This talk offers a discussion of the competing goals of urban gentrification through a reading of the documentary film Unarmed Verses (2016). The film follows the life of 12-year-old Francine Valentine for several months in 2016 as her family prepares for forced relocation from their North York, Toronto community of Villaways, targeted for demolition by a city gentrification project. While the city’s project—“Building Great Neighbourhoods”—is animated by a vision of the future predicated on the values of neo-liberal capitalist “success,” technological advancement, and social improvement and uplift, Francine understands family and community not as modes of upward migrant mobility, but as primarily shaped by love, even in the face of historical and contemporary loss. You may watch Unarmed Verses free online: however, this is not a pre-requisite to attending the lecture.
Speaker: Dr. Andrea A. Davis - Associate Professor in Black Cultures of the Americas, Founder of the Black Canadian Studies Certificate, and Chair of the Department of Humanities
Dr. Andrea A. Davis is Associate Professor in Black Cultures of the Americas, Founder of the Black Canadian Studies Certificate, and Chair of the Department of Humanities. She is author of the forthcoming book, Horizon, Sea, Sound: A Post-Diaspora Critique of the Nation (Northwestern UP) that theorizes the complex ways in which Caribbean and African women negotiate and contest patriarchal and imperial definitions of the nation.