CANADA IS… WHAT?!

CANADA IS … WHAT?!  A ‘crowd-sourced’ and tactile critical inquiry into our collective notions of ‘Canada’

Here’s the thing. I’ve been invited to be this year’s speaker at the annual Vienna Lectures in Canadian Studies. While certainly an honour, the invitation has left me somewhat — well — speechless. Truly. It’s not that I don’t have things to say about Canada. The reason I showed up on the radar of the lecture series organizers is that I published a book about unbecoming Canadian nationalisms. But that was different. It was part of a larger conversation within and with this land called Canada. This is a new context, an unfamiliar landscape. So, I’m reaching out to you, within Canada and without.

Part litmus test, part call and response, I invite you to share your thoughts and impressions, dreams and nightmares, images and memories, hopes, fears and random musings about this place called Canada. I will engage your responses through tactile and task-based actions as a way to ground my inquiry into our diverse and varied, lived and imagined, relationships to this place/nation/construct called Canada.

Your responses will be integrated into a performance-based multi-media presentation I will give on June 2, 2021 at this year’s annual Vienna Lectures in Canadian Studies. Everyone is welcome to contribute, whatever your location or point of view. Contributions can be written, or image based.

To contribute: 

  • Send your responses by April 1, 2021, to helenevosters@gmail.com OR add them to the comments section below.
  • Share this invitation with your friends, family, community, students, colleagues, students, classmates…

Artist-scholar statement:

My work explores issues of state-sponsored or sanctioned violence, nationalism, and the role of artistic practices in mobilizing processes of critical engagement and collective reckoning. Drawing upon a labour aesthetic and a vocabulary of the everyday I construct task-based durational counter-memorial meditations that seek to engage the public in a dialogue about our collective relationship as multiply-located beings concurrently inhabiting and manifesting history.

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