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Worried Earth Panel Discussion

Talking about eco-anxiety, entangled grief, and life in an age of climate catastrophe
October 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm
Convocation Hall, 2nd floor of Wesley Hall, The University of Winnipeg
Presented in partnership with the Manitoba Craft Council

Event recording with ASL interpretation

Join moderators Erica Mendritzki and Melanie Zurba, and panelists Byron Beardy, Connie Chappel, Seema Goel, and Andrew Park, for a frank and personal discussion of their experiences navigating eco-anxiety and climate-change related grief, within their lives and in their respective professional disciplines. The discussion will include an opportunity for audience questions. Presented in conjunction with the Gallery 1C03 exhibition Worried Earth: Eco-Anxiety and Entangled Grief

Please join us for a reception at Gallery 1C03 immediately following the panel discussion! Light refreshments and a cash bar will be offered.

About the Speakers

Byron Beardy is a fluent Anishininew (Ojibway-Cree) speaker and a knowledge keeper with a focus on indigenous food sovereignty and security from Garden Hill Anishininew Nation. As Program Manager with Four Arrows Regional Health Authority’s (FARHA) Kimeechiminan (Our Food) – Food Security program, he works to support the inclusion of language and identity in the indigenous food sovereignty movement in Manitoba. Byron shares his learned knowledge of indigenous cultural protocols, customs, and practices with a focus on Indigenous food sovereignty, security, and sustainability. He also contributes to indigenous health and food research, co-leading peer-reviewed publications and co-applicant and co-PI on major research projects.  As well, Byron provides Anishininew translation, interpretation, narration, and transcription services for various clients throughout Manitoba. 

Connie Chappel is a Winnipeg-based multidisciplinary artist making sculptural work about environments in crisis. Combining plant-based materials with manufactured ones, she correlates tree survival with human behaviour. Chappel engages observations of destruction, neglect, and preservation as well as material evidence of history having passed. Her work presents tree morphism and suggests a warning and an urgency towards saving our urban tree canopy. Chappel’s sculpture Stone Lung is featured in the Worried Earth exhibition and she also has several works displayed in Manitoba Craft Council’s Eco-Craft exhibition, curated by Seema Goel, and currently on view at the C2 Centre for Craft in Winnipeg.

Seema Goel is an artist, writer, curator, and craftivist. She combines her dual background in the arts and sciences to create work about the relationship between humans and the natural world.  Focussing on ecological agency, economic structure, and biomimicry, she employs an eclectic range of materials to engage viewers through touch, humour, and play. An advocate for positioning the arts and creativity as fundamental to the human experience and critical to problem solving, she is also a STEAM educator facilitating cross-over projects and collaborations between the arts and sciences. She recently curated Eco-Craft, an exhibition exploring various aspects of climate change that emerged from scientist-artist pairings.

Erica Mendritzki is an artist, mother, and Assistant Professor of painting and drawing at NSCAD University.  She is also the curator of the exhibition Worried Earth:  Eco-Anxiety and Entangled Grief, and is Co-Principal Investigator on the research project "Creating Vocabularies and Rituals for Climate Grief Through Multiple Knowledge Systems and the Artistic Process" which is supported by the New Frontiers in Research Fund through the Federal Government. 

Andrew Park is professor of forest ecology at The University of Winnipeg. His recent research includes investigations into forest adaptation to climate change, the environmental psychology of hope, and climate anxiety in the arts. He is a Collaborator on the Worried Earth research project.

Melanie Zurba is an Associate Professor with the School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES) at Dalhousie University, which is located in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. She is the Nominated Principal Investigator on the research project "Creating Vocabularies and Rituals for Climate Grief Through Multiple Knowledge Systems and the Artistic Process" which is supported by the New Frontiers in Research Fund through the Federal Government. Melanie is also assistant curator of the Worried Earth exhibition.


Gallery 1C03 is on Treaty 1 Territory. We are located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Our water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

This panel discussion is supported by the New Frontiers in Research Fund, and is part of an interdisciplinary research project on eco-anxiety and climate change-related grief.  This research project is led by Co-Principal Investigators Melanie Zurba (Dalhousie University) and Erica Mendritzki (NSCAD University) with collaborators Andrew Park (University of Winnipeg), Roberta Woodgate (University of Manitoba), David Busolo (University of New Brunswick), and Lisa Binkley (Dalhousie University). The work is also supported by Research Associate Polina Baum-Talmor, and research assistants and graduate students:  Lily Barraclough, Sara Boyd, Morgan Brimacombe, Luke Fair, Natalie Goulet, and Bryanne Lamoureux.

Maps of The University of Winnipeg campus, including accessibility and parking maps, can be found at https://uwinnipeg.ca/maps.

Convocation Hall is located on the second floor of Wesley Hall (the "castle" building), facing 515 Portage Avenue. Accessible, street level visitor entrances with auto door openers and ramps are via Leatherdale Hall (behind Wesley Hall) which has an elevator to provide access to the second floor of Wesley Hall. There are gender neutral, accessible washrooms upon entering Leatherdale Hall and gendered, accessible washrooms 20 feet from the entrance of Convocation Hall.

Gallery 1C03 is located on the main floor of Centennial Hall. Accessible, street level visitor entrances with auto door openers and ramps are via Portage Avenue, Ellice Avenue and Spence Street. The gallery doors are equipped with auto-openers. There are gendered, accessible washrooms less than 100 feet from the Gallery entrance.

These events are free to everyone.