Vol. 4, Is. 1: DisOrientation
Fall Issue 1, 2011
To begin the school year, we here at YU Free Press are calling on the discrepancies of the institution; from systemic sexisms, to queer and transphobias, to institutionalized economic racisms, and all the things in-between that are rarely given word, breath, or speech.
The Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG)–York is ushering in the new school year with DisOrientation, an annual week-long event comprising workshops, film screenings, panels, and other various events that introduce students to York’s political culture. In honour of DisOrientation, this issue of the YU Free Press lists student groups and various early on-campus events, as well as a campus map compiled by Nathan Nun and Simon Granovsky-Larsen. This map is not one that you know. This map tells a different story of York than the one you have become so comfortable with, so used to. This map shows you places where students at York University have experienced assault, murder, and violence; where student rallies and protests on campus were shut down or subjected to police intervention and eventual brutality; where offices of the powerful elite are located, if you so wish to actively use this knowledge; and where veggie lovers and our non-meat eating friends might eat. We have also included locations of resources on campus such as the CDS, OPIRG, and CLASP, which are centers to serve you and your needs as students and individuals on this campus.
Within the pages that lay ahead, you will find news from areas in the world not as far as we have imagined. In our Features Section, Canova Kutuk contextualizes the back-to-work legislation that most recently ended the city’s postal strike. In ‘Socialism: Satan’s Social System’ Nathan Nun forces those who unreflectively criticize socialism to ask themselves, “You really have no fucking clue what socialism is, do you?” Over the summer, students involved in the York International Internship Program (YIIP) furthered their academic research and activist interests at placements around the world, and consider their experiences abroad in diaries printed here.
Our Comments Section includes ‘Gimme Shelter,’ in which Raisa Bhuiyan offers insight into the issue of homelessness in Toronto in tandem with the invisibility that queer-identified individuals experience. This past spring on York campus a police officer recommended to women that they prevent sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts.” Heba H. Al Fara, Jenelle Regnier-Davies, and Amy Saunders in their respective articles ‘The Women Fight Back,’ ‘Indecent Exposure: What are we Hiding?’, and ‘Bodies at War’ address SlutWalk – an international phenomenon in reaction to this event – and more generally the culture of victim blaming.
In the Arts and Culture Section of this issue, Michelle Kent’s poetry asks us to re-evaluate our understanding of language with er beautiful manipulation of words, touching upon feelings within each of us in ways we have yet to experience. In the world of film, Amee Lê reports on a Q&A with filmmaker and provocateur Lars von Trier; while Hadiyya Mwapachu reviews Mountains That Take Wing: Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama – A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, a film which reflects upon women’s participation in activist movements, and how their involvement is so often overlooked.
In this issue, the team at YU Free Press is not only engaging you to read and become educated about things outside your boundaries of understanding and comfortability; we are also asking you to do something. That is, we are asking you to disorient your ways of thinking and understanding, to disengage with false ideals and false freedoms, and to disavow a position of passivity. We must destroy to create, demolish to build, and disorient to freely choose our own orientations.
The YU Free Press would like to welcome new members to the Collective, including Tina Barton, Amy Saunders, and Amil Shivji. They will be joining returning Editors to continue the project of offering alternative media to York students. Thank you for picking up our first issue, and we look forward to the year ahead.
YU Free Press Editorial Collective