The Foreshore: Session 16

Tue 30 May 2017 7–9PM

Cynthia Brooke & Kristina Lee Podesva

Cynthia Brooke on longshore work and union history and Kristina Lee Podesva on Ebbing: Towards an Alternative Vocabulary of Value

222 East Georgia Street

Vancouver, BC

A series of informal session of research and knowledge exchange, join us for these brief presentations followed by discussion:

Based on her experience as a Stevedore and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Cynthia Brooke will discuss some of the history of the union as well as how the shift toward exclusion and security in the ports and shipping industry obscures our understanding of the movement of goods, the people who do that work, and their experiences.

Kristina Lee Podesva will share some thoughts on ebbing as a means for developing a vocabulary of value that turns away from the principles of gain, growth, and accumulation, among other economic delusions. This discussion will also share very preliminary research on tides, especially low tides, to open up a space of practice that knits corporeal, terrestrial, and celestial contexts with social realities. Let us consider what an alternative vocabulary of value might look like. What forms might it take economically, aesthetically, psycho-spiritually?


Cynthia Brooke is a Stevedore, member of of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and former executive member of ILWU local 500 executive. She is also generally active in accessibility issues, and specifically for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival where she co-coordinates access security. She also provides port, and shipping facility tours for artists participating in access Gallery's 23 Days at Sea residency program.

Kristina Lee Podesva is an artist, writer, editor, and publisher working between art making, critical writing, and experimental publishing. Taking many forms, her practice has had an ongoing concern with language and the politics of discourse. Her work has appeared at Artspeak (Vancouver), Darling Foundry (Montreal), Dorsky Gallery (Long Island City), the Power Plant (Toronto), and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), among other venues. From 2005 to 2015, she was Editor at Fillip. She is currently in the process of forming the Bruna Press + Archive in Bellingham, Washington.


Image Left: Low tide on the west beach of Baltrum in the Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer National Park (Niedersachsen, Deutschland). Photo taken by Gisbert1. Color and contrast adjusted by Kristina Lee Podesva.

Image Right: A strike supporter harangues police during the Battle of Ballantyne Pier. This photo ran on the front page of the June 19, 1935 Vancouver Sun.


The Foreshore is a collaborative pursuit and shared space between Access Gallery and Other Sights. The Foreshore is inspired by the deep influence of the waterways on our cities and societies on the West Coast. As a place of unclear jurisdiction, and thus of contestation, friction, and constant movement, those who dwell in this zone must continually adapt to a changing environment. As a site it conjures histories specific to this region: narratives of trade and exchange, habitation and nourishment, resistance and violent erasure. Considering the potential of this zone as both concept and site, the project asks the following: How do we generate conditions of emergence? How can we take up space differently? How do we support unruly practices and futures?

Over the last 7 months, the storefront adjacent to Access’ gallery space at 222 East Georgia has hosted bi-weekly open discussion sessions informed by invited artists, writers, curators, and activists. Adding to this exciting program, we have launched an artist-in-residence series to provide space and time to artists interested in addressing questions of The Foreshore

Accessibility Info

Front door: width 35 inches. Front door step: height 4 inches. No ramp.

Hallway door: 35 inches. Washroom door: 29 inches width. Toilet: 12 inch clearance on left side, 19 inch clearance from toilet to sink. The washroom has no handrail. Washroom is all genders.


Other Sights for Artists’ Projects is a non-profit arts organization that develops new and unexpected exhibition platforms outside of the gallery context. Other Sights collaborates and shares resources with organizations and individuals to present artworks that consider the aesthetic, economic and regulatory conditions of public places and public life. For more information visit

Other Sights gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council, The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15, and private donors without whom this project would not be possible.


Established as an non-profit artist-run centre in 1991, Access Gallery is platform for emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. For more information visit

Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation, the Burrard Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Gallery, and our committed donors, members and volunteers.