Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Freedom to Read Week

I’m going to assume you already know that it’s Reading Week here at OCADU, but do you also know that next week it’s Freedom to Read Week in Canada?

Freedom to Read Week ; Feb 24 - Mar 2 2013 ;

Freedom to Read Week is organized by the Book and Periodical Council‘s Freedom of Expression Committee. All across Canada, book stores, libraries, schools, and community centers will join in to host events and celebrate our fundamental right to intellectual freedom.

While not as flashy as the right to education or clean drinking water, intellectual freedom is ridiculously important. As human beings, we all have pretty well-developed faculties of judgement and reason, but these faculties don’t work in a vacuum, and no individual can come up with all the answers themselves. What does this mean? It means we need as many ideas around us as possible — as many memes, worldviews, facts, opinions, statistics, dreams — or else we can’t make the right decisions. Intellectual freedom is about supporting human cognition; it’s about developing and maintaining democracy itself!

So, what will you do to celebrate and (re)dedicate yourself to the principle of free and public expression? Read a challenged book, like The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (call# PS3537 A44 C2), The Diviners by Margaret Laurence (PS8523 A7 D4), The Wars by Timothy Findley (PS8511 I5 W2), or Black Eye: Graphic Transmissions to Cause Ocular Hypertension (PN6726 B52 2011) — all of which are available at OCADU’s Dorothy H. Hoover Library!

If that’s a bit too solitary for your liking, check out the upcoming local events. On right now is CENSORED, a display of challenged books at Type Books on Queen West (right across from Trinity Bellwoods), but there’s lots more going on next week — check out the list of Ontario events for details!


02 2013

Sweet books you should probably read

Here is brief rundown of some really great books I have checked out of the OCADU Library recently. The Library is great for assignments and all, but there are also some really awesome books there for leisure reading and personal interest. I have a hand in picking them, so maybe I’m a little biased, but I think our collection is really good!

First off, we have lots of new graphic novels in right now… I think I will do a separate graphic novel post here soon. One really sweet graphic book I recently picked up at the Library is Lynda Barry’s “Picture This”.

Lynda Barry is probably best known for her Marlys comic, or her YA novel “Cruddy” (so good!), but in recent years she has been making graphic books which examine the concept and experience of creativity. These books are great for newbies and seasoned artists alike. Barry has an interesting sense of humor and a special kind of wisdom. You can check out a preview of the book on the publisher’s website, Drawn & Quarterly. If you like the book, check out “What it is” (about overcoming drawing-block) and “One Hundred Demons” (about exorcising your demons through Chinese ink painting), also available at our Library.

Next, I want to talk about a really great book for those of you interested in sustainability, environmentalism, gardening and food security: “City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing” by Lorraine Johnson.

My family comes from farming folk so it’s no surprise that I love growing food and getting my hands into the soil. It is possible to do in Toronto! For many years I have been able to grow a lot of food in a tiny garden plot (2 feet by 5 feet has produced lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, sunflowers, beets, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, kale, mint and more). Here are the reasons I loved Johnson’s book:

  1. So many books on ecology speak of the present global situation from a perspective of  fear and impending-apocalypse. Johnson’s book comes from a positive, empowered perspective of what can actually be done on a personal level (and not just the tired vote-with-your-dollar mentality).
  2. Johnson is Toronto based, so many of the examples in the book come from Toronto. It was exciting to learn of all the great initiatives going on in our city. There are also plenty of outside examples as well.
  3. Near the end of the book there is a chapter on keeping chickens. Not legal in Toronto (yet), but so cool!!!

If you enjoy this book, also check out “GreenTOpia : towards a sustainable Toronto” edited by Alana Wilcox, Christina Palassio and Jonny Dovercourt, also available at the Library.

Continuing on the Toronto tangent, the last book that I would recommend is “Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto” by Shawn Micallef.

Micallef, an instructor in the Faculty of Design, takes you on walks through many of Toronto’s most-loved neighbourhoods and streets. I found this to be an interesting reading experience in comparing how people (Micallef and myself) experience same places in such different ways.

Read anything good lately? Feel free to comment with your personal recommendations!


03 2011

BIG BANG BIG BOOM – The new wall-painted animation by BLU

“BIG BANG BIG BOOM: an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life … and how it could probably end.”

direction and animation by BLU
production and distribution by


02 2011

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