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Press Release: Perceptions of Africa: A Dialogue

15 February 2007 at 23:36 | 1370 views

Perceptions of Africa: A Dialogue
Three evenings of talks, discussion, and reflection relating to Africa, AIDS, and Representation.

Thursday, March 8 - Saturday, March 10, 2007
UBC Museum of Anthropology

Distinguished speakers include Dr. Handel Wright, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Cultural Studies;
Michael Gondwe and Aaron Maluwa, AIDS Educators from Malawi; and Dr. Julio Montaner, Director
of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Tickets $9 per evening or $20 for the 3-evening series; students $7 per evening or $15 for series
To pre-register call 604.822.5087. For details call 604.822.5978 or visit

Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 8, 7:00-9:00 pm - Representations of Africa

Keynote address: Dr. Handel Wright - Is this an African I see before me?

Speakers: Manu Kabahizi - Africa: the Continent

Towela Magai-Okwudire - The Problem with Compassion: Searching for African Solutions

Maureen Mogambi - Africa versus ĎAfrica’: A Challenge to Perceptions of Africa

Sanya Pleshakov - Coming into Focus: A Canadian’s Personal Perspective on Malawi.

Friday, March 9, 7:00-9:00 pm - African Agency, Local Initiatives, and AIDS
Keynote address: Michael Gondwe & Aaron Maluwa - Museums as Agents of Change:
HIV/AIDS and Malaria education in Malawi.

Juliet Tembe - Countering Stigmatizing Discourses on HIV/AIDS in Uganda

Douglas Curran - Other Reasons for Dying

Saturday March 10, 3:00 -5:00 pm - Canada Responds, Reflects, Engages.
Keynote address: Dr. Julio Montaner - Expanding AIDS Treatment as a Strategy
to Curb the Growth of the HIV Epidemic Here and Abroad.

Ishi Dinim - Filming Canadian AIDS Initiatives in Malawi
Open Discussion (Reception to follow)

“Perceptions of Africa” is the second in the Museum’s annual Global Dialogue series, and is presented in conjunction with the
exhibition The Village is Tilting: Dancing AIDS in Malawi.

Douglas Curran is guest curator of the exhibition The Village is Tilting: Dancing AIDS in Malawi at the Museum of Anthropology. Internationally
recognized for his photography, he has also produced numerous documentary projects in North America and Africa.

He has travelled to central
Africa, recording Gule Wamkulu (The Great Dance) of the Chewa people of Malawi, for the past ten years.
Ishi Dinim is a Vancouver filmmaker producing a documentary about a Canadian doctor currently working with AIDS initiatives in Malawi.

Michael Gondwe, a Tumbuka from Northern Malawi, is the National Education Coordinator for the Museums of Malawi and the Regional Chair
for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s HIV/AIDS Programme. He has worked with organizations such as ICOM-Africa (AFRICOM) and
the Commonwealth Association of Museums, and has spoken at conferences around the world.

Emmanuel (Manu) Kabahizi is a third year Geography major at UBC, focusing on urban studies and international migration. He has worked
for local initiatives in Rwanda and South Africa as well as international organisations such as the BBC. Originally from Rwanda, he also lived in
Namibia and South Africa before coming to Canada.

Towela Magai-Okwudire, from Zambia, is completing a French Major at UBC. She is currently the Chair of the Africa Awareness initiative,
a student-faculty association whose goal is to establish an African Studies Institute at UBC. In future, Towela will pursue postgraduate studies,
with the long-term goal of integrating African and Caribbean content into Canadian education.

Aaron Maluwa, a Chewa from central Malawi, is an Education Officer with the Museums of Malawi. He is officer-in-charge of the Mtengatenga
Postal Hut Museum, and Director of the Village Cultural Troupe, which regularly presents educational songs and dances on HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Maluwa is currently the Local Project Team Leader in the Swedish African Museum Programme’s Joint Project on Safeguarding Traditions.

Maureen Mogambi is a third year international student from Kenya, majoring in Mathematics and Economics at UBC. Since coming to UBC, she
has been involved with Africa Awareness, helping to raise the profile of African studies at UBC.

Dr. Julio Montaner is a Professor of Medicine at UBC and a faculty member at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. He is Clinical Director of the BC
Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; founding co-Director of the Canadian HIV Trials Network; and President-elect of the International AIDS
Society (IAS). For several years, he has focussed his efforts on the study of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). He is currently engaged
in a joint project in Malawi with the NGO Dignitas to increase access to prevention, treatment, care, and support for people infected with and
affected by HIV/AIDS, and to develop tools and guidelines for sustainable and cost-effective healthcare delivery.

Sanya Pleshakov is an Exhibit Developer at Aldrich Pears Associates. In 2003, she spent five months interning at the Museum of Malawi. In 2005,
she returned as an organizer for the Commonwealth Association of Museums’ Group for Children in the African Museums workshop.

Juliet Tembe is a Ph.D student in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC. She is involved in HIV/AIDS community work and
The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), of which she has recently been elected Board Chairperson.

Handel Kashope Wright is the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Cultural Studies, David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education, Director
of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, and Associate Professor of Education at UBC. Originally from Sierra Leone, he came to Canada
to pursue his graduate studies. Dr. Handel is co-editor of International Education, and has published extensively on continental and diasporic African
cultural studies, critical multiculturalism, anti-racist education, ethnography, and qualitative research.

Tara Cooper will graduate from UBC in Political Science and International Relations in 2007. She currently works at the Human Security Centre at
the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and is active in the UBC Africa Network. In 2006, she served on the Africa Committee for the World Peace Forum.

Dr. Godwin O. Eni was born in Nigeria and came to Canada in 1970. He completed graduate studies at the University Hospital in Saskatoon, and
holds an M.Sc degree in Health Services Planning and Administration and a PhD from UBC. He has held numerous leadership roles in his field and
has consulted throughout Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Anjuli Solanki is graduating in 2007 in Human Geography at UBC. Anjuli’s transnational roots include Zambia, India, and Germany. She is active
in UBC’s Caribbean and African Association, and assisted in the publication of We Have a Voice: An Anthology of African and Caribbean Student Writing
in BC. She is a member of MOA’s Public Programs team, and took a leadership role in organizing this Dialogue.

Photo: Dr. Anthony Shelton, Director of the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada.