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Join d.talks, in collaboration with Esker Foundation, at PLACEHOLDER. This is an unconventional book club where we present the theme of the afternoon and you bring your own book, poem, or object that you feel best articulates the theme. This is an opportunity for Calgarians to critically discuss and identify how our city and citizens affect and are impacted by local and global themes borne out in the work of Esker’s current exhibiting artists. Let’s form a new narrative in Calgary together! The theme of this PLACEHOLDER will be Protection.

At this PLACEHOLDER event, we want to explore the idea of “protection” as it plays out around us. Society maintains certain rules and expectations - whether unspoken, codified in law, or expressed in the architecture and design within cities and institutions, that are meant to keep us safe or preserve some ideal. Where do we see these attempts to influence or control behavior in our daily lives locally and globally? What are the consequences of these systems, both positive and negative? Who are they protecting, and from what?

The current exhibition at the Esker Foundation, A wall is just a wall (and nothing more at all) by Kapwani Kiwanga, examines such “protective” elements in architecture by “isolating structural traits and intended psychological effects of different built environments, such as prisons, hospitals, and mental health facilities.” This includes using colors meant to have a soothing effect in prison cells and installing blue lights that reduce the visibility of veins to discourage drug use in public areas. Does architecture have a responsibility to influence the behavior of its occupants? Do such practices actually accomplish their desired effect, or do they only relocate and hide these behaviors in potentially more dangerous ways? What are the implications of creating safeguards designed to protect people?

This will be an informal discussion, and we also invite you to bring an object, reading, poem, song…anything that expresses the theme for you.  An artist list of relevant books can be found in the Esker Foundation's Lantern Library, but there is no required reading and participation without an object/text is welcome.

Earlier Event: March 25
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Later Event: May 10
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