Panel Day at Gallery Gachet

Power to the People: Conversations on Art Against Oppression
Sun Oct 7th, 2012, 2 – 6.30pm


Panel 1 – The Power of Art, Activism and Performance – 2 – 3.30pm
Co-presented by Institutions by Artists, LIVE and Gallery Gachet
Performance has the power to create socio-economic change. Artists working in the field of performance art, community based theatre, and participatory art converse regarding art and creativity that pushes the boundaries and challenges political, social and economic oppressive forces. Art that unveils inequity and fights for the rights of people, calling and aiming for social change. Questions about cultural colonization, social agency, and the responsibility of the artist/community to engage in mutual relational exchange will be addressed.

Moderator – Randy Gledhill, LIVE Biennale
Randy Gledhill is an artist and Executive Director of the performance art festival, LIVE.



  • Chumpon Apisuk, is founder of Concrete House, an art and community space and the only performance art venue in Thailand. He is also a founder and director of Asiatopia – an International Performance Art Festival in Thailand. In 2004, he was nominated as coordinator of _Silabha_ a cultural program of the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok and is known for his activism in HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, and democracy issues. He has been continuously promoting performance art in Thailand since the 1980s and is well-known throughout Asia. Since 1996, he has performed in Germany, England, Quebec, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia and USA.
  • Terry Hunter, is Co-founder/Executive Director of Vancouver Moving Theatre and Artistic Producer of the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival. Mr. Hunter has also produced numerous innovative productions that give voice to the residents of the Downtown Eastside. Highlights include In the Heart of a City: The DTES Community Play (2003); We’re All In This Together- the Shadows Project (2005-07), and A Downtown Eastside Romeo and Juliet (2008), a tragic comedy theatre production that shed light on homelessness from a Downtown Eastside perspective.
  • Pierre Leichner, transitioned from a thirty five year career as an academic psychiatrist to that of an artist. He obtained a  BFA, ECU, and a MFA, Concordia University in Montreal in 2011. Most of his works address biological, psychological, social/cultural, political and spiritual issues simultaneously.  He uses multi-sensoriality, participatory and performance based practices in many of his projects. Dr Legumes, his alter ego  performs daring surgery on vegetables that can be seen on You Tube.  Since 2005, he has had 12 solo shows, participated in over 40 group shows and presented in 10 art conferences. He just completed a 3 month residency in France in a mental hospital as the resident artist where he worked with the patients to create a community art project on “isolation in the community.”

3.30pm – 4.00pm – BREAK

Panel 2 – The Power of Art, Women and Resistance – 4 – 5.30pm, reception follows
Co-sponsored by PACE (Providing Alternatives Counselling & Education Society), FIRST, by Institutions by Artists and Gallery Gachet

This panel presents women artists and activists working to create community engaged, creatively-based work that deals with feminist, sex worker and anti-oppression issues. Each of these women is working to gain rights for sex workers and to overturn longstanding barriers that directly affect workers. Together they help to create a surge of change as they advocate for women facing marginalization while seeking to open a space for all women to find an empowered, self-directed voice, one that engages with their inner creativity and connects to their strength as women.

Moderator – Bernadine Fox, Artist and Writer
Bernadine Fox, is a visual artist and social activist working in the field of disability arts, art and mental health. By weaving colours, objects, and words, Fox constructs ethnographic-based narratives in art as she examines the human condition most specifically that which pertains to the lives of women.


  • Noi Apisuk, is a social worker trained in community development and the founder of the Empower Foundation (Education Means Protection of Women Engaged in Re-creation) in Bangkok, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on the rights of women working in the entertainment industry. EMPOWER provides workers with education and support as they strive to develop a community of fellow workers focused on building a voice for sex workers. Empower is also engaged in raising consciousness about the spread of AIDS/HIV in Thailand. Empower uses art and cultural performances as expression; inspiring a process of reflection and questioning, where people challenge the traditional beliefs they hold. Noi has received a number of honors in recognition of her work, including the “It Works” award from the Norwegian government in 1990, a scholarship from Harvard Law School for International Human Rights training in 1997, and the “Outstanding Social Worker” award, in 2000, from the Social Welfare Department of Thailand’s Ministry of Social and Labour Affairs. Recently, Empower received the “Human Rights Award” in 2006 as an outstanding organization committed to fighting for sex workers rights, from the commission on Human Rights in Thailand. EMPOWER won a United Nation’s “Red Ribbon Award 2008”, for being an outstanding HIV/AIDS work and community rights organization.
  • Susan Davis, is an active sex worker of 24 years, who is involved in sex worker rights and labour organizing and is development coordinator for Canada’s first sex worker cooperative, the West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals. She is a respected spokeswoman for the sex worker rights movement whc has lectured on her experiences at universities and colleges and testified to various government bodies, including to the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry. Susan sits on numerous committees as she works to support sex worker rights and safety.
  • Shauna Paull is the author of roughened in undercurrent (Leaf Press, 2008). A well-respected poet, educator and community advocate, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the UBC. She has led creative writing workshops at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, and for many different organizations in Vancouver. In community, Shauna has worked extensively with migrant and refugee women in areas of labour and mobility rights, poverty alleviation and legislative reform.

5.30 – 6.30pm – screening of Empower Foundation’s movie, “Last Rescue in Siam”,
followed by informal reception with turkey fare and drinks!

Special thanks to Institutions by Artists for their generous support:
Institutions by Artists is an international event that evaluates and activates the performance and promise of contemporary artist-run centres and initiatives. Including a three day conference, a series of exhibitions and events, commissions and publications, Institutions by Artists is organized by Pacific Assn. of Artist-run Centres, Fillip magazine and ARCA, the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference/Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés.
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