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Vancouver Island University holds first Anti-Racism Arts Festival

Three-day online event to feature visual arts, performance, film and poetry
‘We Are All Beautiful’ by Elise Cole and ‘The Modern Thrall’ by Enigye (Happy) Amarkah (from left) are two of the pieces featured in VIU’s Anti-Racism Arts Festival. (Images courtesy the artists)

Visual art, performance, short films and poetry are all on display this week as VIU is holding its first-ever Anti-Racism Arts Festival.

The online festival, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, is part of Vancouver Island University’s Create conference, an annual showcase of student creativity and scholarship.

The festival is co-sponsored by the VIU Faculty Association’s Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee. Committee chair Imogene Lim said she hopes the festival sparks conversations around racism.

“It seems to me, as an educator, that students really want to be engaged in the topic and this provides them an avenue to do so,” she said.

Lim said the festival will illuminate what racism means to students of all ages. Some may be local, while others could hail from across the globe.

“I have no idea what the background of these individuals are who have submitted,” she said. “But I’m hoping for a mixed group and that will help in thinking about how racism is either experienced or perceived by the student body.”

The top three entries in each category win a prize and will be included in a Nanaimo Museum exhibit on racism in 2023.

For more information and to view the entries, click here.

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