Monday, 28 June 2010

Simon Borer's letter to Toronto's Mayor

To my Mayor David Miller and my Member of Parliament Olivia Chow,

Hello. I am writing to you today because I believe you are decent and principled people who feel as strongly towards our city, country, and democracy as I do. I wish to communicate to you my hope that you will call for a transparent review of the G20's finances and any possible human rights violations that occurred over this past weekend.

I believe that our nation is only as strong as the rights and freedoms that we as citizens demand be upheld. When a small minority of violent individuals were allowed to run amok without police intervention, every taxpayer in Canada thought the same thing - where has our money gone? The costs to us eclipsed both recent summits and the Vancouver Olympics by orders of magnitude, only for small business owners to be targeted by hooligans without recourse? I hope that you can help protect the rights of the taxpayers and our free & open society by calling for a full audit of the G20 security expenditures.

The following day, we saw the situation reversed. Innocent people were arrested, or worse - trapped in a punishing thunderstorm for three hours, surrounded by a wall of riot police, many unaware of the situation they had stumbled into. There are reports of violence against journalists, always a chilling moment for those of us who believe in democracy. We also have the shameful Ontario Regulation 233/10, the so called "Fence Law", to demand answers for - a law rushed through at the last minute before it could crumble before a constitutional challenge. The list continues, at great length, so it is my hope that you will join with Amnesty International and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, along with so many ordinary citizens, in calling for a full review of any possible human rights violations that may have happened this past weekend.

It is clear to me that mistakes were made. This is understandable - there is a pervasive climate of fear among our leaders today. We have for the last decade allowed them to govern us in a state of exception, sidestepping democratic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our responsibility now is to demand transparency and accountability from those in power.

I have great faith in both of you. I have followed your careers closely, and truly believe that you are good people, and I believe that both of you, without my encouragement, will be calling for a full independent audit and human rights review of the G20 security. I just wanted to say, preemptively, I knew you'd do the right thing.


Simon Borer
150 Bellwoods Ave
Toronto, ON

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Turns out I like So many youtube videos!

So I'm in Toronto this weekend leading a workshop for Volcano and the U of T Centre for Ethics called "InFORMING Content" which examines the relationship between experimental theatre and ethics. Ethicists give lectures and the workshop participants, all theatremakers, respond to the talks with formally inventive theatre. Today was really invigorating. I'm very excited to see what the results of the experiments are tomorrow evening.

As part of my talk I decided to show a few examples of work that gets me going in the UK and Europe, and as a result quite a few youtube videos came about. I thought for the interested blog-readers I might share/embed some of those here. A few of these people have worked with Forest Fringe, a few of them haven't, but they all make work that is innovative enough that it can freak out and excite a room of drama students in Canada:

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Mountains and getting started

Hello Bloggy Friends!

So it is the first day of this wonderful month and this internet thing of mine is obviously very much on my mind. I am currently in Banff, at the Banff Centre doing a programme called the "Playwrights Colony." The idea of living in a colony is both terrifying and very sweet, and the reality of it is neither, really. Well it is sweet if we're to take the 90s slang use of the word: Super Sweet. But it certainly feels as though I'm here to do something, even if I'm having a hard time getting around to the thing that it is I'm supposed to be doing. Writing a Play. There are plenty of other things to focus on in the meantime. I have been swimming in the pool once, done a yoga class (the fact that procrastination could actually push me towards a fitness regime, even such a half *ssed one is incredible) I've watched four movies, including Pretty Woman in French on television. (Une Jolie Femme. Which is much improved by replacing Julia Roberts' voice with an elegant french woman's.) I've been in a fellow playwrights reading, started strategically planning my meal plans to get the most out of the allotted amount of money we're given each day, spoken on skype several times with my partner in crime and crime fighting - AND, had a dream that this very blog was turned into a porn site, which horribly became much more popular than it currently is. (Which makes sense.)

Basically what I'm saying here is that I've been here for four days and I've accomplished a whole lot that isn't writing.

But this isn't to say that I'm not preparing to write. I think I may be. I think at this point I've had to accept that procrastinating is part of my process. And in this case it doesn't feel as much like procrastinating as it feels like - getting ready.

I've got two weeks left here and I've got to say that this is the kind of place that is obviously geared towards that moment when you drop everything and stop living so that you can be writing. Maybe that intimidates me a little. Okay, replace maybe for probably, and replace probably for "of course it does." BUT I also feel that there is an energy here that I need to pause, rest, stop to catch - like a radio frequency - I know it's here, I'm just trying to tune into it.

In the meanwhile I have (surprisingly) been spending less time on the internet than I usually do, even though it's always here, waiting for me in my room at the end of a long day. I've also been sleeping less than I'd expect. And My Gawd, I've actually been using my gym membership. I think that all of these facts can only foreshadow positive things. A kind of living for the present that brings writing into it somehow. Not unlike how things were in Greece - but much quieter, more introverted, and geared towards that.

I'm excited to start. I'll let you know when I do.

In the meantime, I just saw the Shop Around The Corner and it blew my little mind.