The F-Word Conference
Creating Communities, Strengthening Solidarity
The F-Word Conference is a student-led and directed conference on feminism, activism, and community hosted by the Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice Undergraduate Student Association (GRSJUSA).
Lau Mehes is known by many as a sequin-clad organizing wizard, queer glitter femme, and snazzy-outfit-enthusiast. She graduated from UBC in 2011 with a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Honours History. During her time at UBC she was President of the WAGS Undergrad Association, founding member of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and general all-around rabble-rouser. She has been a community organizer and youth worker for the past 8 years, working to empower queer and trans youth to be their fabulous selves all across BC through facilitation and support work! She has worked with CampOUT!, YouthCO, and QMUNITY Gab Youth, and is currently the Education Coordinator for C.A.L.L. Out! at Vancouver Coastal Health’s Transgender Health information Program. Lau is also a performer, and arts activist. She is the co-founder and Managing Director of Femme City Choir, an all-genders, queer and trans* centered femme-fabulous singing extravaganza that celebrates and elevates self-identified femme-ness in every form through song and creative community. She is also the co-producer/writer/performer in Capital, Alice!, an anti-capitalist, feminist musical exploring gender and consumption. She sings with local pop band TopLess GayLove Tekno Party and in Cor Flammae, Vancouver’s summer chorus of classically trained, queer singers, performing queer content. In her super minimal spare time, Lau enjoys celebrating the weekly holiday of Femme Friday, riding her bicycle, being a huge misandrist, and dance-partying.
Dr. Phanuel Antwi writes, researches and teaches critical black studies; settler colonial studies; black Atlantic and diaspora studies; Canadian literature and culture since 1830; critical race, gender, and sexuality studies; material cultures; affect studies. He has published articles in Intervention, Affinities, and Caribbean Quarterly. His book-length project, Currencies of Blackness: Faithfulness, Cheerfulness and Politeness in Settler Writing is in its finishing phase. His current research On the Erotics of Sound focuses on dub poetry as a black Atlantic body-archive as a way to situate black Atlantic art forms not only as archives and methods but also as erotic and ethical encounters in a long, complex history of African-diasporic artistic and intellectual culture.
Jen Sung speaks for a living but lives for breathing life into unspoken situations in unusual places. As a queer artist-activist she facilitates with creativity and social justice media to evolutionize and revolutionize youth education in the classrooms and beyond through Out in Schools. Her artistic practice involves unlearning while learning and learning while unlearning; and instead of calling you out, she wants to call you in – to make artful social change with her through the language of love and nerdy codes. She is very wordy.
Anoushka Ratnarajah is a queer, mixed race femme, and a multi-discplinary and transnational artist and organizer currently living on Coast Salish Territory, and working between Vancouver and New York. She is thrilled to be back at the F-Word after having been one of the core organizers of the first F-Word conference when she was still at UBC! Anoushka received her MA in Arts Politics from NYU, and has worked as a producer, performer, writer and arts organizer with cultural and arts organizations in Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Her most recent creative projects include “Capital, Alice!”, a collaboratively devised anti-capitalist Alice in Wonderland musical, and “Toasted Marshmallows” a documentary film and community building project exploring what it means to be a mixed-race woman in North America today. She’s currently working on completing a collection of poems and a one woman show.
The F-Word Conference will provide a safe, anti-oppressive space for students, faculty and activists to collaborate and share their ideas in order to create meaningful dialogue and establish an academic and activist community. The F-Word Conference will create an environment where delegates can bridge the gap between theory and practice to become more effective, responsible and create scholars and activists.