Uneven Grounds

<strong>Uneven Grounds: An Online Photo Essay & Audio Project</strong>
Uneven Grounds: An Online Photo Essay & Audio Project

Elizabeth Miller & MJ Thompson

How can augmented storytelling and embodied ways of learning help us grapple with the effects of environmental racism?  With an eye to critical pedagogies and environmental justice, Liz Miller and MJ Thompson are developing an augmented reality app that takes students and cyclists on a tour through waste sites, past and present, in Montreal. 

The app starts with the idea that being there matters, putting first-hand experience in dialogue with the social histories and contemporary dilemmas of Montreal’s wastescapes. It’s a chance to follow the waste and see where it goes through the lens of city infrastructure, community activism and the people who manage waste. Montreal has piloted a Zero waste plan that is attracting global attention and the objective of the app is to merge zero waste aspirations with critical pedagogy, recreational fun and the transformational potential of a collective visit to wastescapes. 

MJ Thompson (PhD., New York University 2008) is a writer and teacher working on performance and embodiment. Her articles have appeared in Ballettanz, Border Crossings, The Brooklyn Rail, Canadian Art, Dance Current, Dance Ink, Dance Magazine, The Drama Review, The Globe and Mail, Women and Performance, Theatre Journal and more. Her academic work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in Canada; and her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Performance Studies Canada (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017). Most recently, she received the National Park Service Arts and Sciences Residency, Cape Cod National Seashore, August 2019, where she worked on a long-form essay about land privatization and the concept of the view as embodied (forthcoming, Departures 2020). 

Elizabeth (Liz) Miller is a Professor in Communication Studies and a documentary maker with an expertise in environmental media. She uses collaboration and interactivity as a way to connect personal stories to larger timely social issues such as water privatization, climate migration, and gender & climate change.  Her film and media projects such as The Shore Line, Hands-on: Women, Climate, Change, and SwampScapes, have won awards and been screened in climate forums, in classrooms, and at international festivals such as Hot Docs, Atlanta and RIDM. She is the co-author of Going Public: The Art of Participatory Practice (2017), that is accompanied by a website profiling the work of twenty-nine socially engaged practitioners exploring the political, aesthetic, and performative dimensions of their work.

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