The Foreshore: Session 15

Posted on Jun 12, 2017 in Events, Talk

[su_spacer size=”5″] A series of informal sessions of research and knowledge exchange.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

222 E Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC Canada

Please join us for these two short presentations followed by discussion.

In an approach to decolonization in tentacular thinking, an approach to staying with the trouble, making oddkin, and in a pitch darkness cast by the Enlightenment, Laiwan will speak nearby with recent research navigating creative practice that is, where and what is, distinct from human exceptionalism and instrumental logic.

Plowright will discuss his work with armed groups (some labelled ‘terrorists’), and the attempts to come to an understanding of them as human beings, rather than as monsters, criminals or deviants.


Laiwan is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator with a wide-ranging practice based in poetics and philosophy. Born in Zimbabwe of Chinese parents, her family immigrated to Canada in 1977 to leave the war in Rhodesia. She founded OR Gallery in 1983. Since 2000, Laiwan has been investigating embodiment through performativity, audio, music, improvisation, and varieties of media, so as to unravel and engage presence and bodily, emotional affect. Recent public commissions enable her to focus on issues of urban development, touching on poetic and philosophic themes related to current questions of environment and the built cityscape of Vancouver.

Will Plowright has 8 years of experience in conflict and disaster zones across Asia, Africa, and the Americas and focuses his doctoral research (UBC) on the use of child soldiers by non-state armed groups. Will also works with the organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), most recently in Afghanistan and the Central African Republic.



The Foreshore is a collaborative pursuit and shared space between Access Gallery and Other Sights. The Foreshore is inspired by the deep influence of the waterways on our cities and societies on the West Coast. As a place of unclear jurisdiction, and thus of contestation, friction, and constant movement, those who dwell in this zone must continually adapt to a changing environment. As a site it conjures histories specific to this region: narratives of trade and exchange, habitation and nourishment, resistance and violent erasure. Considering the potential of this zone as both concept and site, the project asks the following: How do we generate conditions of emergence? How can we take up space differently? How do we support unruly practices and futures?

Over the last 7 months, the storefront adjacent to Access’ gallery space at 222 East Georgia has hosted bi-weekly open discussion sessions informed by invited artists, writers, curators, and activists. Adding to this exciting program, we have launched an artist-in-residence series to provide space and time to artists interested in addressing questions of the foreshore.


Established as an non-profit artist-run centre in 1991, Access Gallery is platform for emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. For more information visit

Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation, the Burrard Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Gallery, NSB Reederei, and our committed donors, members and volunteers.

Other Sights gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council, The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15.

Image Credits: (Left) Laiwan, detail Barnacle City. 2016. video. Commissioned by the City of Vancouver. Image: John Fukushima. (Right) Will Plowright.