Mark your calendars for the 25th annual Eco Arts & Media Festival hosted by FES

Afronautic Research Lab by Camille Turner
Afronautic Research Lab by Camille Turner

This year, York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) will celebrate its 25th year hosting the Eco Arts & Media Festival, March 4 to 7.

The long-running celebration will feature three events in its 2019 iteration, including the Eco Arts & Media Festival Launch (March 4), the Afronautic Research Lab experience (March 5) and a closing cabaret (March 7). This year’s events are built around the theme “Past-Now, Future Generations,” which takes up the interconnection of all living things across time.

Eco Arts & Media Festival events

Eco Arts & Media Festival Launch, March 4, 5 to 7 p.m.
Where: Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies (HNES) Building, main floor
Cost: free

To launch this year’s festival, there will be an opening of two exhibitions in the ZIG ZAG Gallery that include nine designs created to uplift Black lives. These designs were part of an uplifting Black lives toolkit assignment designed by MES student LeRoi Newbold for the Community Art for Social Change course. The second exhibition is work from a current individual-directed study course examining art practice as research.

This exhibition will be activated by spoken word, poetry and creative writing readings with snacks and refreshments. All are welcome and the mic is open to anyone who wants to share their writing.

Afronautic Research Lab with artist Camille Turner, March 5, 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Where: Crossroads Ungallery, HNES, Room 283
Cost: free

Afronautic Research Lab by Camille Turner
Afronautic Research Lab by Camille Turner

York PhD student Camille Turner invites the York University community to the Afronautic Research Lab where three silent attendants guide visitors to join in examining documents. The Afronauts, descendants of the Dogon people of Mali, left Earth 10,000 years ago and have returned home to save the planet. Tackling one issue at a time, they invite citizen researchers to join them in their Afronautic Research Lab, currently confronting Canada’s historical amnesia. They do this by unveiling 18th-century newspapers and invite visitors to contemplate the ads posted by Canadian slave owners. This dark reading room provides the means for citizen researchers to reflect on how the past has shaped the present and points to the future.

The event includes contributions from MES students Danielle Smith and Sanique Walters.

Turner is an explorer of race, space, home and belonging. Straddling media, social practice and performance art, her work has been presented throughout Canada and internationally. This talk will present her research and projects revealing Black histories in Toronto. She has lectured at various institutions such as University of Toronto, Algoma University and the Toronto School of Art, and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design and York University’s Masters in Environmental Studies program where she is currently a PhD candidate.

Eco Arts & Media Festival Cabaret, March 7, 7 to 11 p.m.
Where: Tranzac Club, Toronto (292 Brunswick Ave.)
Cost: free

This event will close the festival, and include performances by faculty and students from FES, including:

  • the Environmental Music Collective;
  • Lisa Myers and Laura Pitkanen;
  • Bob Wiseman; and
  • Sergio Guerra.

For more information about the Eco Arts & Media Festival, visit the FES website.