MDD Statement on use of Goldcorp Centre for Arts
Statement Regarding MDD’s use of the SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Center for the Arts:
We at Media Democracy Day would like to acknowledge that we are aware of the controversial history of the SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Center for the Arts, and that in utilizing it as a venue for Media Democracy Days 2011, we necessarily participate in that controversy. To claim that our repetition of the name “Goldcorp Center for the Arts” is somehow politically innocent would be disingenuous at best, deceptive at worst.
As an organization committed to the use of dialogue, communication, and storytelling in the interest of social, political, economic, and ecological justice, Goldcorp’s record of environmental degradation and indigenous displacement is of course troubling to us, and has not gone unmarked throughout our coordination process. However, as we continue to grow as an event, we face a real need to open up new spaces for community groups to gather in. The SFU Woodward’s site is one of the few spaces in Vancouver that offered to MDD the kind of facilities required to host our workshop programme.
We acknowledge and denounce the destruction of indigenous communities at the hands of mining companies such as Goldcorp. That said, we hope that by using the Woodward’s site as a space of community inclusion (all MDD events are free and open to the public), coalition building, and critical thought, we can foster a thoughtful and politically engaged activist community willing to challenge such issues as environmental degradation, indigenous displacement, corporate naming rights, and the wedding of the private sector to public education.
Without accepting it as any kind of solution, in a time when governments fail to adequately hold corporations to account for their actions, corporate philanthropy acts as an alternative (if woefully insufficient) form of taxation and redistribution. MDD hopes that by bringing activists and community members together in spaces supported by this troubling new funding model, we can turn them into sites of critical reflection and challenge that reckon seriously with injustice, inequality, and invisibility on a global scale.
We sincerely thank you for your support and respectful critique.
-The MDD Team