Wow – we didn’t think we could top our first event, but it turns out it was possible! Another sold-out crowd had Art-Is-In Bakery bread and 3 types of soup made from local ingredients donated by 10+ Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms and individual farmers in town (see full thank yous here). At the end of the evening, we gave $1600 to Niigaan‘s decolonization conversation!
Soup Ottawa #2 | Summer 2013 | Theme: The Art of…
Art-is-in Bakery (250 City Center Avenue Bay 114), August 27, 2013, 6:30pm
Winner: Niigaan: In Conversation
Short-listed project descriptions:
1. THE ILIAD
In June 2012, Ottawa StoryTellers (OST), a non-profit arts organization that presents over one hundred events a year, undertook an extraordinary project – a twelve-hour performance of one of the greatest epics in Western culture – Homer’s Odyssey. Eighteen storytellers wove the tale of the hero’s return from the Trojan War for a full audience of listeners, drawn together at the National Arts Centre’s 4th Stage by the power of Greek myth and timeless human struggles in love and war.
In 2014, OST plans to mount an even more ambitious show: a twelve-hour performance of the story that preceded the Odyssey, the Iliad. One of the oldest existing works of Western literature, the Iliad tells the story of the ten-year siege of Troy, the epic battle between the Greeks and the Trojans, and the painful cost of war – a story that has captured the imaginations of audiences for over two thousand years.
OST will present this great work as it was meant to be heard – each chapter told with skill and passion by an experienced storyteller in keeping with the oral tradition from which it comes. It may seem surprising to ask modern audiences to commit to such an intense period of listening, but OST’s experience last year, echoing the experience of theatre companies in Europe and North America, shows that people are intrigued and excited by the challenge of a production on such a grand scale.
The Iliad stands as one of the oldest literary depictions of war, and the hard truths depicted in its twists and turns continue to serve as a mirror for all the wars that have happened since. The themes that storytellers first captured in this epic continue to speak to us today: heroism, discipline, and human sacrifice in what was ultimately a tragically wasteful conflict.
It is clear that these enduring epics were created not simply to entertain, but to speak to the human condition. Join OST in the practice of an art as old as humanity itself, the art of oral narrative, as we look back almost 3,000 years and remember an invocation to the gods and all that was to follow…
2. NUIT BLANCE
Combining over 30 years of experience in their respective fields, the Strangeloops Collective is a multi-disciplinary, visual arts collective, bringing together Adam Hill’s physical computing, John Duffy’s digital animation, and Andrew Morrow’s large-scale oil painting practice. Through this unique combination, the Collective makes interactive, environmentally aware art, grounded in traditional painting, but committed to artistic and technological innovation. Their work emerges from a fluid, and changeable, collaborative structure, and is dedicated to ephemerality, viewer engagement, and open-ended story. Their first project together, launched in September 2012 for Ottawa’s inaugural Nuit Blanche, was described by Guerrilla Magazine editor Tony Martins as, “possibly the best of NBO.” They followed up this project with a solo exhibition at the Angell Gallery in Toronto in December of 2012, and a residency at the DAIMON Centre in Gatineau Quebec in January 2013. In June 2013 the Collective was selected for the design team of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Confederation Line Art Program, and are currently coordinating a large-scale video projection installation for this year’s Nuit Blanche Ottawa-Gatineau. In November 2013, they’re going to be producing a series of site-specific installations at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.
3. THE END OF YOUR TALE
Andy and Red from The Shawshank Redemption (1994) proposed to “get busy living or get busy dying”. When you think about it, these are not mutually exclusive ways of being busy. We all realize at some point that the number of breaths we take after our first are finite. For some, this happens later or earlier on the journey than for others. At a time when no one seems to die in their old age unexpectedly anymore, modern times have also brought urban and ecological struggle. Youth have left the rural landscape in search of opportunity in cities. Parents and grandparents have been left behind to become senior citizens, but not elders.
This documentary film project investigates these issues, the interwovenness of living and dying, and how these practices inform, enrich, and depend on each other. Recently taken on by SAW Video’s JumpStart mentorship program, Andy Conte’s story plays-out as a 3-track story mix-tape on how life is on the receiving end of death, featuring: A personal story on how death informs life, a political story on changing the law for assisted-dying, and a community story of what could be.
The objective of this film is to examine the death phobic culture that our modern ways have created. Seeing as our community & culture are a collage of sorts, this artful storytelling seeks your input and participation in the film via your willingness to be interviewed on what “dying” means to you, and how it has affected your life experience, so far. As constitutional rights for physician-assisted dying are to be challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada sometime in 2014, and as legislation has already been tabled in the National Assembly of Quebec as of June 2013, the timing for this investigation is of particular importance.
4. NIIGAAN: IN CONVERSATION
Niigaan: In Conversation encourages discussion and conversation between Settler Canadians and Indigenous Peoples through public events, educational materials and partnerships with other groups to
recreate the modern treaty relationship. Conversation is the starting point for building mutually beneficial relationships and creating understanding.
This project is about the art of decolonization. We have assembled a lineup of creative panelists: artists, musicians, community organizers, curators, academics, journal editors, comedians, and journalists from diverse Indigenous and Settler backgrounds to promote discussion amongst the audience in a symposium scheduled for September 15. Art is the medium to articulate truths, to provoke, inspire, and
connect with one another in the ongoing decolonization project.
5. LA SMALA – MY TRIBE
We believe that with performance art we can transform ourselves and those of the audience to a better state of being. Like our ancestors who told stories by the fire, and helped to heal their communities so
we feel we as performing artists have that gift, to heal ourselves and our communities with and through the performing arts.
La Smala, is a collaboration of the all the arts, telling the story of two girls living on opposite sides of the world, north and south, both mixed race, coloured, mutt, not being able to fit in. Not being able
to find their “tribe”. Until they realize that it was with them all along. A Story about love, community, fallen angels and rising phoenixes.
6. CIGBIN (Special Presentation) – WINNER OF LAUNCH SOME GOOD
CigBin is an environmental and social initiative that is focused on reducing cigarette butt litter, which is the number one most littered item around the world. Through the sale of a unique cigarette butt disposal unit, we are going to employ individuals who are mentally ill to pick up the cigarette butts and help us recycle them so they are not ending up in landfills. With the addition of a consumer product line, our main objective is to help make our city a cleaner place by getting rid of cigarette butts.
Our team is made up of driven individuals who are passionate about social entrepreneurship and making a noticeable difference within the community. We are very excited to begin our work in social entrepreneurship with the launch of our cigarette butt disposal business.
For more information on the applications we received for Soup #2, including contact information, please check out our Repository of Goodness!