Luminato 2018: Making Space for Art and Activism Part I

Dec 28, 2018


Luminato strives to create programming that uses the power of art for positive change and that sparks conversations that carry on well after the final bow. The Luminato 2018 program was full of timely and thoughtprovoking pieces that gave a great jumping off point for a series of engaging forums and talks based on the festival’s overarching themes. These talks were an opportunity for our audiences to dig deeper and align what they saw on stage with the world around them.


Mentally Speaking Panel Discussion. Photo by Taku Kumabe.

Three free panel discussions on three essential conversations grounded in the lived experience of everyday Torontonians. Each panel was based on a major theme from Liza Balkan’s Out the Window, and allowed the public to explore how one of the most important civic duties we have as individuals is to be catalysts for change, together. All three panels were moderated by Idil Abdillahi, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Ryerson University.


Photo by Lorenzo Colocado.

Curated by Black Lives Matter co-founder, Sandra Hudson, the Black Lives Matter forum offered perspectives on where Toronto is as a city, what’s next and how we can each play a role in shifting the culture. Sandra was joined by Norman (Otis) Richmond, producer of Diasporic Music; and poet, educator, journalist and advocate El Jones.

POLICING PEOPLE: Society and the Justice System

Photo by Gilad Cohen.

A discussion to reflect on the current status of police training, the justice system and what we can all do to build a more supportive society. The panel included John Sewell, former Mayor of Toronto; Mike Federico, former Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Service; and Keith Merith, former Superintendent with the York Regional Police Service.

MENTALLY SPEAKING: A Toronto Conversation

Photo by Taku Kumabe.

With a sharp increase in the demand for mental health support, care providers and front-line workers are struggling to keep up. This panel explored the intersection of mental health, life on the street, the health services system, and the responsibilities of first responders. Panelists included Dr. David Goldbloom, Senior Medical Advisor at CAMH; Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse and author of Dying for a Home. Homeless Activists Speak Out; and Jaene F. Castrillon, a Two-spirited interdisciplinary artist, activist, author and award-winning filmmaker.

Same as it ever was: Thoughts Beyond Out the Window was presented by The Globe and Mail.

More posts in this series:
Luminato 2018: Making Space for Art and Activism Part II
Luminato 2018: Engaging Young People
Luminato 2018: Community Engagement