BIT Big Picture Committee Meeting

Members of the BIT Big Picture Committee standing and sitting together, posing for a group photo. There are 20 people all together, in 2 rows.

On February 27-28, 2020, the Bodies in Translation Big Picture Committee gathered at 10C in downtown Guelph, to connect around successes and strategies at the midpoint of the grant. BIT is a Partnership Grant, after all—we wouldn’t be what we are without the hard work and community of all of our wonderful partners!  ...  Continue reading

How a radical form of accessibility is pushing the boundaries of theatre performance

Dr. Carla Rice and Kayla Besse’s latest on Relaxed Performance in The Conversation Canada. Read it in full here.

Image description: a photo of Erin Ball performing at Cripping the Arts. Over the photo in white text, it says “Radical accessibility pushes boundaries of theatre
Carla Rice, University of Guelph and Kayla Besse, University of Guelph

Have you ever been nervous about going to the theatre?
Maybe you’re unfamiliar with theatre etiquette, maybe you have children or maybe you find it hard to stay still for hours feeling trapped in your seat. In Shakespeare’s day, theatregoers drank, ate and socialized their way through performance. ...  Continue reading

Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario

Thin white text on a black background reads: Coming September 14, 2019 to March 1, 2020 Bodies in Translation and the Guelph Civic Museum present: Into the Light: Eugenics and Education in Southern Ontario Guelph Civic Museum 52 Norfolk St, Guelph. Curated by: Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii'ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish

We invite you and your students to =&0=&=&1=&The exhibition will be featured at the =&2=& from =&3=& and will offer =&4=& to professors and courses addressing themes of diversity, inclusion, decolonization and reconciliation. You can book these in advance (details below) with the exhibition’s lead researcher Dr. Evadne Kelly, Post-doctoral Fellow at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice, University of Guelph, co-creator and co-curator of Into the Light, and Dawn Owen, Curator of Guelph Museums.

Museum Hours of operation are Tuesday – Sunday 10AM-5PM and Fourth Fridays of each month until 9PM. Admission is $6.00/person, and free on Fourth Fridays from 5PM-9PM.

Exhibition Overview

Into the Light examines local histories and ongoing legacies of racial “betterment” thinking in Southern Ontario that de-humanized and disappeared those who did not fit the normative middle-class lives of white, able-bodied settlers.

In the early to mid 20th century, eugenics (race improvement through heredity) was taught in a number of universities throughout Southern Ontario, including Macdonald Institute and the Ontario Agricultural College, two of the three founding colleges that formed the University of Guelph. Educational institutions played a significant role in the eugenics movement by perpetuating destructive ideas that targeted Indigenous, Black, and other racialized populations, poor, and disabled people for segregation in institutions, cultural assimilation and sterilization.

While eugenics sought to eradicate those deemed as “unfit,” this exhibition centres the voices of members of affected communities who continue to work to prevent institutional brutality, oppose colonialism, reject ableism, and foster social justice.

Into the Light is co-curated by Mona Stonefish, Peter Park, Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, Evadne Kelly, Seika Boye and Sky Stonefish. This exhibition of artistic, sensory, and material expressions of memory aims to bring one of Guelph’s dark secrets, as well as stories of survival, out of the shadows and into the light.

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Evadne Kelly: Dancing Spirit, Love, and War

We’re so excited to announce the publication of Evadne Kelly’s Dancing Spirit, Love, and War: Performing the Translocal Realities of Contemporary Fiji! Evadne is one of our brilliant postdoctoral researchers.

The cover of Evadne's book, in black and golden yellow. 4 dancers in grass skirts and making fists are at the top, above the title and author in yellow block print.
The cover of Evadne’s book, in black and golden yellow. 4 dancers in grass skirts and making fists are at the top, above the title and author in yellow block print.

This text explores meke, a traditional rhythmic dance accompanied by singing, signifies an important piece of identity for Fijians. Despite its complicated history of colonialism, racism, censorship, and religious conflict, meke remained a vital part of artistic expression and culture. Evadne Kelly performs close readings of the dance in relation to an evolving landscape, following the postcolonial reclamation that provided dancers with political agency and a strong sense of community that connected and fractured Fijians worldwide.

Through extensive archival and ethnographic fieldwork in both Fiji and Canada, Kelly offers key insights into an underrepresented dance form, region, and culture. Her perceptive analysis of meke will be of interest in dance studies, postcolonial and Indigenous studies, anthropology and performance ethnography, and Pacific Island studies.

Available for purchase now wherever you buy your books, and you can also read an excerpt on Google Books.

Brand Ambassadors Wanted: Menstrual Accessory

Do you menstruate, and are you interested in representing your menstruation experiences in creative ways?

A photo of Vanessa wearing all white, with one hand on her hip. She has hot pink Menstrual Accessory between her legs, and hot pink shoes. She's standing on a metro platform, with the tracks behind her.
A photo of Vanessa wearing all white, with one hand on her hip. She has hot pink Menstrual Accessory between her legs, and hot pink shoes. She’s standing on a metro platform, with the tracks behind her.

The Menstrual Accessory Menstruation Sponsorship and Ambassador program is exclusive membership to the ultimate elite menstruators and social influencers. Those who are leaders in their community and are passionately engaged in promoting menstruation. ...  Continue reading

Exploring Accessibility in the Canadian Theatre Landscape

Cover image of report with woman performing on a wheelchair

We’re so excited that the Relaxed Performance report we wrote in collaboration with British Council Canada is now out in the world!

Relaxed Performance (RP) is an accessibility practice which “invites bodies to be bodies” in theatre spaces, including in their movement and vocalizations. RP also involves technical modifications, which were introduced in RP training sessions across Canada over the past several years.

The report was written by Andrea LaMarre, Carla Rice, and Kayla Besse.

Click here for the report.

Image description: the cover image of the “Relaxed Performance: Exploring Accessibility in the Canadian Theatre Landscape” report. The background is black, and the text is white. The British Council and BIT logos are at the top. The photo is of Erin Ball, a performer with prosthetic legs, balancing on her hands on top of a wheelchair. She has tattoos on her arms, and is wearing a black body suit and looking directly at the camera.

Jeff Thomas on Disability Visibility Project

Alice Wong’s podcast episode #51 features an interview with Jeff Thomas, urban Iroquois photographer, artist, researcher, public speaker, curator and BIT collaborator. Jeff talks about racism, indigeneity, colonialism and how his photography re-contextualizes historical images of First Nations people.

To listen to podcast go to Disability Visibility Project.