CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: Bodies, Borders, Fields

About the event

A “simultaneous conversation” took place on August 16, 1967 between seven speakers in Toronto and New York with the cooperation of Bell Telephone Company, the CBC and artscanada magazine (formerly Canadian Art). This cross-border conversation was recorded and published in that year’s October issue of artscanada, which was, dedicated to “black” as a concept, painterly medium, symbol as well as socio-political category, expression and status.

Convened by Denise Ryner in collaboration with Yaniya Lee, Bodies Borders Fields is a free, public symposium that re-imagines the 1967 conversation about “blackness” with particular attention to blackness and fugitivity as represented in critical art practices today. Responding to an absence of black experience in the conversation between the 1967 panelists—an absence that has since been examined by writers Fred Moten, Krys Verrall and others—Bodies Borders Fields will dislocate the original panel discussion to contemporary contexts and representations of black and blackness in sound, performance and visual culture with respect to black social life and expression.

Bodies Borders Fields supports ongoing and future discussions of blackness as an ever-shifting, circulating and transforming factor for the survival and destabilization of colonial systems and institutions. All are welcome, especially those who recognize their own stake in contemporary readings of black and blackness as both signifier and lived-experience.

For more info:


Dates / schedule for availability / jobs

Thursday, 21 November: 

7pm – volunteers meeting, schedule and jobs run-through

Friday, 22 November:

5pm – Welcome desk open @TMAC (someone to attend this desk at all times during event)

6pm – Opening Performance @ The Theatre Centre

7:30pm – Panel: Krys Verrall, M Nourbese Phillip w/ Denise Ryner, Yaniya Lee

9:00pm – Opening reception (set-up and clean-up help needed)

Saturday, 23 November:

11am – Writing Workshop w/ Jessica Lynne @ Gladstone Hotel (set-up and clean-up help needed)

11am – Panel: Raymond Boisjoly, Bear Witness, Lillian Allen @ TMAC

12:30pm Lunch @ TMAC (set-up and clean-up help needed)

2pm – Panel: Che Gossett, Charmaine nelson, Joshua Chambers-Letson @ TMAC

3pm – Performance Workshop w/ Steffani Jemison @ TMAC (set-up and clean-up help needed) @ Theatre Centre

4pm – Talk/Plenary about ideas discussed so far @ TMAC

Sunday, 24 November:

11am – Brunch/performance w/Sean Henry Smith, Imani Elizabeth Jakson @ TMAC (set-up and clean-up help needed)

12:30pm – Panel: Keyon Gaskin, M Nourbese Phillip, Tina Post @ TMAC

2:30pm – Performance workshop w/ Aisha Sasha John @ Gladstone Hotel (set-up and clean-up help needed)

3pm – Panel: Kandis Williams, Deanna Bowen, Christina Battle @ TMAC

5pm – Plenary/open response @ TMAC

Locations: TMAC, The Theatre Centre, Gladstone Hotel



Volunteer jobs

Helping out-of-town artists/speakers with directions and accommodations

Attending the welcome desk and directing guests to the right venues

Set-up for talks, reception and workshops, assisting artists with conducting workshops

Clean up after reception and workshops


Compensation for volunteers:

Free producing membership to Trinity Square Video (valued at $100, valid for 1 year)

$40(first hour) credit for gear rental and educational workshops at Trinity Square Video

$20(per extra hour) credit for gear rental and educational workshops.

TTC fares/tokens for each day worked

Interested individuals please contact Emily and Karina: