Taking It to the Streets

Part of the Pandemonium: Urban Studies and Recovering from COVID-19 lecture series.

City streets, the living rooms of urban people, reflect the major changes to our cities and urban lives as much as any other spectacle of the pandemic. Small businesses, arts and culture sector workers, and activists have suffered compounding disasters. From major protest movements, that have taken to the streets differently; to new moves to safeguard, and to shutter, and then to reopen in new configurations, small businesses and main streets; to the arts and culture sector, their work almost completely curtailed, forced to generate new strategies to continue to promote the role of all kinds of creativity in the effort to hold our streets together and channel human inspiration. What has become of our streets and the lives we lead in public in them, in the pandemic context? What can we do to keep the public in public spaces, and what are the trade-offs with health, safety, creativity and democracy?


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

5:00 PM


Online event

A link and password to join the event will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.

Guest speakers

Christopher Cheung
Journalist, The Tyee

Christopher Cheung lives in Vancouver and writes on urban change, food, race, and immigration. He is currently a staff reporter at The Tyee and previously reported columns in the Vancouver Courier and Metro on everything from Duffin’s Donuts to life in suburban malls.

Alana Gerecke
Dance Performer, Urbanist, and Shadbolt Fellow in the Humanities 2021-22

Alana Gerecke is an independent scholar and dance artist based on the unceded traditional territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations. She has been active in Vancouver's contemporary dance community for 15 years. Her current book project, Moving Publics, examines the spatial politics of site-based dance. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Vancouver’s Dance Centre (2021-22), and her most recent publications include contributions to Performance Matters, Canadian Theatre Research, and The Futures of Dance Studies anthology. Alana is a former Trudeau Scholar and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow. She is the mama of two objectively adorable small humans.

Germaine Koh

Germaine Koh ( is a visual artist and curator based in Vancouver, in the ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her work adapts familiar situations, everyday actions and common spaces to encourage connections between people, technology, and natural systems. Her ongoing projects include Home Made Home, an initiative to build and advocate for alternative forms of housing, and League, a participatory project using play as a form of creative practice. From 2018 to 2020 she was the City of Vancouver’s first Engineering Artist in Residence, and in 2021 she is the Koerner Artist in Residence at the University of British Columbia. Headshot photo by Scott August.

Harsha Walia
Journalist and Executive Director, BC Civil Liberties Association

Harsha Walia is the author of Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism. She is also the award-winning author of Undoing Border Imperialism, and the co-author of Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration as well as Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Harsha has organized in grassroots migrant justice, anti-capitalist, feminist, abolitionist, and anti-imperialist movements for two decades. Trained in the law, she is the past Project Coordinator of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and current Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association.


Frances Bula
Freelance Journalist

Frances Bula is a journalist specializing in urban issues and city politics in the Vancouver region, which she has covered since 1994. She has covered a broad range of issues in this endlessly changing city: drug policy, bike lanes, billion-dollar development projects, homelessness, garbage debates, and more.

She writes frequently for The Globe and Mail’s BC section and Report on Business. From 2008 to 2015, she had a regional and national award-winning column in Vancouver magazine, Urban Fix.

Other publications she has written for include the Vancouver Sun (where she worked for 20 years), BCBusiness, Canadian Architect, Canadian Business, University Affairs, the American website Citiscope, Literary Review of Canada, South China Morning Post, The National in Abu Dhabi, The Georgia Straight, Western Living, Homemakers, and The Guardian. She also does political commentary for Radio Canada, CBC Radio and CKNW.



This event will also include the screening of the short film #2020in3words, which will be produced by the City in Colour Cooperative from an open photo submission call.

You have until February 26 to submit a photo answering the question, "What are the three words that describe your 2020?"

Gift certificates will be raffled amongst people who submit photos.

Click here to learn more and submit your photo!

Accessibility, Technology & Privacy

Registration and password

A password to access this event will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceeding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.