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Amplifying ideas that fly below the radar. We talk environmental and social justice, arts, culture, community-building and urban issues with featured guests. This podcast is produced by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement as a part of our Knowledge Democracy Project @ 312 Main — encouraging the meaningful exchange of ideas and information across communities. Hosted and currently produced by: Am Johal Alex Abahmed Alyha Bardi Fiorella Pinillos Kathy Feng Melissa Roach Paige Smith Vis ...
 
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Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and senior economist, Marc Lee, joins Am Johal to discuss the successes and failures of Canadian climate policies across the political spectrum. Marc speaks about the origins of the Climate Justice Project, and conceptualizes how reaching a net-zero carbon ec…
 
Community leader and climate justice activist Anjali Appadurai joins Am Johal for the second instalment of Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series. Anjali is a Climate Justice Lead at Sierra Club BC, the Sectoral Organizer for the Climate Emergency Unit, as well as the founder of Padma Centre for Climate Justice.Anjali and Am talk abo…
 
Squamish Nation Councillor and community leader Khelsilem joins Am Johal on this first episode of Below the Radar’s Climate Justice & Inequality series. In this episode, they discuss the climate crisis as a result of the colonial project, how climate change hits hardest for those already at a disadvantage, and the spaces where colonialism has exist…
 
Below the Radar dives into the call for a feminist economic recovery and a just transition with SFU School of Communication PhD Candidate Alicia Massie. Alicia is a Progressive Economics Fellow with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a Research Assistant and conference organizer with SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative. As a fe…
 
Critical theorist Alberto Toscano joins Am Johal in conversation about his work and writings, as he joins SFU as a visiting faculty member with the Digital Democracies Institute in SFU’s School of Communication.In this episode, they discuss Alberto’s writing on the philosophy of fanaticism, and conflicting discourse and counter-histories around the…
 
Javier Campos joins host Am Johal to discuss reframing the way we think about heritage. Javier is an architect and Principal Designer with Campos Studio, as well as the current president of Heritage Vancouver Society. Together, they explore what heritage means today as a living and changing concept. They discuss the dark roots of heritage, and how …
 
FoodShare’s Executive Director and lifelong anti-poverty activist Paul Taylor joins host Am Johal in this episode of Below the Radar. In this conversation, they delve into the work Paul has done in both Toronto and Vancouver with various activist organizations such as FoodShare, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, and Gordon Neighbourhood Ho…
 
Community-engaged scholar, current Researcher-in-Residence with SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative and food system planner Tammara Soma joins Am Johal on this episode of Below the Radar. She shares with us what drives her interest in food systems and sustainability, and their relationship to equity and justice. Tammara speaks to her experi…
 
Lawyer, climate storyteller, and founder of the UBC Climate Hub, Grace Nosek, joins host Am Johal on a mission — to publicly uncover feelings of ‘climate doom’ and ‘individual responsibility’ as narratives propelled by the fossil fuel industry. While leading this charge, Grace speaks about Exxon Mobil at the forefront of climate science — spinning …
 
Dancer, aerialist, choreographer and producer Gabrielle Martin joins host Am Johal on this episode of Below the Radar. Gabrielle tells us how her passion for dance has taken her from spinning fire in an East Van park, to touring the world with Cavalia and Cirque du Soleil, to choreographing and producing her own works.In the episode, they talk abou…
 
Taiko drumming enthusiast and specialist in modern and contemporary Japanese art Namiko Kunimoto, joins Am Johal on this installment of Below the Radar. Throughout this episode, Namiko explores Japanese imperialism, Olympic dissent, and the internment of Japanese Canadians; while drawing from the works of artists such as Takayama Akira and Shimada …
 
This final installment of the Power of Disability series highlights an unsung hero of the disability movement, Barb Goode. Host Al Etmanski is in conversation with Barb about her work around self-advocacy for people with learning and developmental disabilities. Barb speaks to the importance of plain language and the harm that comes from labelling p…
 
Below the Radar invites Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson into conversation about her latest album, Theory Of Ice, as a thinking through of water as a connector. She talks with host Am Johal about covering Willie Dunn’s “I Pity the Country,” and how her work aligns with, and is inspired by, a long tradi…
 
The Power of Disability host, Al Etmanski is joined by partners and disability advocates Tim Louis and Penny Parry. Tim is a lawyer, politician, and longtime leader of the disability movement within British Columbia. Penny has worked as a university professor, artist, and youth care practitioner. Tim and Penny share stories and learnings from 40 pl…
 
Below the Radar explores equity and public engagement in knowledge-making and learning with community-engaged scholars from the Honors Living-Learning Community at Rutgers University-Newark (HLLC). HLLC is a transformational college access program that aims to provide equitable opportunities to those that have been systematically disenfranchised.In…
 
Rabia Khedr, an activist, consultant, former Human Rights Commissioner and motivational speaker who ‘wears many hijabs,’ joins Al Etmanski for this Power of Disability conversation. They discuss Rabia’s advocacy and policy work within the disability community and the Muslim community; bringing a disability benefit, or basic income, to Canada; as we…
 
Glenn Alteen is a writer, curator, and co-founder of grunt gallery. Having retired after 36 years in May 2020, Glenn joins host Am Johal to talk about his tenure as Program Director of grunt gallery, and his work on The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency.In this interview, Glenn recalls the process of founding grunt gallery in 1984, and the dynam…
 
Non-visual artist Carmen Papalia speaks with Al Etmanski about the rampancy of ableism across institutions — from the art world to healthcare, to the symbol of the white cane. Carmen and Al discuss how institutions can be sites of retraumatization that can often overlook and underappreciate variations in ability.Carmen also explores some key ideas …
 
Theorist and author Asad Haider joins Below the Radar to discuss questions he explores in his book, "Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump." Asad discusses how class dynamics cannot be separated from identity-driven movements. As well, he explores ideas of political exhaustion in the tradition of political theorists such as Sylvain …
 
Lifelong activist and wheelchair user Judy Heumann joins Al Etmanski for this instalment of The Power of Disability. Judy is a powerful advocate in the disability movement both in the US and globally. She and Al talk about her long history of fighting for the rights of disabled people, a part of which is featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary,…
 
Blackfoot and Sámi writer, actor, producer and director, Elle–Máijá Tailfeathers joins host Am Johal on this episode of Below the Radar to talk about her latest film Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy. Together they discussed how Tailfeathers created the feature documentary film, which takes place in her community of Kainai First Nation in …
 
Al Etmanski interviews Victoria Maxwell, the Bipolar Princess. They discuss the role of art and creativity in the process of change, the dramatic increase in antidepressant prescriptions and the fact that depression is the number one source of disability in the world today. They also speak to the need for universal mental health care. Victoria expl…
 
SFU Mathematics professor Caroline Colijn joins host Am Johal to talk about the role of data modelling in the response to COVID-19. Caroline holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Infection, Evolution and Public Health, and works at the intersection of mathematics and public health, with a particular focus on the spread and evolutio…
 
Longtime community organizer and social entrepreneur Al Etmanski talks to Am Johal about where the movement for disability justice is headed — with lived experience leading the way. Al speaks to the urgent need for a basic income for people with disabilities, and how to build up a grassroots political movement to advance social change.Al Etmanski i…
 
Barbara Steenbergen from the International Union of Tenants, European Union office, joins Am Johal on this episode of Below the Radar. Together they discuss the role of the tenant unions in Europe as well as their advances in housing policies and protecting tenant rights. Barbara talks about the European housing context, and how tenant social movem…
 
Am Johal is joined by Ethọ́s Lab founder Anthonia Ogundele on this episode of Below the Radar. Anthonia shares about her career in emergency management and sustainability and the origins of Ethọ́s Lab. Anthonia also discusses the inequalities of the education system with respect to STEAM and innovation programs, and the importance of centering the …
 
Below the Radar invites Harsha Walia to discuss migrant justice, movement practices, and the underlying forces that govern oppressive border practices on a global scale. She is in conversation with host Am Johal about her recently released book, Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism (Fernwood Publishing, …
 
Below the Radar has partnered with the Or Galley to bring you recordings of the Gas Imaginary Conversations series. This is the second of two talks from The Gas Imaginary, presented by the Or Gallery. This event was recorded virtually on Dec. 5, 2020.In this panel, Rachel O’Reilly, Tania Willard and Kanahus Manuel—with moderation by Denise Ryner—di…
 
Claire Williams speaks to the potential of direct cash transfers to help lift people out of poverty. A co-founder and CEO of Foundations for Social Change, Claire joins Am Johal on Below the Radar to share results from the New Leaf Project, a pilot initiative exploring the impact of direct cash transfers on the lives of people experiencing homeless…
 
On this episode of Below the Radar, Am Johal is joined by Roxanne Panchasi from SFU’s History Department and Brit Bachmann from UNIT/PITT. Together they discuss their latest collaboration, La Commune 2021, a free online school commemorating the 150 anniversary of the Paris Commune. Roxanne and Brit share how the idea of La Commune 2021 came about. …
 
With the onset of the pandemic came a pressing need to bring health science information to the public, and fast. SFU researcher Alice Fleerackers joins Below the Radar to discuss the uptake of pre-print, or un-peer reviewed research by news media in the age of COVID-19. She speaks to host Melissa Roach about a recent study she has co-authored that …
 
Below the Radar has partnered with the Or Galley to bring you recordings of the Gas Imaginary Conversations series. In this first of two talks, Rachel O’Reilly is in conversation with Denise Ferreira da Silva. This event was presented by the Or Gallery and recorded virtually on Nov. 26, 2020.Rachel O’Reilly and Denise Ferreira da Silva have had lon…
 
SFU librarian Heather De Forest joins our host Am Johal to discuss the Community Scholars Program, a project that provides staff of charitable and non-profit organizations in BC with access to academic research and knowledge. They discuss Heather’s work with the Community Scholars Program and go in-depth about the collective power of academic libra…
 
Author and educator David Chang of SFU’s Faculty of Education joins Am Johal for a conversation about what it means to live an ethical life during the Anthropocene — an epoch marked by the monumental environmental impact of human activity. David is co-editor of a recently published collection of scholarly and creative essays, A Book of Ecological V…
 
Russell Wallace is a traditional Líl'wat singer, composer, and producer from Mount Currie. He has been singing and making music his whole life. He talks with host Am Johal about his musical roots — singing traditional songs for his community and beyond, alongside his mother and siblings, as the performance group Tzo’Kam.They discuss Tzo’Kam’s longs…
 
Below the Radar speaks to some of the artists behind New Red Order, a public secret society that invites people to transform their complicity in Indigenous appropriation and performing Indigeneity into support for Indigenous futures and land sovereignty.Am Johal is in conversation with Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys about the formation…
 
Charmaine Lyn joins Below the Radar to share learnings from her career in making social change from within post-secondary institutions. Charmaine is the Director of Changemaker Education for Ashoka Canada and works with different changemaker campuses across the country to advance changemaking for social justice in our institutions and communities t…
 
SFU Urban Studies professor Anthony Perl joins host Am Johal in conversation about urban mobility and the policy challenges and opportunities that shape the way people move through Canada’s largest urban centres: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.They discuss findings from Anthony’s new book, Big Moves: Global Agendas, Local Aspirations, and Urban M…
 
Host Am Johal catches up with author, activist, voice actor and Juno-nominated comedian Charlie Demers about his pandemic year, and how he reads this turbulent moment in politics. They talk about everything from the life of civil rights figure Jack O’Dell, to a strange year for stand-up comedy, to Charlie’s studies in theology.In the episode, Charl…
 
BC’s Attorney General and Minister of Housing David Eby joins Am Johal for this episode of Below the Radar, discussing policy solutions to BC’s housing crisis — from protecting tenants’ rights and serving those who are under-housed to curbing speculation and quashing renovictions, to addressing issues of supply and an aging rental stock.David also …
 
Global health epidemiologist Angela Kaida joins Below the Radar to share her passion for research to support the sexual and reproductive health of women and nonbinary people. An associate professor in SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences and a recent researcher-in-residence with SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative, Angela adopts an interdiscipl…
 
Below the Radar checks in with Simon Fraser University’s recently installed president and vice-chancellor, Joy Johnson. Stepping into her new role in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joy speaks to how SFU is working to meet the current challenges it is facing, from adapting to online learning and an added strain on mental health, to addressing s…
 
Below the Radar explores critical theory, anti-authoritarianism, the philosophy of technology, and the storied academic career of SFU School of Communication professor Andrew Feenberg, who studied under influential theorists, including renowned German-American philosopher Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfurt School.Am Johal and Andrew Feenberg discuss …
 
Below the Radar explores immigration and connecting to community and social justice movements through art with Adriana Contreras, a visual artist and storyteller who captures dialogues as they unfold as a graphic recorder.Adriana is in conversation with co-hosts Fiorella Pinillos and Melissa Roach about her journey with visual arts and dance as a f…
 
“Cities are fundamentally about people.” Mary Rowe joins Below the Radar to discuss the pandemic moment as an opportunity to reimagine how we live together in an urban environment. She and Am Johal are in conversation about the urgent need to build social solidarity around collective disaster, honing in on how people are in relationship with their …
 
In this episode of Below the Radar, Brandon Yan, the executive director of Out on Screen, joins producers Fiorella Pinillos and Paige Smith to discuss his work in film education dialogue and fostering inclusive spaces for youth. Brandon speaks to supporting queer and trans youth in schools by bringing queer joy into classrooms, working collaborativ…
 
Below the Radar’s Am Johal talks issues in urbanism and art as a research method with Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, and Helmut Weber of the cultural research collective, Urban Subjects, based in Vancouver and Vienna. In this episode, they reflect on past arts exhibitions and programs they’ve facilitated on the urban experience, image politics, and v…
 
SFU librarian Baharak Yousefi joins Am Johal on Below the Radar to discuss critical librarianship, interrogating the entrenched systems and structures of libraries. She speaks to issues around the way librarians are schooled, the commodification of knowledge, and the need to make libraries welcoming spaces to all.Baharak also shares her love of boo…
 
Barbara Holland is a leading community engagement scholar who has done extensive research in the areas of organizational change in higher education, service learning, and community-university partnerships. In this episode, she is in conversation with host Am Johal about the shifting landscape of community engagement and embedding engagement in the …
 
When Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan landed in Vancouver 25 years ago from Malaysia, she was told her foreign credentials would make it hard to find employment as a social worker and was encouraged to apply for minimum wage jobs. In this episode, Sobhana is in conversation with Am Johal about the joy of finding community in a new place — and the barriers to …
 
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