
its contributing writers.
When publications conflict, writers get dragged
along in the tide. Cases in
point: The nEUSlettre vs
The Ubyssey (over the water
balloon-urination incident);
the Independent (and everyone else) vs. The (Politically
Correct) Ubyssey; and the
432 (SUS) "War" against
the nEUSlettre (EUS).
Also, columnists may be
taken     for  	
granted by
their editors
who assume
unquestionable dedication. Some, like
myself, may suffer "editorial
abuse."
My titles have be
changed, my words have
been subtly altered, and just
recently (The 432, Version
5.05, November 20, 1991),
my name had been changed
to read "Chuck" Cho. Why
do I care? I care because it is
my name above that article
and (at least) it is my words
that are printed.
It is as if someone edits
your letter to a friend before
it gets there. As a former
editor of a school newspaper, I know the dilemmas
involved in editing an article. The writer is not always reachable.
The deadline is nearing and
there is a huge blank space
on your layout. The article
doesn'tlook appropriate, but
with a few
Perspective
minor alterations
(the title, a
few key
words), it would be print
ready.
What do you do? Take it
as it is or leave it. Sure,
grammatical mistakes must
be corrected, but the tone
and message of the article
must not be tampered with
without the consent of the
author.
Editors, ideally, should
contact the writer and go
over uncertain areas together to reach an agreement. The editor's reputation may be at stake, but
the writer's is just as important.
A publication is nothing without writers. Opinions and ideas should be
freely communicated; it
should not be a surprise
when the final copy hits the
stands.
If you are a writer for a
school publication, or wish
to become one, stand up for
your rights to the integrity
of your creation and don't
compromise your rights for
the sake of publication.
[End of tirade.]
Charlie Cho
Science 1
Perspectives is a column of humour,
wit and opinion open to all members of the UBC community. Submissions to the column cannot be
the responses to published letters or
articles and we suggest that they
not be time specific for they run only
as space permits. Please include
name and phone number.
14/THE UBYSSEY
January JL4,1992 OP/ED
Dougla: African/Indian, Black/Aryan my father/my self
by Nikola Marin
One of the more con*
founding elements of doing
anti-racist work in North
Americais that I'm constantly
getting sucked into this vortex—the binary abyss of so-
called "race relations." I experience constant pressure to
cleave my own hybridized
background in two. My genealogy, myhistory, my tongue,
myself—all of these are sacrificed to the cleaver. Black.
White. Black. White. How can
I communicate/articulate/
name the non-polar me across
this chasm? Without
(re)constructing myself in a
public or fixed way, this is
one attempt.
* * *
My father can be confusing. He refers to himself as
white or black depending on
what rhetorical point he is
trying to make at the time.
Often he castigates "those
niggers" with the othering
tone of a plantation owner. I
remember how he said, when
be saw me at sixteen (for the
first time in four years), "God,
you're looking like a nigger
these days!" almost as if to
imply some doubt about my paternity. The evidence of my
paternity,however, was forever
in my face, so to speak, in the
form of my classmates'
favourite morning lines:
• "Marin, does you get up at 5
o'clock to sharpen your nose or
what?"
• "Marin ehn't playin' she have
a long nose, eh?"
• "Oo-goood! watch yu nose nah
man, yu go cut mih!"
Nor is the father immune
to physiological chastisement.
His mother says to him, "What's
become of you? You used to
have grey eyes and good good
hair."
At times he refers to his
Jewish ancestry, his father's
conversion to Catholicism, his
brother Ricardo who skipped
out on his compulsory military
service in Venezuela—now a
casual exile, the Bhaghan side
ofthefamily.„.Myfather's side
of the family speaks Spanish
when they don't want me to
understand, my mother's side
French. I am the monolingual
dud who can barely even eavesdrop.
Incident: My father derides an absent acquaintance
who pretentiously refers to his
"swarthy" complexion as legacy
of his "Moorish" ancestry.
A childhood memory:
Five years old. I am standing in
front of my father who is seated
on the couch. He teaches me to
curl my fist with arm upraised
and head bowed. The Black
Power Symbol. He falls back on
the couch, writhes, his eyes wet
with belly laughs. "Do it again!"
he urges between guffaws. This
is his favourite activity next to
dryingmyhair with the vacuum
cleaner.
Favourite books: "He had
it right in Black and White,"
my father says of Naipaul, "divide the world in two and put
black people on one side, whites
on the other." And where would
you be father dearest, I think to
myself.
His motto: "If you want to
play you crazy, I could be plenty
crazier than you." I wonder,
could a black man get away
with such an antic disposition?
White Privilege.
A story he tells me: One
of his profs at York answers his
question with a question, "Mr.
Marin, where are you from?"
His silence is taken for impudence (whereas he is searching
for the most polite way to respond). After class, he approaches the instructor and
tells her he is from "Alpha
Centauri." He recounts this
and anything Canadian with
evident anger.
Refrain: swarthy complexions, Moorish ancestry. For
twenty years no one in my family ever refers to themselves as
being of African descent. Then
my father tells me his great
grandmother was East African.
He knewher while she was still
alive and she made a lasting
(and favourable) impression.
He says, with a flush of colour,
that people tell him he looks
Sumerian.
Rastafarian phase: When
my father was in his rasta phase
he would say to my mother,
"Woman, don't put no pork in
the beans!" But we would be
having coq-au-vin for dinner
and Mr. Ital-man would eat
it all the same. I used to
chuckle at the thought of my
pale-faced, balding accountant father in shirtjack,
briefcase and ever-present
pimp-boots (you know the
ones) hanging out with the
rastas at Waterhole, which
was across the highway from
Ocean Avenue where we
lived. Ocean Avenue was
more commonly known in the
area as "white people street"
We lived in an iguana-green
house at the end of it—aero s s
from some Canadians with
big dogs who never validated
my Canadian-ness.
Depression: It took my
father longer to recover from
the realization he was not a
Rastafarian than it took for
him to recover from the news
that he had the sperm count
of a seventy-year-old man.
My father gloats after
overhearing Mrs. Gomez tell
a loiterer, "Don't go back
there, you know. That Mr.
Marin is a very par-tic-u-lar
man."
X
o
-tfu 'P.me'M
(oraTJhajt Jwlpobt'O
tM
No soul
for Voth
Having read the numerous
responses to David Voth's letter, I
feel that one important factor has
been left out entirely. Voth asks
where the right to have an abortion comes from, and I, in return,
ask him: When did a woman's
right to control her own body end?
A woman's right to control
her own body ended with the
coming of patriarchal societies
around the world. The notion of
abortion being outlaxedcame from
these societies founding fathers'
blatant and irrational fear of
women, particularly the midwives
(read: witcheds) who performed
the abortions. Only after new,
man-made laws laws were imposed did this notion find its way
into holy scriptures.
Abortion was not classified
as a crime in Europe until the
19th century. Up until 1869, Pope
Pius X announced that God had
either misinformed the church
about how a fetus obtains a soul or
he had decided to alter his method
and, in either case, a fetus now
receives a soul at conception. Divine law followed human law.
In Canada, abortion appears
to be a moral (read: Christian)
issue. It is an error to state that
the Catholic church has ever really
cared about fetuses, as it burned
or drowned numerous pregnant
women in medieval times without
hesitation. The real reason this
'moral' issue ever began was a
result of patriarchal societies" insistence in controlling women.
All of this information is
available in the well researched
Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths
and Secrets, by Barbara Walker,
a book Voth should read if he has
any other such questions.
Cecilia Araneda
Faculty of Graduate Studies
January 14,1991
THE UBYSSEY/15 FEATURE
Diary: They live alone (viven solos)
by Jonathan Wong
BARRANQUILLA—As night
falls, Antonio, 14, Ralph, 12
and Charlie, 4, sleep on the cracked
concrete floor of an abandoned
house.
"The walls protect usfrom cold
night winds," says Antonio, the
leader of the three Colombian
brothers.
The house, which still hints of
its glorious colonial past, has been
unattended for at least a decade as
modernized settlements migrated
toward the suburbs.
"Tomorrow, we will work 12
hours," says a voice emanating
from Antonio's silhouette. Ralph
and Charlie sit cross-legged a few
feetacross from their brother in
this dark room and they plan
tomorrow's strategy for earning
money.
POWAQQATSI—an
entity, a way oflife,
which consumes the
life forces of other
beings in order to
further its own life.
Their aunt who lives in a distant squatter's district, a 3-hour
bus ride across town, has given
them a bag of pastries for income.
Antonio and Charlie will sell pastries and Ralph will take his turn to
beg.
By the end of tomorrow's shift,
they hope to accumulate an
equivalent of 50 cents to buy two
pieces of bread and an egg for little
Charlie whose front teeth have
been knocked out. It will be
tomorrow's meal.
At midnight, the three boys
fall asleep.
After a deep sleep through the
whistling wind, they awake at 6am
to the sound of a Saturday street
sweeper who clears leaves and fills
up pot holes for the hundred-plus
BMWs and Mercedes that pass
duringthe day. The sweeper, there
every morning, earns his bread
with tips.
After a quick stretch, the three
boys walk in a loose gait to El
Centro, the city's modern business
district, about a half hour from the
house. Maria, with her baby and
A cot
money dish, is already seated in
her usual station in front of the
clothing store. She converses with
11-year-old Sebastien Castillo
Buelbas, a wide-eyed"red-rag" kid,
who wipes BMW, Mercedes and
Chevorlet windshields with the
traditional red rag to earn dinero
for his school supplies. A month's
work will earn him a notebook.
He greets Miguel, a 22-year-
old deaf mute, also a red-ragger.
"How goes it," Sebastien signs.
"Fine," signs Miguel with a salute
and his trademark grin. "How
about you," he asks.
With his usual innocent look
of concern, Sebastien uses his index finger and slices his neck.
"Estoy limpio (I'm clean)," he says.
It's a street expression for being
broke.
Meanwhile, Antonio motions
Ralph away and walks with Charlie
to the fruit stand, their station for
the morning.
Across the street, Sebastian's
uncle Odulfo sells Malboro and
DuMaurier cigarettes on a wooden
stand that resembles a TV tray.
A block away, in front of the
five-star Hotel Del Prado, Octavio,
Sebastien's other uncle, sells hot
dogs.
He has high hopes for Sebastien's
future.
"He has kept his understanding of life despite the corruption
and violence that surrounds his
home," says the happy-go-lucky
vendor.
But Sebastien's opportunities
may be limited in a country where
povertyisassociated with darkness
of skin.
Sebastien, Octavio, Odulfo,
Antonio, Ralph, Charlie, Miguel
and Maria are all Black—a strong
community bonded by trust, but
economically strangled by the
paranoia and open prejudice ofthe
bourgeoisie.
BLACKS form about 4 per
cent of Colombia's population, but there has been no civil
rights movement. Black maids,
gardeners and cooks are common
images torich households. On construction sites, they are hard
labourers. In the streets, they are
beggars, but more often than not,
viewed as criminals by office workers and tourists.
On every corner, soldiers stand
with Uzis keeping a close watch on
each passerby. In Colombia, soldiers are landmarks of a economically prosperous neighborhood.
At the end of each hour,
Sebastien and Antonio walk to
Maria to hand their coins. She is
their banker.
At 5pm, Miguel hops onto a
multi-coloured bus and returns
across town to his distant home.
Hanging from the rear doorway,
he waves his red rag as he leaves.
Sebastien has earned 250 pesos
(an American dollar); Antonio,
Ralph and Charlie have earned
500 pesos, they will have bread
tonight.
The three brothers return to
their abandoned house and
Sebastien helps Octavio close up
his stand.
Later, Sebastien spends a few
minutes drawing a picture of El
Prado, a castle-like hotel. He has
never seen the inside. Security
guards prevent pobres, who aro
mainly Black, from entering.
I convince Sebastien, though
with difficulty, to go inside with
me for 15 minutes. To avoid difficulties with security, I give him
clean blue shirt, a Walkman, and
pair of sunglasses—fashion uncharacteristic to his community.
We enter the five-star juggernaut. In the courtyard pool, an
American sponsored high school is
holding an aqua ballet. The eyes of
Sebastien are greeted by several
camera flashes from local
paparazzi. He walks alone amidst
the glitter to the poolside. Next to
him, a boy ofthe same age holds a
camera in his hand and takes a
picture of him.
A pair of aqua ballerinas be-
A straw pagoda, chef and palm tree, seen for the first time
by Sebastien Castillo Buelbas.
gin their skit in colourful gear.
Sebastien sees colours he has never
seen before, technology (cameras,
speakers and the walkman) he has
never known. After five minutes
by the poolside, with his shades
off, he approaches me and tugs at
my arm.
"We should go," he says. "My
mother is waiting at home."
Sunday will be my last day in
Colombia. I invite Sebastien again
into the El Prado for lunch tomorrow. He agrees.
Before leaving, he buys me a
piece of fruit with a portion of his
day's earnings as a farewell gift.
UNIVERSALITY—it
is when you meet or
speak of someone
and you do not judge
that individual by
categorizing his/her
character. It is not
comparing someone
with people or
situations you have
known; it is to
understand human
needs, not to look for
credentials.
SUNDAY
At 1 lam, I meet Sebastien and
his older brother who sees him off.
Today, he enters the El Prado as
is—a dirt white shirt with brown
pants. The guards at the door are
guards I have passed alone at least
a hundred times. It would be taboo,
however, to bring a local Black
child into this hotel.
Servants at this hotel were
Black and trusted Sebastien; he
had come from their community.
With their cordiality, they made
his entrance smooth.
We changed into our swim-
gear and for the first time in his
life, Sebastien entered a public
swimming pool. In Barranquilla,
dark-skinned pobres are often not
considered public. The pool has a
fee out of reach to almost every
dark-skinned citizen.
Aftera20-minute dip, we head
to a straw pagoda, the hotel's dinner bar. Sebastien orders a una
comida de polio (a chicken dinner).
When it arrives (the first time
Sebastien is served in public),
Sebastien takes a few bites and
then raps it up in his napkin.
"Chicken is my mother's
favourite food," he explains. "She
does not often get a chance to eat
it."
His humility separated him
from several other street kids I
had known.
I order a Coca-Cola for him—
GRAPHIC BY SEBASTIAN CASTILLO BUELBAS
inaglass. It would be the first time
he would hold one.
After he takes a sip, he shouts,
"Are you trying to kill me?"
The bartender explains: "The
drink is way too cold for his throat,
he has never had ice cubes before.
In his neighborhood, there is no
refrigeration, there is no electric-
ity."
The day quickly winds down. I
return with Sebastien to his work
corner where he will meet his
brother. The street is empty. He
draws me two pictures and hands
them to me. One is of a bus that
takes him to his home in a barrio
called Palacio Plaza. The other is
of a building he sees everyday. I
was reminded ofthe Little Prince.
My cab arrives to take me to
the airport. He shakes my hand
and signals an untranslatable
street sign he usually reserves for
Miguel.
I leave and he sits alone on his
corner. His image become smaller
and smaller on the taxi's rear
The bus to El Palacio Plaza,
home.
GRAPHIC BY SEBASTI&M CASTILLO BUELBAS
16/THE UBYSSEY
January 14,1992

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