Through Whose Eyes? A forum on representation.

Tess Baker says:

“Never sacrifice a good story for the truth.” Good advice, usually. But what about when the story is someone else’s story?

Engineers Without Borders is constantly trying to connect Canadians to Africans’ realities, to their stories. Usually, that means bringing individuals’ stories back to Canada, telling these stories in whatever way we can. Of course it’s not just EWB doing this–almost any Canadian group, organisation or individual working in Africa will be driven to tell stories of the people they work with. It’s a thin line to walk. Stories are shared with the best intentions, but what are the risks of telling a story, especially if it’s not your story?

On Sunday, January 30th, EWB will be hosting a day-long forum to try to better understand these risks. Who gets to tell a story? When do we have the right to tell someone else’s story? How do stories change? Can stories be disguised? When has storytelling been done right, and when has it been abused? Although EWB and friends will be facilitating the day, the conversations will come from everyone in the room. On January 30th, we’ll try to hear a story differently.

The essentials:

Through Whose Eyes? – Preconceptions, Misconceptions, and Other Risks of Representation
When: 9 am – 3 pm :: Sunday, January 30th, 2011
Where: The Global Lounge, 2205 Lower Mall, Building 1, UBC Campus

Free lunch will be provided: Ethiopian food!

For lunch and seating numbers, we ask that you please RSVP to

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at