Writing Session #5

On April 12th, our writing facilitation group met for the fifth time at the McConnell Library. The breadth and depth of conversation was not impacted by the unfortunate, continuing lack of participants. Our attentions were turn towards identity. Slow violence, as we have previously discussed, is an identity forming piece of culture. The way in which we interpret our own self worth is, in part, based on how we view our community and environment. The worse the environment, less valuable we see ourselves. However, as it became apparent in this week’s session, people exposed to slow violence are capable of having multiple, parallel identities.
The Canadian identity became the main subject of this week’s session. The group noted concepts of Canadian identity, some of which overlap with our local culture while others did not. For instance, multiculturalism transcends the Whitney Pier identity and is also part of our national image while environmental degradation is more closely associated with our local region. From our conversation, one could infer two things. First, the Canadian identity is not one of slow violence, regardless of evidence that could connect Canada with detrimental environmental factors. Being Canadian is associated with equality, success, and peace. Second, people¬†effected by and who identify with slow violence can, at the same time, identify as not being part of slow violence. We are from Sydney, a town near devastated by de-industrialization, but we are also from Canada. Both are equally true.