Tag Archives: downtown eastside

Still Dancing by Jonathan Labillois / Todays DTES Womens Memorial March

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Annual Downtown Eastside Women’s Memorial March

WHAT: Press Conference for 27th Annual Women’s Memorial March
WHEN: Tuesday February 14 at 11:00 am
WHERE: Carnegie classroom, 3rd floor, Main and Hastings

MEDIA PROTOCOL: Please note there will be NO MEDIA PERMITTED in Carnegie Theatre during the family remembrance between 10:30 am to noon. Media may record the march that begins at noon at Main and Hastings, except NO recording of the ceremonies that take place during the march.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Carol Martin: 778-302-3367
Myrna Cranmer: 604-215-0264
Mabel Nipshank: 604-809-6504
Evelyne Youngchief: 778-888-1687
Rebecca Brass: 778-223-2843

For French media interviews, contact Cori Kelly: 778-709-6494

For general media inquiries or to set up further interviews, contact Harsha Walia: 778 885 0040

February 8, 2017 VANCOUVER, Coast Salish Territories- The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day to honour the memory of all women from the Downtown Eastside who have died due to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence. Now in its 27th year, the march brings courage and commitment to end the violence that vulnerable women in the Downtown Eastside face on a daily basis.

The Women’s Memorial March Committee is hosting a press conference on Tuesday February 14th at 11 am in the Carnegie Center’s 3rd floor classroom. The march begins at noon on Main and Hastings.

The February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee was founded when a woman was found murdered on Powell Street .For 27 years, the Committee has been a leading voice on the issue of violence against Indigenous women and has raised local, national, and international attention. Despite a national inquiry being launched on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the reality on the ground in the Downtown Eastside has not changed.

According to the Women’s Memorial March Committee “Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the Downtown Eastside still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.”

In Vancouver, friends and family members led by Indigenous women move through the DTES and stop at sites where women died or were last seen to offer prayers, medicines, and roses in remembrance.

Downtown Eastside graffiti artist Smokey D. sheds light on fentanyl’s gloomy toll via VancouverSun

 

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It was a brutal year for Smokey D.

The Downtown Eastside graffiti artist lost 17 friends to overdoses, including Dawn, his girlfriend of a decade. After being clean for “a long time,” Dawn died at a party where she smoked crack and heroin cut with fentanyl, said Smokey, 47, who asked that his real name not be published.

“It ripped a hole in my heart, man,” he said. “I always thought I would die before her.”

Since an overdose crisis began sweeping across B.C. — killing 755 people in the first 11 months of 2016 alone — Smokey has painted a dozen murals, memorials for those who have died in the community and warnings about the dangers of using fentanyl-tainted street drugs without others present to call for help.

Fentanyl, a toxic opioid, has been detected in 60 per cent of illicit-drug overdose deaths this year, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.
“It killed a lot of people in my world, so I have no time for it,” Smokey said

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In an alleyway near Hastings and Carrall streets, where people use drugs with health care workers nearby, Smokey’s brightly-coloured tributes and fact-based murals have some people calling him the “Underworld Street Reporter,” he said. Before Postmedia located him, drug users heaped praise on his paintings for keeping them aware of fentanyl’s deadly toll.smokey04.jpg

Smokey’s obsession with graffiti began when he was in high school in North Vancouver. He credits the 1984 film Beat Street, a drama exploring New York’s hip hop culture, with exposing him to a style of art he would spend the next three decades making his own.

He eschews costly street-art spray paint for whatever materials he can get his hands on. Most murals take 30 minutes and many are painted in moments of anguish, such as an alleyway tribute to Dawn he painted in the twilight hours one morning in June.

“Bright colours are good in a dark place,” he said.

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But despite his tremendous loss in 2016, Smokey remains thankful for blessings in recent years.

In 1994, after a stint selling heroin and cocaine in Vancouver’s rave scene, Smokey found himself addicted, couch surfing and growing apart from his family. In the decade that followed, he was slapped with charges and jailed for his graffiti.

But he hasn’t seen the inside of a jail cell for eight years, he said. He believes Vancouver police are no longer bothered by his murals, which are mostly contained to the alleyways near Hastings. “Maybe it’s the messages, you know?” he said.

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He’s grown closer to his eight-year-old son, who lives in Richmond, and in 2013, he became a participant of the SALOME prescription-heroin trial at the Providence Crosstown Clinic. He credits SALOME with helping him maintain his health and housing while keeping him out of trouble.

With tainted street drugs killing so many in B.C., he believes more drug users should have access to pharmaceutical heroin in a clinical setting.

He holds hope that his community can overcome the crisis taking so many lives.

“I just want people to stay positive,” Smokey said. “I don’t want people to see it all gloomy down here.”

neagland@postmedia.com
twitter.com/nickeagland

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/downtown-eastside-graffiti-artist-smokey-d-sheds-light-on-fentanyls-gloomy-toll

Ohrn Image — Soul Gardens — Price Tags . Vancouver street art…

Soul Gardens is a community public art project led by W2 Community Media Arts that investigates the cultural history of the Downtown Eastside (DTES) as told through stories of food, gardening, and community. A collaboration between five muralists and five artist researchers the project draws heavily on individual and shared narratives within founding DTES cultural […]

via Ohrn Image — Soul Gardens — Price Tags

Downtown Eastside Vancouver (Nina Yin Street Videography) /Night Traps by Ashes of Purgatory

The streets of Vancouver tell millions of stories, good and bad. This day was an incredibly dark day of my life and has lurking memories attached with it, I could have easily overdosed or been taken advantage of in the making of this short film. Night Traps by Ashes of Purgatory / my best friend recorded this with me at Deluca sound Lab, he was living in the Sun Ah projects while I was hustling and had taken far too much substance 911 was eventually called but this footage was taken right up to that point. Night Traps. Street photography / cinematography. Vancouver’s downtown east side. A dark day.