By Brittany Tiplady
Local artists Ashlee Luk, Nancy Lee and Soledad Muñoz wanted to see more inclusivity, more intersectional feminism, and more non-binary arts events in Vancouver. So they created a symposium of their own.
CURRENT: A Pacific Northwest Feminist Electronic Art Symposium is one of the first events of its kind and is taking place this Friday, July 28 to 30 at Railtown’s VAL Villa and The Hive. CURRENT is a recipient of the City of Vancouver Community Arts Grant, and will be offering a weekend filled with panels, art installations, performances, workshops, and youth mentorships celebrating and focusing on women and non-binary artists.
”I think what’s special about the symposium is that it has been shaped by our own embodied experiences, and frustrations working as artists and organizers in the electronic art, sound, and technology realms,” said organizer Soledad Muñoz, founder of the all-women electronic label Genero.
“I personally feel empowered knowing that as a cultural producer I am able to challenge the norm, and gain a sense of urgency, which is so needed for women and non-binary artist in our community.”
The weekend will feature panels that discuss everything from event planning and mobilizing women/non-binary artists, to better allyship, and intergenerational knowledge sharing in the electronic arts & technology.
“I want to know how can we be in DIY spaces and at the same time, create safe spaces. For me, it’s important to resist. I’ve been resisting the patriarchy for a long time,” says Muñoz.
The intention of the symposium is to address and showcase issues within the electronic music and art industry and stimulate a more inclusive environment.
“The difference between this event and other events is that we are actually trying to perpetrate a feminist gesture. A lot of times I feel like these types of events are not as feminist as they could be. But we are women of colour in an electronic arts environment and we are tired of being minoritized,” says Muñoz.
Keeping inclusivity at the forefront, CURRENT is offering free admission for all panels to the public. The weekend pass to the symposium can be purchased online for only $30.
“We want to keep this accessible, and [money] can be a barrier to entry for a lot of people,” says organizer Nancy Lee.
“The real change comes when we all learn. What can white, cis males do to be better? That’s a conversation we need to have,” chimes Muñoz.
“We want to talk about our experiences as cultural producers and what barriers we have come across, but we also want to hear from allies and men, and people who are in positions of decision-making power. What can those people do to promote a more equal and inclusive landscape?” says Lee.
Brittany Tiplady is a part-time poet, a full-time Nasty Woman, and the co-founder ofLoose Lips Magazine. She loves the indoors, fast wifi, collecting maps, and a generous glass of red wine. She is a self-proclaimed wizard of time management, and a notorious loud talker with a penchant for all things Internet.