There has been an abundance of culture to celebrate this year at UBC.
With students making space for themselves and their communities, the arts on campus being better than ever, institutions taking it upon themselves to take bigger leaps towards reconciliation and more — here are some of our top stories of the year in culture.
Indigenous students speak out on Halloween: We are people, not costumes
By Rebecca Hope Gouthro, Dene Petti, Rodney Little Mustache, Lenaya Sampson, Tanner Neufeld, Memegwans Johnson-Owl, Cole Daley and Amber Rose
A collective of eight Indigenous students, staff and community members from across campus put forth their thoughts and personal experiences regarding ‘Indigenous’ Halloween costumes and why this act is both hurtful and offensive. Rebecca Hope Gouthro, the project organizer, explained that she “hope[s] that our voices can inspire others to think twice about about selling, buying or wearing these costumes.”
Capital ‘B’ Black: The UBC Black Student Union is making space for expansive identities
By Riya Talitha
This year, the organization formerly called the Caribbean African Association (CAA) was developed into a new group called the UBC Black Student Union (BSU). When the founders noticed that there was a growing population of Black students at UBC, a significant portion who weren’t Caribbean or African, they researched, discussed, debated and finally started the process of becoming as AMS club — one they quickly found fulfilled a need at UBC.
Black UBC students on Black History Month: Distinct identities, shared experiences
By Danielle Olusanya, Sydney Henry, Gavin Gordon, Will Shelling, Miselta Ihekwoaba, Mikaela Joy, Haydn Reid, Chimedum Ohaegbu and Ozioma Nwabuikwu
A collective of nine Black students at UBC discuss their thoughts, feelings and experiences relating to Black History Month, with Danielle Olusanya noting that “Black History Month is political because we are living in a time when we are having to fight for our lives to matter.”
A safe space for the dangerous: UBC Theatre presents Lion in the Streets
By Cassandra Betts, Tolu Amuwo, Elizabeth Wang and Marina McDuff
Writers Cassandra Betts and Tolu Amuwo worked with Photo Editor Elizabeth Wang and Video Editor Marina McDuff to create a multi-media exploration of UBC Theatre's Lion in the Streets. Lion promised to be such an intense experience for audiences that a trigger warning was posted on the doors — the play encouraged audiences to consider difficult topics, including child murder, infidelity and domestic violence.
Questions of belonging: How local institutions are handling Indigenous repatriation initiatives
By Bridget Chase
While museum efforts in British Columbia were previously focused on collecting Indigenous objects for display, many museums now have a new mandate: giving them back. From ancestral remains in the UBC Lab of Archaeology to a Haida Mortuary Pole in the Great Hall of the Museum of Anthropology, Culture Editor Bridget Chase investigated how different institutions are working to repatriate their collections back into Indigenous communities.
Langar brings the UBC Sikh community together to serve free meals for all
By Pheobe Chong
“Langar” means free meals for all and the Sikh community adopted this practice 550 years ago. Twice a year, the Sikh Student Association of UBC partners with Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen and Basics of Sikhi Canada to host Langar Day at UBC. Anyone and everyone can receive a free meal, and the event is not only an opportunity for the Sikh community to reach others but to strengthen its bonds within.
Decolonizing information and preserving knowledge with the Indigitization program
By Darby Lynch
Since 2010, the “Indigitization” project has provided Indigenous communities access to information and technology for preservation of records through digitization. Many community records of traditional knowledge are on corrodible technologies like cassette tapes or old-school film reels — Indigitization helps to breaks down the barriers Indigenous communities are still facing by enabling their proprietary.
Goosehunt has outgrown its space, proving that local headliners can sell out a crowd
By Moira Wyton and Zak Vescera
Features Editor Moira Wyton and News Editor Zak Vescera attended this year’s Goosehunt, an annual festival organized by Blank Vinyl Project and hosted in Koerner's Pub on campus. This year's rendition featured an amazing set of eleven student acts and two killer headliners. Reviewing the event for the second year in a row, Wyton and Vescera argued that the sold-out Goosehunt desperately needs to expand out of the confinement of Koerner's — and that Block Party could learn a thing or two from the event.
From the Cult: An almost all-candidates roast through the lens of their bad, bad websites
By Kevin Jiang
Writer Kevin Jiang took aim and fired shots at this year’s AMS, Board of Governors and Senate candidates, using their awful candidate websites as his target. As one of the most viewed pieces published in The Ubyssey this year, Jiang clearly hit his bullseye, with comments so scathing that candidates responded with nothing but the laugh react, surely in despair.
Chan family expands artistic reach with $40 million investment in Vancouver Art Gallery
By Bridget Chase
The Chan family, who contributed $10 million to the creation of UBC’s prestigious performance art theatre in 1997, will continue their namesake with a $40 million donation to the Vancouver Art Gallery. The new building will be aptly named the Chan Centre for the Visual Arts.
What do the Power Rangers, Superman and ancient humans have in common? UBC linguist Christine Schreyer
By Bridget Chase
UBC Anthropology professor Dr. Christine Schreyer is a professional “con-lang,” or constructed language creator, having crafted the language for movie Alpha, as well as Kryptonian for Superman and Eltarian for Power Rangers. Outside of her film career, Schreyer also works with Indigenous communities and languages. This piece, written by Culture Editor Bridget Chase, was awarded the Arts & Culture Writing Award at the 2018 John H. McDonald Awards for Excellence in Student Journalism.
Feature-length film SGaawaay K'uuna helps to revitalize Haida language
By Emma Ng
When UBC planning professor and Indigenous planning program head Dr. Leonie Sandercock visited Skidegate, she and community planning members of the Skidegate Band Council began discussing the creation of a film based on Sandercock’s previous documentary work. Out of these discussions emerged feature length film SGaawaay K'uuna, the first ever film entirely in the Haida language. It proceeded to win three awards at the Vancouver International Film Festival: Best BC Film, Best Canadian Feature Film and Most Popular Canadian Film.