November and December were both very active months for Cascadia organizing. Cascadia Now! received several mentions in magazines and online blogs including Vice Magazine and Mother Earth Magazine. Events culminated in meetings in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Olympia, while a Explorations of Cascadian Cartography Exhibit was hosted by Portland State University and the 7th annual Decolonizing Cascadia Geography conference was held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Explorations of Cascadian Cartography in Portland, OR:
Explorations of Cascadian Cartography – A new map themed gallery set up for the duration of the 2012 North American Cartography Information Society (NACIS) in Portland OR, will be running at the White Stag building through December 10th.
The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community. Their goals are to improve communication, coordination and cooperation among the producers, disseminators, curators, and users of cartographic information.
This year’s conference was the first hosted in Cascadia since 2004, which continues to be at the forefront regional geographic, social, and spatial mapping projects.
New Portland Cascadia PDX Website and First Meetup
For anyone interested in getting involved in Portland, Oregon, a new website has been created by CascadiaNow! Organizers at http://cascadia-pdx.org/ .
People can sign up for their newsletter, get informed on upcoming events from their calendar, get added onto their Portland action phone tree, as well find a wide range of Cascadia related merchandise.
They will be having their first meeting Wednesday, December 5th from 5:30-7pm at the green space in PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union building, right beside Food for Thought Café. More information can be found at: http://cascadia-pdx.org/cascadia-pdx-first-gathering-tea-and-vision-wed-dec-5th-530pm-7pm/ .
Decolonizing Cascadia – 7th Regional Geography Conference in British Columbia
The seventh annual Cascadia Critical Geographies Conference, entitled “Decolonizing Cascadia” was held at the University of British Columbia on November 16th and 17th. The weekend conference focused on envisioning and critically challenging known geographies of the Pacific Northwest, and that of Cascadia. Members were in attendance from both CascadiaNow! As well as Cascadia Matters who screened their newly released documentary Occupied Cascadia.
The conference shifts on a yearly basis between different Universities in the Pacific Northwest – UBC this year while last year took place at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Consistent with the previous mini-conferences’ goals, the emphasis is on creating a fun, engaging, and friendly atmosphere that embraces an unsettling of the ‘traditional’ conference structure. The conference’s organizers welcomed a wide range of spatially-oriented critical scholarship that encouraged creative media on various themes from geography and other disciplines. Responding to discussions at previous meetings, the plenary theme was decolonization in which participants critically engage with (neo)colonial practices in knowledge production, pedagogies, academic institutions, and regionalisms.
Decolonization involves a reimagining of relationships among land, people, and the state. This process requires study, conversation, and continual unlearning. As two of multiple decolonization strategies at this year’s conference, the organizers recognize meeting in unceded Coast Salish territory and work towards the inclusion of non-academic knowledges.
CascadiaNow! is Vice Magazines personal favorite Secessionist Movement
In the wake of dozens of petitions being filed with Whitehouse website demanding various states independence, garnering more than a million responses, CascadiaNow! has received a nice mention in an article “Why not let all the states secede from the United States’ written by Vice magazines editor Harry Cheadle.
While he writes off most of these movements, founded probably as a semi-racist, largely conservative response to the 2012 election, he does note the existence of several legitimate ones such as Texas, the Second Vermont Republic, Hawaii and of course his personal favorite – Cascadia.
First Release of the Cascadia Review: a Poetry Journal for the Pacific Northwest
The Fall 2012 Season (Volume 1, Issue 1) of the Cascadia Review will run from October 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, and will feature work by twelve poets and four artists from the bioregion. They will post a new poem or piece of art each weekday on their website during the season, with a few bonus posts on the weekends, including poetry postcards sent to Cascadia Review by our contributors.
All contributor work will be clustered so relationships between pieces for any given poet or artist can readily be seen. Curators will also tag work by contributor name, state, city, province, subject matter themes, and other useful metadata so readers can see the growing body of work through various lenses. As the season develops, they will share a custom map based on contributor residence. The map will include links to each contributor’s work on Cascadia Review. This interactive spacial infographic will give readers another way into the collection.
For those not aware, Cascadia Review is “a journal of poetry that recognizes the need for ongoing curation of creative work produced by poets and artists within the Cascadia bioregion. In this role, they hope to demonstrate—through that poetry and art—the bioregion’s evolving consciousness, its varied identities and sub-identities, and its singular overriding essence.”
For more information, and to sign up for their newsletter, go to:
Cascadia recently received a nice mention in a full length feature piece in Morning Earth Magazine describing bioregions around the world, noting: “Probably the most ambitious bioregion, one that has been proposed with great energy, isCascadia. It includes the coastal panhandle of Alaska, all of British Columbia, all of the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and part of northern California. The logic of Cascadia is shared ecologies, watersheds, and the North America’s west coast temperate rainforest. Its creation would mean merging parts of two nations and six states.”
Vote Cascadia: An Interactive Community Art Project
During this last round of our recent election cycle here in Cascadia, an interesting new website popped up, followed by a flood of dozens of images that quickly spread through Facebook and Twitter.
The images, part of a new interactive art project called ‘Vote Cascadia’ were a response to the release of a simple template that could be downloaded online and allowed people to fill out their hopes and desires for a Cascadia Commonwealth.
From the website “The project works to help people engage their neighbors and communities in re-imagining city, state and place – by asking each person to anonymously share their vision of a perfect world. By comparing and contrasting our different visions, we begin to understand more intimately the needs, hopes, and desires of those around us, and find our common ground.”
The “Results” of this poll are dynamic word cloud art images. All the ballots are analyzed for word frequency, and the most common words are larger proportional to their usage. In this way, they sum up in a single image the recurring thoughts, dreams, and ideas of an entire community- our collective common ground.
Ballots that have been submitted so far can be viewed on http://votecascadia.tumblr.com/ . In addition, anyone looking to get involved or help expand the project into their own neighborhood is encouraged to email: firstname.lastname@example.org