Friday, 20 September 2019
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Radical Imagination series back at the Halifax Central Library where it belongs

Our beloved Central Library, photo Wikipedia

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – A bit of good news to end the week. The Radical Imagination speaker and film series is back on at the Halifax Central Library, where it belongs.

This after Alex Khasnabish, the organizer behind the series, was told in late June that the Halifax Public Libraries would no longer sponsor the events unless a police representative be invited as a formal speaker at two events dealing with police brutality and alternatives to policing communities. 

Khasnabish refused, citing concerns around censorship and the silencing effects of such a police presence on the audience.

See also: Larry Haiven: A modest proposal for a new Halifax Libraries lending policy

“I had an excellent discussion with Åsa Kachan, Chief Librarian & CEO of Halifax Public Libraries yesterday about the issues relating to the screenings of Profiled and Trouble 18: ACAB and we have found a way forward,” Khasnabish writes in a Facebook post.

As a result of those discussions the entire program, including the two events dealing with policing matters, will now continue as originally planned.

“The library will then host a community discussion event in the days following the screening focusing on the issues raised in the films and broader questions relating to policing in our community,” Khasnabish writes.

“I’d like to thank (Halifax Libraries CEO) Åsa Kachan for reaching out personally and taking the time to have a really open and thoughtful conversation with me about all the hard issues raised in this situation.

“I also want to thank reporters from CBC, the Chronicle Herald, News 95.7, the Coast, the Sheldon MacLeod Show, the Nova Scotia Advocate, the Halifax Examiner, and more who showed such interest in the broader issues raised by this story.

“But most of all, I want to thank all of you who took the time to take action on this, to talk to one another about public spaces and critical conversations, and to reach out to me with your support. Your collective, grassroots power made this resolution possible and helped advance these public discussions,” Khasbabish concludes.   

Check out the  Radical Imagination Film and Discussion Series here. I’ve really enjoyed the documentaries and panel discussions I attended over the four years or so the series has been around. 

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2 Comments

  1. Good news! In response to the previous comment, I listened to the library’s own position on this and although I had initially been outraged (having heard only the Radical Imagination’s side of the story) and I completely changed my mind, so I have continued to love the library and the people who run it throughout. I’m also impressed that the library didn’t go overboard expressing and explaining their position despite all the negative publicity.

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