International Week 2018: For a Better World
January 29 – February 4
I-Week 2018 will focus on how the arts can contribute to social and environmental justice. Join us for a week of workshops, film screenings, theatrical presentations, music, exhibits and keynotes. Confirmed speakers and performers include Kristina Wong and Daniel Arzola.
Tuesday, January 30
“The Race for a Clean Energy Future”
Award-winning filmmaker Shalini Kantayya drops us into the middle of the high stakes, fast paced race to build a clean energy future—the biggest economic opportunity of our time. In her films, she tells the story of the rapid innovation that is disrupting outmoded industries and putting power back into the hands of those who need it most.
Not only is Shalini Kantayya witnessing change—her film work is helping communities take action. Her scifi film A Drop of Life is set in a near dystopic future, but it has already been used as a tool to organize water rights in 40 villages across Africa. And her feature documentary Catching the Sun uses the stories of entrepreneurs in the US and China to show how solar energy can be a powerful force for democratization.
Come meet a ground-breaking new voice in documentary film, and learn about the clean energy revolution that is happening all around us, right now. In this entertaining and interactive presentation, Shalini Kantayya uses film clips to tell stories that move the heart, reach new audiences, and make real change in the world.
Shalini Kantayya earned an MFA in Film Direction at the City College of New York. She is best known for her feature documentary, Catching the Sun, which premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick before debuting on Netflix. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, a TED Fellow, and in 2017 was resident at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.
Thursday, February 1
Performer, writer, cultural commentator and “eco-comedian”
"The Wong Street Journal"
Half psychedelic TED lecture and half hip-hop extravaganza, "The Wong Street Journal" breaks down the complexities of global poverty and economic theory using uneasy-to-read charts, never-before-proven economic strategies for survival and slideshows of hustlers from the first and third world. This solo theatre work illustrates the intersecting politics of charity and economic development across the globe.
Kristina Wong was recently featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and one ensemble play and has toured throughout the United States and UK. Kristina has been praised by the LA Times for her “stereotype skewering humor”, and by Bitch magazine for her “politically charged art with unapologetic humor”. She spent a month in Northern Uganda researching “The Wong Street Journal” and recording “Mzungu Price”, a rap album with local rappers. The show debuted to rave reviews, including the following from the San Francisco Chronicle: "Fiercely comic… the kind of politically focused theater that not only makes you think and question your own preconceptions but also have a great time doing it.”
Friday, February 2
Venezuelan visual artist, graphic designer and human rights activist
Daniel Arzola is a Venezuelan artist and defender of human rights, known worldwide for popularizing the term “artivism”, art as a form of activism. Daniel created the first viral LGBT campaign against homophobia in Latin America, “No Soy Tu Chiste” (I Am Not a Joke), a series of 50 posters which spread worldwide and was translated into 20 languages. This campaign earned him a special mention in the 2013 Human Rights Award of the Canadian Embassy in Venezuela. He received the 2016 Human Rights Award of the International Queer and Migrant Film Festival in Amsterdam and his work was featured at the 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honors. Daniel has also received recognition from renowned artists such as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Tittus Burgess. As a result of experiencing a violent attack and death threats in Venezuela, Daniel now lives in Chile.
International Week is the largest annual extracurricular educational event on campus and fosters global citizenship through engagement with today's most pressing issues.
Established in 1986, International Week (or I-Week) is one of the University of Alberta’s signature events, featuring free events designed to instigate new thoughts, inspire discussions and animate debates on current global issues. I-Week's award-winning program provides a forum for all segments of the U of A community—students, staff and faculty—as well as government departments, non-governmental organizations and civil society to present their own particular views on global issues and share their solutions to create a better world.
"International Week brings global conversations to the University of Alberta. We’ve built a diverse and exceptional community spanning our five campuses, and I-Week creates a space where we can hear each other, see from new perspectives, and find solutions together. We want to inspire engaged citizens and leaders who can think globally when tackling local problems. International Week helps to nourish and encourage those next-generation leaders." - University of Alberta President David Turpin, 2016
In 2009, International Week won the Canadian Bureau of International Education's Outstanding Program Award for high quality and highly creative programming in international education.
Interested in previous International Week programming?