Sunday, May 29, 2005

New Blog about narrative and disease

My friend Clara Valverde (poet, writer, health educator, nurse, activist and more) has just started her own blog Complexity and Narrative in Chronic Disease. It's only in Spanish at the moment but Clara plans to add stuff in English soon. Clara is particularly interested in the making of meaning from the suffering of chronic disease. Check it out!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Jeff Smith at Toronto Comics Arts Festival

I just had the pleasure of introducing Jeff Smith creator-author-artist of the award-winning comic Bone. The Toronto Comics Arts Festival is currently underway(see schedule). Jeff gave a great presentation about his inspirations, a bit of comic book history and some of the rich symbolism of Bone. Jeff gives a reading Sunday morning at 11:00. Scholastic Books is publishing Bone as 9 books over the cocming years. Bone has been compared to the Lord of the Rings and it's a worthy comparison. I also learned about a blog by one of the Scholastic staff, Scott: All Ages a blog about comics for kids - check it out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

News from the Carol Wall campaign for President of the CLC

Just received this letter about Carol Wall's campaign:

Greetings my friends, As many of you know by now my mom, CAROL WALL, is running for the presidency of the Canadian Labour Congress. Her victory would not only be a huge step forward for workers of colour and community members whom have been largely under-represented in the labour movement, but for all workers in general. The progress of the labour movement in the past has not only been slow, but deteriating and the time for change is now. I'm asking all of you as a friend, family member and co-community person for your help in supporting my mom win this election, which will take place in Montreal June 16th 2005. What I need you to do is help with contacting all those that you might know who could possibly be going to convention or know someone that is and either you can talk about my mom and what she stands for, which can be found on her website or you can give me their contact information and i would be more than happy to call them. For those of you that can do more or want to help and do not know anyone going to convention if you have some time to spare and could help with doing a phone around, in the next little while a bunch of Carol Wall supporters will be gathering in the Toronto area to celebrate the possibly of this upcoming election over food, while phoning more potential supporters. Please if you can help with any of these tasks or have suggestions for other strategies we should be using to gain more support please email me at or call me at 416-660-2540 or Chris Ramsaroop at 416-832-4932. Thank you again for whatever you can do! Nicole

Imagine a different kind a trade union movement

Well, change is in the wind. Carol Wall, a popular educator and trade unionist, is running for President of the Canadian Labour Congress. This is an exciting and important moment for organized labour in Canada. Many community-based activists and social justice minded trade unionists have been waiting for the kind of leadership Carol has to offer. It's gonna be a tough run against entrenched leadership. While there is some progressive leadership in the CLC at the moment, it doesn't seem that we've seen much action on the many issues confronting labour and social movements (including neoliberal assault on the Canadian economy, anti-racist change within trade unions and social movements, organizing youth in the always-growing service sector). Check out Carol's website and consider supporting her campaign. If you know anyone in the trade union movement call 'em up, e-mail 'em, send them a link to Carol's website or this blog post.

Carol is one of the co-authors of an excellent book on popular education and trade unions: Educating for Changing Unions. Check it out!

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, / Gang aft agley

Yes, as the Scots poet Robbie Burns wrote it so long ago, our plans "gang aft agley." And my have been a wee topsy turvy for a few weeks - exigencies of life and all that. So, here i am, back at blogging once again.

My sister just bought Zachary Richard's CD of Acadian songs: Cap Enragé. And surprise surprise, Zachary Richard has a blog called Monthly Report that here chronicles his recent trip through Acadia. How it makes me yearn to do something simliar. About ten years ago i spent a couple of days at the Acadian archives at the University of Moncton and, looking for a particular book of family records, i was disappointed to find it missing. The room being full of people doing research, i thought i'd ask around and appeal to whomever had the book to let me have a peak at it since i was only passing through town and had only that afternoon left to do research. I found the person with the book who looked at me and listened to my plea. He asked me curtly, "Who's your grandfather?" I told him. He looked at me again, with an air of appraising whether i was worth the effort and then he spoke curtly once again, "Then I'm your cousin." I thought he was having me on. But, as it turned out, he was telling the truth. And, of course, he'd been messing with me a little devilishly. He proved very helpful and turned out still to be living where my great granfather had built a house in the 19th Century - a house that still stood and that i would later visit on that trip with my aunt and uncle. The house is still there in Haute Aboujagane.