Things We Were Never Told

It was wonderful to welcome Julie Salverson in Winipeg over the weekend. Her reading at McNally Robinson included portions of her play BOOM, her opera Shelter and her new manuscript Atomic Elegy. Although the long weekend meant a small crowd, it was certainly a thought-provoking event. Julie’s work explores the theme of witnessing. Her manuscript, which was inspired by learning about Canada’s link to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nakasaki, led to a vibrant discussion both with Julie and at least in my case with family and friends afterwards. It was certainly news to me that the uranium ore used to make the atomoic bombs came from Northwest Territories. You can learn more by reading Julie’s article “They Never Told Us These Things” in the summer issue of Maisonneuve. I know I’ll also be waiting to read her full manuscript when it is published.

Board member Andrea Geary with Julie Salverson

One of the things that makes me so passionate about the arts is that they really do allow us to constantly learn more about the world we live in. I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Bogart lately, after participating in a fabulous Viewpoints masterclass in Banff with Michael Greyeyes. In her book and then, you act Bogart says: “Ultimately the role of art is to wake us up. Routine takes the place of life so easily. The senses reign, numbness enters. Our job as artists is to sharpen our perceptual mechanism on a daily basis in order to venture out into the world with curiousity to receive, perceive, and report back.”

This is certainly at the heart of Sarasv├áti’s work and what stood out in Julie’s work.
-Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director