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Logo for Bodies in Translation with the words Found in Translation
Welcome to our first newsletter! The Bodies In Translation (BIT) project is about partnerships, activism, art, technology, and access to life. Our newsletter, Found in Translation, will provide a springboard for BIT collaborations and highlight the amazing work that we have underway.


This image is a colour photograph of an Anishinaabe Elder, standing, facing forward, in front of a black background. She is wearing a black tshirt that depicts a red hand giving the peace sign and reads "American Indian Movement Southern California." She is smiling and her hands are in front of her waist holding the two long braids in her hair.

Anishinaabe Elder Mona Stonefish (Bear Clan) is a Doctor of Traditional Medicine and an international activist for peace, Indigenous, women’s and disability rights. She is Senator of the Anishinaabemowin Teg - language preservation, a Keeper of Wisdom, and a Grandmother Water Walker. Mona Stonefish is also a member of the Native American Museum of Washington D.C., a traditional dancer, and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013). She and her granddaughter Sky Stonefish support and teach one another, confront discrimination, and fight to tear down barriers in their travels together.

Photo credit:
Bisi Alawode Photography

This image is a colour photograph of an Anishinaabe Elder, standing, facing forward, in front of a black background. She is wearing a black tshirt that depicts a red hand giving the peace sign and reads "American Indian Movement Southern California." She is smiling and her hands are in front of her waist holding the two long braids in her hair.
What drew you to Bodies in Translation?
I’m an advocate and an artist and I see that through writing and words and through art we can love and understand each other. That’s why we have wampums, that’s why we have treaties. Bodies in Translation recognizes people; it includes people. It’s not nice to exclude anyone and exclusion has been a part of this society for a very long time. People like to say that they support diversity but First Nations have had to give up so much to be included; we have had to give up our language and everything about us; we have had to do things like they do in Europe. But this is Canada, a collection of nations, where we talk about the water and the land that sustains us. Bodies in Translation recognizes this.
Why are disability arts and justice important to Indigenous people?
First Nations people are not seen as full human beings and when we learn differently, we are never supported. To be a woman, to be anishinaabekwe, and to have a disability, compounds things. We can’t even get to the table. Elders are not often included. People think we’re “has beens.” We never mattered as children when they had us in residential school. But we do matter.  Even when I was in residential school, going through sexual violence and the other horrendous things, I still believed that I was somebody; my grandma instilled that in me.
Our children were locked in residential schools, in prisons, in asylums. We were told that they couldn’t learn, that they were just in the way. We fought very hard to get our children out of places like these. Now our children can live at home and be who they actually are. Europeans put us into residential schools to civilize us, they stole our kids to civilize us, and they’re still stealing them to civilize us. And now, this self-identification thing is more ethnic cleansing. We are always having to work against the grain. My 13-year-old grandson says they’re “enabling to disable us.” We have been told that we’re not good enough, but we are. We as First Nations people, Anishinaabe, have the right, as people of this land, to self-determination.
I think each human, every living person, every living organism, everything and everyone, every molecule, has something to contribute. I see that through art and I see that when people come together. We fuel our spirits and that feels good. It’s very comforting.
Bodies in Translation sees you as the Knowledge Keeper for the project. Does this feel right to you? How do you see your role?
Well, I was gifted with the ability to keep the knowledge. I speak my language. I was raised by my grandmother and the knowledge was shared with me by my ancestors, through my grandmother and her sisters and whoever was part of the Bear Clan who could share that knowledge with me.
I spoke my language as a child before experiencing the heinous crime of rape in residential school. I tried to tell but I was never listened to and I was punished for it. I still have a limp from that time. I lost my gift of speech. No words would come out because I was so traumatized. I didn’t talk again until much later, in my early 20s. It was women, anishinaabekweg, and one woman from Akwesasne, who helped me speak again. My grandma and the other women would say, “it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault.” So that’s what I hear and that’s what I teach as well. There’s a spirit that we have as a people. I think everybody has it, they just have to nurture it.
An audio clip from the interview is available by downloading the Mona Stonefish Interview

The transcript for this interview excerpt is available by visiting our website for the Audio Transcript


This image depicts a part of the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery Bodies in Translation show on Aging and Creativity. There are five tables, four white and one shorter black table, dispersed throughout the room, and seven red and white tapestries in various prints on the white walls. There is a brown statue near the back right hand side of the room.
This image depicts a part of the Aging and Creativity art exhibition presented at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery. There are five tables, four white and one shorter black table, dispersed throughout the room, and seven red and white tapestries in various prints on the white walls. There is a brown statue near the back right hand side of the room.
The Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity exhibition is an exciting collaboration between Bodies in Translation, the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Art Gallery and the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging that ran from September 9th - November 12th. This exhibition challenged assumptions on aging and age-related disability. Artists explored sexuality, the mental effects of aging, humour, and commemoration of departed friends, among other topics. 
This accessible exhibition offered insight into various facets of experience and embodiment as we age. It featured work by Martimes-based artists Cecil Day, Michael Fernandes, Karen Langlois, Onni
Nordman, MJ Sakurai, George Steeves, and Anna Torma.

The exhibition also included a public dialogue between co-curators, Eliza Chandler and Ingrid Jenkner, and artists Cecil Day and George Steeves. The conversation explored the role of disability arts in disability rights and justice movements. Artists,  Day and Steeves, discussed how their works responded to the theme of the exhibition and how their works were impacted by the need and desire to make art accessible on multiple levels. 

See media coverage of the show by The Coast and the CBC.


Screen shot of the Vimeo video for Aging/Disability Nexus. There is a still image from the film with the words "in mid-February 2017, academics, community partners and artists came together at Ryerson University to discuss the nexus between aging and disability" across a grey screen with part of the Ryerson University campus. There is a play button at the bottom and the video is at 0:45 seconds.
This video documents the Aging/Disability Nexus symposium, about the intersection between aging and disability, which took place at Ryerson University's School of Disability Studies in mid-February, 2017. It can be accessed by clicking the image above or by navigating to its Vimeo home. The symposium set the stage for the international book, Aging/Disability Nexus. With a wide audience of scholars, students, community members, and activists, Aging/Disability Nexus is an anthology comprised of interdisciplinary perspectives and authors. BIT collaborators, Katie Aubrecht and Christine Kelly along with BIT co-director, Carla Rice, are in the process of editing this volume, to be released in the not-too-distant future.


Photo of Dr. Nadine Changfoot and Annette Pedlar. The two are sitting facing each other at a table, each with a Macbook laptop open and angled slightly outward toward the camera.
This photo is of Dr. Nadine Changfoot and fourth year student, Annette Pedlar. Annette is currently working on evaluating the Wikipedia article “Disability in Canada” and creating a Wikipedia article on the Pelican Lake Indian Residential School. Photo by Jill Kew. In the photo, the two sit at a table, both smiling and facing outward while working on laptops.
WikiEdu, a project of the Wiki Education Foundation, is designed to increase public access to quality information by publishing work generated by people in the higher education field. By pairing up with university educators, WikiEd allows some of the 600 Wikipedia articles published each day to be enhanced by the addition of field-specific sources by those who have access to current, reliable data. Students who engage in WikiEd projects learn through content creation by participating in this project.
Dr. Nadine Changfoot, an Associate Professor in Political Studies at Trent University and a BIT co-applicant, started using WikiEd for the first time in September 2017 with five students. Dr. Changfoot was drawn to the program because she understood WikiEd wanted to refine their content and was motivated to improve articles related to disability culture. She notes that in order to have a successful WikiEd project, there is a fairly high demand on the instructor to think through the process and provide guidance to students. She reflected that students are very excited about the refreshing opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the Wikipedia site and make a relatively quick contribution to public knowledge.
By engaging in a WikiEd project, students can strengthen their  research and writing skills, improve their citation skills, and increase their knowledge of scholarship. Dr. Changfoot recommends working on this program with a small group of upper-year undergraduate or graduate students. She also cautions instructors to consider the time investment required as using WikiEd can be a complex process including that all interactions on Wikipedia public-facing. Despite this, WikiEd uniquely allows faculty and students to present information that is not otherwise well represented in Wikipedia’s current articles, and improve a wide-reaching information system.
In alignment with BIT, WikiEd surfaces knowledge that may not be well known in the mainstream, strives to revise understandings, and aims to expand access to who contributes and what information is shared. The information on Wikipedia still needs improvement and will benefit from a wider scope of knowledge. BIT invites other team members, along with their students, to participate in future semesters. If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact Tracy Tidgwell ( for more information.


Interior view of installation illuminated by blue purple light and filled with small tooth-like clay shapes suspended with fishing wire.
MIXER: Interior #3 w(h)i(t)ch intentions/which intentions

Artists: Anique Jordan, Wy Joung Kou, Kanika Gupta

Photo credit: Alice Lo

Interior view of installation illuminated by blue purple light and filled with small tooth-like clay shapes suspended with fishing wire.
"MIXER is about deepening community, discovering new ways of working together, experiencing multi-layered artistry and affirming intersectionality.” - Syrus Marcus Ware and Barak adé Soleil
Crip Interiors is an annual event developed by Creative Users, a disability-led artist platform that explores the intersection of art and design practices, accessibility, and disability. This year, Creative Users and Tangled Art + Disability presented the third edition of Crip Interiors entitled MIXER which ran during the months of July and August of 2017.
MIXER was developed by disability-identified artists and curators from BIPOC communities over the course of a 5-week open studio process designed and curated by award winning artists, Syrus Marcus Ware and Barak adé Soleil. The artists developed new collaborative installation work that was exhibited for two days in the Tangled Art Gallery.


Sound artist, Stephen Surlin, installed an audio recording station in the Tangled Art + Disability Gallery for the duration of the 5-week open-studio. MIXER artists were invited to document their 5-week creative process. Download and listen to this audio clip by Syrus Marcus Ware. A transcript of this audio is available on the Bodies in Translation website.


We welcome contributions and content by, for and about BIT projects, partners and collaborators in written, visual, audio or other forms. Send submissions and ideas to Andrea LaMarre at

We are also asking questions related to activist art, technology, and access to life. In this edition, we are asking:

Where are some unexpected places you'd like to see activist art?


  • Phantom, stills & vibrations, a multimedia installation created by Lara Kramer Danse will be presented March 1 - 9 at Artspace Gallery, Peterborough in partnership with Trent University and BIT. Contact Nadine Changfoot ( for more information.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Carla Rice, Dr. Inrgid Mundel, and all of the staff and collaborators at ReVision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice for receiving official centre status at the University of Guelph and for their successful launch and celebration in September!
  • Creative Users has officially launched “Accessing the Arts”, an online events listing featuring highlights from Toronto’s vibrant accessible arts scene. Use this as your go to source for all things disability art and accessible art-related.
  • Thickening Fat Symposium, led by Dr. Carla Rice, Dr. May Friedman & Dr. Jen Rinaldi will be held on Ryerson University campus in Toronto Ontario on February 17th and 18th, 2018. It will feature over 50 scholars, activists, artists, and students from Canada, the US, Europe, India and New Zealand.


Thank you to Nadine Changfoot for the interview and Lindsay Fisher for design guidance. Thank you, Mona Stonefish, for the interview.
Flyer for the Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity exhibition. Flyer says: Organized by MSVU Art Gallery, Bodies in Translation and the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Eliza Chandler, Lindsay Fisher and Ingrid Jackson, Curators. 9 September-12 November 2017. Below this text is a black and white image of two people, both looking at the camera; the person to the right is leaning their head on the person in front. There is a second black and white image below this one, with a grey texturized background and vines descending. Below the images, there is text that reads: Focusing on socially engaged creative work by artists who embody difference, Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity addresses various facets of aging, including age-related disability. The exhibition features work by Maritimes-based artists, Cecil Day, Michael Fernandes, Karen Langlois, Onni Nordman, MJ Sakurai, George Steeves and Anna Torma. For information on public events and exhibition accessibility supports visit There are logos below for MSVU art gallery, Canada Council for the Arts, and accessibility symbols for wheelchair accessible, captioning, and sign language.
Bodies in Translation: Age and Creativity:
Cecil Day
Michael Fernandes
Karen Langlois
Onni Nordman
MJ Sakurai
George Steeves
Anna Torma

For a larger print version of the flyer please click the photo or visit the MSVU website.
Image is the poster for MIXER. The border on the top and bottom is a purple horizontal line, a black line, and a red line. The image is made up of five art pieces and the word "MIXER" in yellow capital letter in the middle bottom image. The image to the upper left is what appears to be a patterned tight on a limb, with red string tangled around it. The top middle image is a pair of hands with white rice held in between them in the shape of a heart. The middle right image is a dark grey wall to a construction site, with several yellow and grey flyers attached to it. A person in a long black cape and black hat stands facing the wall. The bottom right image is a dark skinned person's face looking out and to the right. They have their hand on their face on the left, and a red band crosses their face slightly, horizontally, on the right. The bottom left image is a person wearing black crouching in the middle of the image, with five strings attached to balloon-like pieces of material floating above them. They are reading a book. There are white pieces of paper on a cream-coloured wall behind them.
Crip Interiors: MIXER:
Barak adé Soleil
Syrus Marcus Ware
Anique Jordan
Wy Joung Kou
Najla Nubyanluv
Kanika Gupta
Melisse Watson

About This Newsletter

Found in Translation is a newsletter for, by, and about the Bodies in Translation partnership grant. Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life is a research project that creates collaborative partnerships between artists, arts organizations, activists, scholars, and educators. We cultivate activist art produced by disabled, d/Deaf, fat, Mad, and E/elder people with the goal of expanding understandings of vitality and advancing social justice. Bodies in Translation has its home at Re·Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph. Dr. Carla Rice is the Principal Investigator of BIT and co-directs the project with Dr. Eliza Chandler.

A Note About Accessibility

We recognize that accessibility is a dynamic process. If you find any part of this newsletter to be inaccessible to you or if you have any suggestions for how we might make Found in Translation more accessible in content, language, tone, style, etc., we would love feedback. Please email Andrea LaMarre at with feedback.


This newsletter is edited by Andrea LaMarre and Charlotte Hopkins, with oversight by Tracy Tidgwell.

Andrea LaMarre is knowledge mobilization coordinator for BIT. She is also finishing up her PhD in Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph under the advisorship of Dr. Carla Rice. Her research focuses on eating disorders, embodiment, and critical feminist, qualitative, and arts-based methods. In her spare time, Andrea is a dancer and dance teacher, writer, aspiring film editor, and social media enthusiast.
Charlotte Hopkins is a Research Intern at ReVision: the Centre for Art and Social Justice. She is completing her 3rd undergraduate year as a Bachelor of Applied Science student at the University of Guelph, with a major in Adult Development and a minor in Psychology. Her possible honours thesis interests include habits and cognitive dissonance, gender diversity, or kinship across the lifespan. In her leisure, she enjoys writing, reading, camping and textile work.
The content of this newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-Sharealike license. This means that others may build on or alter content when it is re-shared. The content must be only used for non-commercial purposes and the original work must be attributed to the Bodies in Translation Found in Translation newsletter. Users must also license the new work under the same license. For more information about Creative Commons licensing, please visit: Content that is shared here but created by others (for example, found on external links) may be subject to different licensing.

Citation: Bodies in Translation. (November 2017). Found in Translation, Volume 1, Issue 1. 
This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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