In partnership with SFU's school of communication

New and Now Black Liberation Movements


Current Black liberation movements have stemmed from crises of police brutality, cultural appropriation, and systemic racism, all of which have received growing media attention in the last few years, especially in the United States. Following protests like the BLMTO Tent city in Toronto – a reaction to racist police protocol in Canada – the interaction between Canadian politics and black communities has come into focus as well. In Vancouver, the relatively small size of the black community creates unique situations of erasure and invisibility.

This track seeks to understand how a variety of resistance movements like BlackLikeMe and BlackLivesMatter are using cultural expression and media production as a way of mobilizing activist communities and contesting formal politics.

We recognize the rights of these communities to self-identify and promote the space in which voices that are typically marginalized by white supremacy are heard. The following suggestions for sessions are derived from the organizers’ interests, but we also value participants to create sessions that explore media activism in the service of their interests and communities. Participants do not need to be tied to a formally or legally founded group.

We are especially interested in sessions that:

  • Explore how can we make sure that blackness isn’t erased from the stories and histories in the media (e.g. Vancouver city history/Hogan’s Alley, refugee crisis, narratives surrounding Islamophobia).
  • Use art and storytelling to communicate the experiences of Black lives in Canada
  • Critiques or surveys the potential differences of mainstream and alternative media coverage of black activism in Canada or North America.
  • Invite discussion on what is unique to Canada’s BlackLivesMatter movement and how Canadian black and ally activists are telling their stories or pressuring the Canadian government and police forces to change.
  • Discuss best practices with regards to how activists and media can be good allies to these movements.
  • Discusses the unique attempts of black activists within Canada to recognize allies within Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ activist movements.