Category: reviews


Coco Guzman’s The Demonstration installation reveals vulnerability of protest movements

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n their website, Coco Guzman begins the description of The Demonstration by quoting historian Eric Hobsbawm who writes that “next to sex, the activity combining bodily experience and intense emotion to the highest degree is the participation in a mass demonstration.” [pullquote-right]“Next to sex, the activity combining bodily experience and intense emotion to the highest degree is the participation in a mass demonstration.”[/pullquote-right]Like with sex, the participation on the front line of a demonstration, in an act of civil disobedience, or in any form of oppositional performance where you put your body on the line, the spectrum of experienced emotions...


Photo Exhibit Reveals Political Movements & Poverty in Manila

[Montréal, Québec, Canada 18°C] When I heard that Stefan Christoff was preparing for his second photo exhibit, I knew I had to go. His first one displayed photos from a trip he made to Lebanon. I bought one of the photographs in the exhibit of an image of Yasser Arafat stencilled onto a decaying wall in Burj el-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp. To me it symbolizes the dire circumstances faced by Palestinian refugees: a fading leadership, constant colonial encroachment and oppressive living conditions. It now hangs on my living room wall as a reminder that, despite its singular beauty, occupation is...


Africa, Canadian Mining Interests, Human Cargo and Re-education

[Montréal, Québec, Canada  18°C] Last night, I watched the five last episodes of the 2004 six-part television series, Human Cargo, directed by Brad Turner. I watched it on DVD borrowed from the well-stocked video library at La Grande Bibliothèque. The winner of seven Gemini Awards, including best director and best miniseries, the series follows parallel stories and characters closely related to human migration issues. The series is set mostly in Vancouver, where migrants seeking refugee status in Canada deal with the Immigration and Refugee Board’s (IRB) corruptibility, and in Burundi where a civil war between Tutsis and Hutus, exacerbated by...


Global Video Games for ‘Serious’ Gamers

[MONTRÉAL] I’ve always been a fan of video games, sometimes spending hours scouring through medieval landscapes blasting the crap out grotesque monsters or evil sorcerers. But I’ve recently come across a few video games that have a purpose to them other than pure entertainment. Rather than divert a player’s attention from the real world, these ‘serious’ video games attempt to bring a sense of reality to the screen.
One such gaming developer is Copenhagen-based Serious Games Interactive, which was founded in 2006 “to revolutionise the use of computer games for purposes beyond entertainment.” They initiated a series of video games called Global Conflicts that challenges 13- to 19-year-olds to be critical and reflective citizens (source: Serious Games Interactive)in a globalized world. They offer two versions of the game: one based in Palestine and the newer one in Latin America.