End of semester storytelling café: La Tertulia
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
A tertulia is a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones, especially in Iberia or in Latin America. Tertulia also means an informal meeting of people to talk about current affairs, arts, etc. The word is originally Spanish(borrowed by Catalan and Portuguese), but it has only moderate currency in English, used mainly in describing Latin cultural contexts. It is rather similar to a salon, but a typical tertulia in recent centuries has been a regularly scheduled event in a public place such as a bar, although some tertulias are held in more private spaces, such as someone's living room. Participants, known as contertulios, may share their recent creations such as poetry, short stories, other writings, and even artwork or songs. And in this storytelling session we can just come and share an anecdote or just simply enjoy listening to what others want to share.
In the context of our collective investment in a shared landscape, private choices inevitably lead to public impact. This conversation will strive to consider how these decisions - made in the context of the personal realm - slowly trickle up, coalescing into the boundaries of our cultures and communities. Do we hold the power to change our world? If so, how?
Gerardo Sierra: Aryentu.Man. Father. Inquirer. Creator.(Gerardo co-hosted Pena Latina with Lynne in the USC 2005-2006 seasons).
Anne Caines is the current coordinator and one of the founding members of RECAA Ressources ethnoculrelles contre l’abus envers les aînéEs, a non- profit organization founded primarily by elders from the ethnic communities and its mandate is to break the silence on one of the most hidden forms of family violence, elder abuse. Since its creation, RECAA uses participatory theatre workshops—Forum Theatre— to reach out to those who are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment because of challenges of language and culture. Forum theatre workshops continue to provide a physical and psychological space for elders to identify their own reality and to help each other find solutions.
Moderator: Chilean-Trinidadian-Honduran-British-now Canadian Lynne Cooper, stands out for her very singular story: that of a multilingual immigrant, Mother, actress, theatre coach, clown and Artistic Director of Le Trunk Collectif. Her mix of cultures and languages are an essential part of her artistic work which is coloured by the fact that she grew up in a suitcase. She strives to use art as a tool for community development and to use clowning and physical theatre to tickle people into social change.
435, rue Beaubien Ouest, local 201