Dennis Gupa: from sea rituals to applied theatre and science

Dennis Gupa in February 2021. (Photo: John Threlfall)

The idea of artists working with scientists is nothing new to Dennis Gupa.

A PhD candidate in UVic’s theatre department, Gupa is also the current artist-in-residence with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), a UVic initiative. He sees the artistic residency, launched by the Faculty of Fine Arts and ONC two years ago, as a natural fit with his doctoral focus on Indigenous sea rituals, climate change and sustainable ecology.

While Gupa’s term at ONC will wrap up this spring, he’s also finishing his doctoral work in applied theatre under the supervision of theatre professor Kirsten Sadeghi-Yetka, whose experience in community-engaged research includes projects in Indigenous language revitalization through theatre with children in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, young people in Brazilian favelas, young women in rural areas of Cambodia and students with special needs in schools in The Netherlands.

As with any applied theatre practitioner, Gupa also wants to use the tools of theatre and drama to help bring about social change and build a sense of community—and, in his case, to attempt to grapple with the gravity of global warming especially in the island nations of the world.

Applied theatre, traditional knowledge and climate crisis

Having grown up in the Philippines, Gupa has witnessed firsthand the threat of extreme weather events. With his country being a former colony—extending across 7,600 islands and known for its maritime history, marine diversity and Indigenous population—the parallels between the Philippines and Vancouver Island are clear to Gupa. He says this is probably the reason he decided to do his grad studies at UVic.

“By looking at the experience and knowledge of local people—who have been experiencing these climatic events for so many years, but are not really given a lot of opportunities to tell their stories—we can learn from their knowledge and wisdom,” he says. “Our poetries and songs renew our kinship with the ocean.”

Gupa’s research focuses on traditional ways of knowing, as well as storytelling and applied theatre, and how these elements can be drawn into important discussions and dialogue in support of social justice, community participation and climate action.

A youth theatre project in 2015 co-directed by Gupa for a rural high school “glee club” in the Philippines. (Photo: The Perfect Grey | ASEAN Center for Biodiversity)

And he very much believes in bringing people together to share stories. Gupa says, “I create interdisciplinary work with a kinship among knowledge disciplines. One of the fascinating functions of an artist is being an interlocutor, bringing people together to share our stories.”

He conducted field work in the Samar-Leyte region of the Philippines, working closely with local elders on the island community of Guiuan, where the super typhoon Yolanda in 2013—one of the deadliest on record—first made landfall.

Strengthening connections between art and science

Sharing stories is exactly what Gupa has in mind with the ONC initiative: recently repositioned as an opportunity for Fine Arts graduate students, the ONC artist-in-residence program exists to strengthen connections between art and science, and ignite cross-disciplinary exchanges around the major issues facing oceans today.

“This residency program comes at a time of crisis in ocean sustainability,” ONC chief scientist Kim Juniper. “Science-art collaborations such as this one bring together the insight and power of two ways of looking at the world, and will hopefully lead to new understanding and greater benefits for our ocean and our future.”

While the pandemic is complicating Gupa’s original idea to create an immersive, ONC data-fueled performance experience involving the Filipino diaspora community—including playwright Karla Comanda, classical singer Jeremiah Carag, Philippine-based composer Darren Vega and Vietnamese-Canadian actor Thai-Hoa Le—Gupa is still hopeful about uniting these two worlds during his spring 2021 residency.

“How can we share our stories with the scientists, and what does that mean to them to listen to immigrants?” Gupa ponders. “How does our history of exile connect with the history of climate disaster? We’ve never really tapped into that or discussed it in a scientific space.”

For Gupa, the ONC residency is less a challenge and more a cumulative opportunity between his artistic and academic pursuits.

“There’s a lesson in fluidity that this water is teaching me and I’d like to bring that to the fore in my work … it’s not just a fascination, but water is so embodied in my work as an artist. It’s beautiful but it’s also dangerous. We cannot wait any longer for inclusive and deeper collaborations to make things better for all living things in this earth—both seen and unseen.”

Ces Bersez, Dennis Gupa, & Francis Matheu in “Murupuro/Island of Constellations” at Prairie Theatre Exchange in 2018. (Photo: Migrante Manitoba FB web page)

Social justice for the seas

“When we think of the water, I think of social justice,” Gupa adds. “As an archipelagic country surrounded by water, the Philippines have been suffering from ocean disasters due to climate change: resources are depleting, coral are bleaching, fish are dying and the waters are warming so the fish don’t have food. So what do they do? They migrate, just like Filipinos—fish are the first climate refugees.”

Gupa has also been looking at how climate change has impacted Canadian Filipino diaspora communities, with whom he created and then toured a highly collaborative theatrical production in 2018 (Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg).

Gupa performing the mask of Imelda Marcos during his production of “Murupuro”. (Photo: Fiona Ngai)

Interdisciplinary conversations on global issues

In addition to collaborating with ONC at UVic, Gupa was a visiting graduate research fellow at UVic’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society in 2019/20 and a recipient of a 2017 student research fellowship from the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at UVic. He is also a Vanier Scholar.

“Scientists spend hours in their labs thinking about their work, similar to what theatre and performance artists do in their rehearsal spaces,” he says. “We’re all exploring and searching for meaning; this kind of interdisciplinary conversation simply lets us be better adjusted to global issues.”

Gupa also spent a decade at the University of the Philippines Los Baños where, in addition to teaching theatre, he was named the first head of the Office of Arts and Science Fusion Program.

In 2011, Gupa received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council (established by John D. Rockefeller III) for six months in as the director-in-residence with Ma-Yi Theatre Company in New York City.

His collaborative work has also won support from the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, World Bank Manila Office/Australian Agency for International Development, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and the Dharmasiswa Scholarship through the Indonesian government’s Ministry of Education, among many others.

Gupa has an MFA Directing (Theatre) degree from UBC and an MA (Theatre) from University of the Philippines.

Gupa wearing a traditional Filipino malong at a local beach in Victoria. (Photo: John Threlfall)

Follow the social media feeds of both Fine Arts and ONC for developments on the artistic residency this spring.

Orion Series presents scholar Heather Igloliorte

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Heather Igloliorte

Research Chair, Circumpolar Indigenous Arts

7:30 – 9:00 pm (PST) Wednesday, March 10 2021

 

Free & open to the public via Zoom

Presented by UVic’s Department of Visual Arts
For more information on this lecture please email: visualarts@uvic.ca 

Advancing Indigenous knowledge 

Dr. Heather Igloliorte (Inuk, Nunatsiavut) holds the Tier 1 University Research Chair in Circumpolar Indigenous Arts and is an associate professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia. She also serves as the special advisor to the provost on advancing Indigenous knowledges, and in this role contributes to the efforts of the university’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Group. Her teaching and research interests center on Inuit and other Native North American visual and material culture, circumpolar art studies, performance and media art, the global exhibition of Indigenous arts and culture, and issues of colonization, sovereignty, resistance and resurgence. 

Indigenous futures

Heather is the principal investigator of the $2.5M, seven-year SSHRC Partnership Grant “Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/ Pijariuqsarniq Project” (2018-2025), ​which aims to empower circumpolar Indigenous peoples to become leaders in the arts through training and mentorship. With Professor Jason Edward Lewis, Heather also Co-Directs the Indigenous Futures Cluster (IIF) in the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology. Through Milieux, Igloliorte works with collaborators and students to explore how Indigenous people are imagining the future of their families and communities. 

Heather has been a curator for 14 years, ​and currently has three exhibitions touring nationally and internationally; she is also the lead guest curator of the inaugural exhibition of INUA, the new Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Heather publishes frequently: she has co-edited special issues of journals PUBLIC 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital (2016) and RACAR: Continuities Between Eras: Indigenous Arts (2017), and her essay “Curating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit: Inuit Knowledge in the Qallunaat Art Museum,” ​was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Article of the Year from Art Journal

Igloliorte currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Indigenous Circle for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, working on the development of the new national Inuit Art Centre; is the President of the Board of Directors of the Inuit Art Foundation; and serves on the Board of Directors for North America’s largest Indigenous art historical association, the Native North American Art Studies Association, the Faculty Council of the Otsego Institute for Native American Art History at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and the Nunavut Film Development Corporation, among others. Heather has previsously  served as an executive member of the board of directors for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and as the president of Ottawa’s artist-run-centre Gallery 101, in addition to other advisories, juries and councils. 

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

New Legacy exhibit explores life stories through art

Technology and history may change across cultures and generations, but the human journey remains the same: we’re born, we age, we have relationships, we die. Yet along the way, we are all shaped by the objects which help us navigate life’s stages, passages and rituals—a favourite toy, say, or a wedding dress. This shared experience is at the heart of the new Legacy Gallery exhibit Life Stories, curated by art history & visual studies (AHVS) professor Erin Campbell.

“I like to use the present to interrogate the past,” says Campbell. “This was an extraordinary experiment for me to prove my historical contention that objects and artworks really do shape our life passages. I’ve published a lot of articles about that, and this exhibit gave me the chance to bring that thesis to the wider public.”

 

AHVS professor & Life Stories curator Erin Campbell at her Legacy Gallery exhibition (photo: John Threlfall)

A learning experience

A fixture in the AHVS department for nearly 20 years, Campbell’s research and teaching typically focuses on early modern European art and material culture, including cross-cultural connections and the domestic interior—yet she admits mounting a full gallery exhibit was a learning experience for her.

“Some would say it’s a bit of a risk, because this isn’t about deeply delving into a historical period and bringing forward objects with new research—it’s more about developing a theme and capturing the imagination,” she explains.

 

An ambitious undertaking

Featuring nearly 100 paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics and furnishings from UVic’s extension art collection—plus a virtual exhibition, a range of public events (including a special alumni tour on January 27) and one commissioned art piece (“Related Repose” by recent visual arts MFA Elly Heise)—Life Stories is an ambitious undertaking, supported by Campbell’s latest SSHRC grant.

“Because art has the capacity to both fix and layer time—project the past into the present and the future, or the future into the past—we wanted to explore similarities across cultures, across time and across geographies, but we also wanted to avoid sentimentality,” she says.

Indeed, while art and objects may inspire memories and reflection, such imagery can also be a source of cultural stereotypes and result in marginalization, emotional pain and feelings of loss. “It’s important to me that we’re not presenting a monolithic, prescriptive approach to life stages that ‘everyone’ goes through.”

Planning for Life Stories actually began back in 2017, but Campbell and the Legacy team were dealt a surprise plot twist when the exhibit collided with COVID-19. “We had to modify not only when it would open but also the level of visitor engagement with the gallery,” says Campbell.

 

Canadian documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (left) with a scene from her latest film, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which is screening for free as part of her Feb 3 event

A range of online events

The exhibit includes a number of online events—including a public conversation between acclaimed Canadian documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Anthropocene: The Human Epoch) and local director/producer Barbara Todd Hager (February 3), as well as a series of interpretive performances (February 13, 20, 27) and an artist talk (March 17) with Connie Morey, and a  poetry workshop (March 6) with Carla Funk, both UVic alumni.

There’s also a fascinating set of interdisciplinary thematic films featuring a range of campus voices—including Maureen Bradley (writing), Neena Chappell (Centre on Aging), Aaron Devor (transgender studies), Ulrich Mueller (psychology), Leah Tidey (theatre), Lorilee Wastasecoot (Legacy) and Victoria Wyatt (AHVS)—and a series of soundscapes responding to the exhibit, created by students in Anthropology professor Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier’s “Anthropology of Sound” class.

“Related Reposed”, a piece created by recent Visual Arts MFA Elly Heise using this antique bed from the UVic Art Collection as inspiration

A team effort

While she coordinated the AHVS 50th anniversary exhibit at the McPherson Library’s Legacy Maltwood Gallery in 2017, this is Campbell’s first time curating an exhibit at downtown’s Legacy Gallery and she laughs at the misperception that all art historians are also, by default, curators. “I am not a professional curator,” she says with a gentle laugh. “It’s a totally different skill-set . . . you need to acquire those skills, you can’t just do it.”

Campbell gives ample credit to the work of her Life Stories co-curators, Holly Cecil and current PhD candidate Jaiya Anka—both AHVS MA alumni. “We worked as a team, the three of us—it came out of my research and I funded it out of my grant, but we brainstormed every aspect of this exhibit together,” she notes. “And the support from the Legacy team has been just fantastic. I give full credit to their staff: to have their help and guidance was invaluable—they’re a really great UVic resource.”

Life Stories continues until April 3 at downtown’s Legacy Gallery.

$1.875M gift supports environmental and climate journalism

The threat of climate change is the most perilous of our time—especially at the beginning of this new decade, which has been frequently identified as the most crucial for preventing catastrophic consequences. Now, one concerned individual is personally addressing that threat with an inspiring gift of $1.875 million to the University of Victoria in support of the Wayne Crookes Professorship in Environmental and Climate Journalism.

The donation from Vancouver business leader and political activist Wayne Crookes includes both the $1.5 million professorship and a separate $375,000 fund to focus on environmental and climate journalism research and outreach. The new professor—to be appointed later this year within UVic’s Department of Writing—will help mentor the next generation of climate correspondents and writers.

“Wayne Crookes’ support of environmental and climate journalism echoes UVic’s deep conviction to help address the challenges posed by climate change,” says UVic President Kevin Hall. “Extreme weather, melting ice sheets, incessant flooding and other alarming events serve to remind us that we are not only together in this crisis, but also of the urgent need to effectively counter misinformation through the rigour of credible journalism. Actions like Wayne’s will carry us into a better future.”

 

Wayne Crookes (photo: Martin Roland)

A former federal Green Party campaign manager and political campaigner, Crookes is the owner and founder of West Coast Title Search Ltd. and the founder of Integrity British Columbia. He sees this donation as a way of increasing the quantity, quality, depth and prominence of science-based environmental journalism and media coverage to address the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Action needed now

“This is a very important priority for me,” says Crookes. “We need to communicate more effectively with journalists—especially editors—about the risks of climate change and the threats to biodiversity that humanity as a whole is facing. I believe climate change is an existential threat that the world is not doing enough to meet.”

Crookes’ gift will increase media literacy and coverage by connecting students, journalists, citizens and policymakers through a public database of environmental scientists and climatologists, as well as strengthen UVic’s journalism and publishing program. It will support research and outreach to enable the professorship to catalyze a variety of community-based research projects, advocacy initiatives and educational activities for maximum impact.

“People recognizing the problem is the most important step in it being dealt with and being solved,” Crookes adds. “To do that, public opinion needs to change, and that can most efficiently be changed by increasing—and having a higher quality of—media coverage.”

A commitment to sustainability

“We share Mr. Crookes’ profound commitment to sustainability and believe that training journalists and artists who can communicate in ways that inform, persuade and inspire the public and political leaders is an urgent priority,” says Allana Lindgren, acting dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. “Environmental journalism is a growing emphasis in UVic’s Department of Writing, and many of our graduates pursue careers investigating and advocating for solutions to global environmental issues.”

As one of Canada’s leading research universities, UVic produces internationally acclaimed research on climate modelling, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable energy systems and the human dimensions of climate change.

Applications for the new five-year professorship are now open. Information can be found on the Writing department’s website.

Orion Series presents filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Jennifer Baichwal

Canadian Filmmaker

Public webinar: “Representing the Anthropocene: Challenges & Adventures”

4:00 – 5:30 pm (PST)
Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Zoom webinar invitation to register: https://uvic.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8yiNulRCQVGCfi8uQVm-ig

 Free & open to the public

*Note about pre-screening:*  A password-protected film link to view Baichwal’s documentary, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, will be distributed to registered guests prior to the event.

Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies
For more information on this lecture please email: ahvsasst@uvic.ca

Discover the life story of the planet 

Join Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal in conversation with local writer, filmmaker and TV producer Barbara Todd Hager for this lively Orion Series discussion, which is part of the public programming for the exhibition Life Stories, curated by AHVS professor Dr. Erin Campbell. Life Stories continues at UVic’s Legacy Gallery until April 3.

The Life Stories exhibit showcases artworks from the UVic art collection to show how our own life stories are shaped by the objects we not only gather around ourselves but which also help us navigate life stages, passages and rituals.

Jennifer Baichwal will highlight the “life story” of our planet, and how its life stages shape the life stories of human and non-human species. A link to her award-winning, feature-length documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch will be available to registered webinar guests for a limited time before and after the discussion. She will also visit Art History & Visual Studies classes and speak with our students as part of her Orion visit.   

Barbara Todd Hager will bring to this conversation her perspective as a writer, producer and creator of the award-winning environmental documentary series Down2Earth, amongst other projects. Erin Campbell will moderate the talk. 

 

A life in film  

Jennifer Baichwal has been directing and producing documentaries for 25 years. Among other films, installations and lens-based projects, she has made 10 feature documentaries which have played all over the world and won multiple awards nationally and internationally. Her current project is a feature documentary on global insect collapse.

Her most recent undertaking is The Anthropocene Project, an acclaimed collaboration with director Nicholas de Pencier and artist-photographer Edward Burtynsky. It includes a major touring exhibition—which debuted simultaneously at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada and is currently travelling around the world—as well as the award-winning feature documentary film Anthropocene: The Human Epoch. 

Anthropocene premiered at TIFF 2018, played Sundance and the Berlinale, was released theatrically in Canada and the US in 2019, and is now in international release. The film won the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for Best Canadian Film, and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Feature. The Anthropocene Project also includes an art book published by Steidl and an educational program in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Previous work

Baichwal is also known for the documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which won TIFF’s Best Canadian Film, Al Gore’s Reel Current Award and the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for Best Canadian Film in 2006, among other awards; after a prolonged and successful run in Canada, it played theatrically in over 15 territories worldwide and was named as one of the “150 Essential Works In Canadian Cinema History” by TIFF in 2016. 

Her other acclaimed films include Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles, which won an International Emmy in 1999; The Holier It Gets, a documentary filmed in Canada and India, which won Best Cultural and Best Independent Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs 2000, as well as Gemini Awards for best writing, directing and editing in a documentary series; Act of God, about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning, which opened the Hot Docs Film Festival in 2009; and Payback, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lectures produced by Ravida Din and the National Film Board, which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and was released in Canada and the US that spring.

The feature documentary Watermark—made with Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier—premiered at TIFF 2013, was released in Canada by Mongrel Media and won both the Toronto Film Critics Association prize for Best Canadian Film and a Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary; it has since been released in 11 countries.

Baichwal and de Pencier were also co-directors of Long Time Running, a feature documentary on the Tragically Hip’s final 2016 summer tour. The film, produced by Banger Films, premiered as a gala at TIFF 2017, and was subsequently released by Elevation Pictures and broadcast by Bell and Netflix. 

Baichwal sits on the board of Swim Drink Fish Canada, and is a member of the Ryerson University School of Image Arts Advisory Council. She has been a Director of the Board of the Toronto International Film Festival since 2016, and is a passionate ambassador of their Share Her Journey campaign, a multi-year commitment to increasing participation, skills and opportunities for women behind—and in front of—the camera.

 

Barbara Todd Hager

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work. 

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

New project explores global food sovereignty

How can vulnerable communities build local and regional governance of food systems in the context of the climate crisis? That’s the question behind a new interdisciplinary film project co-directed by Department of Writing chair Maureen Bradley and Department of History professor Elizabeth Vibert.

Four Stories About Food Sovereignty is a research network and documentary-in-the-making. The four-year, SSHRC-funded project launched in 2019 with a workshop at the T’Sou-ke First Nation featuring participants from Jordan, South Africa, Indigenous Colombia and Indigenous Canada. Four Stories About Food Sovereignty.

Elizabeth Vibert (right) welcomes participants to the T’Sou-ke Nation in 2019 (Photo: Chen Wang)

“Our community participants live with food insecurity every day,” says Bradley. “When they came together last year, we all learned that their struggles were similar despite living on four different continents. All are impacted by myriad forces like the climate crisis, loss of native plants and predatory industrial agricultural practices.”

In the next three years, the project will create an enduring community-engaged research network encompassing interdisciplinary researchers, grassroots food producers and local producer organizations from four continents. Together, they will investigate one pressing question: How are communities to feed themselves?

Global participants, common concerns

Despite the geographic distances between participants, shared concerns quickly became evident: water scarcity, climate crisis, extractive industrial development and the challenges facing women.

“Bringing their experiences to a broad audience through film puts these global stories into a local, relatable context,” says Bradley. “Up until the pandemic, the average Victoria resident never thought about food security. When the Canada/US border closed, a lot of people panicked—but now we’ve gone back to our typical consumption patterns.”

When the UN announced in 2019 that climate shocks, conflict and economic crises have reversed the gains of the past decade in reducing global hunger, it underscored the urgency of this work.

For small-scale food producers across the Global South, conventional approaches to “food security” have contributed to a series of livelihood and food crises, as control over food systems has come to be increasingly concentrated in the hands of profit-focused transnational corporations. In response, peasant and farmer groups have allied within and across national borders to form movements that articulate a vision of sustainable, equitable, and culturally appropriate agro-food systems.

A network of support

Four Stories About Food is about creating a research network for small-scale producers to learn from each other, for researchers to learn from small-scale producers, and for the public to access information about food security issues around the world. This network will consist in the short-term of several components: an international food security workshop, a documentary film, ongoing community-engaged scholarly research and public education activities.

As part of their research, Bradley and the team will produce a documentary, filmed by Writing MFA candidate Guochen Wang filming; professors Astrid Perez Pinan (public administration) and Matt Murphy (business) round out the interdisciplinary UVic team.

One of the intital meetings at UVic

The international team include Claudia Puerta Silva, professor of anthropology at the University of Antioquia, and Bikrum Gill, assistant professor in political science at Virginia Tech. The country teams will be led by the likes of Chief Gordon Planes, Christine George, Miguel Iván Ramírez Boscan, Jakeline Romero Epiayu, Esteban Torres Muriel, Aysha Yousif Matar Azzam, Fatima Obeidat, Josephine Mathebula, Mphephu Mtsenga, Basani Ngobeni and Natalia Giraldo Osorio.

Check out @fourstoriesuvic on Instagram and Twitter to follow the development of this project