Finding community and memorializing our past heroes
Written by Jeff Samsonow
Our latest podcast: A conversation about who we remember from Edmonton’s past and who gets to choose the collective memories.
Is Edmonton’s history always the same?
Do we always have a collective memory or are there different versions of Edmonton that exist? How easy is it to piece together an accurate picture of what’s happened here and who’s come before us? These are the kinds of questions the latest issue of The Yards delves into, and it’s where our conversation from the issue launch are centered.
There’s no panel this time, it’s just Yards publisher Simon Yackulic and the author of the magazine’s cover story, Bashir Mohamed. Bashir talks about his work looking into the story of Lulu Anderson, and her very early civil rights case at a downtown Edmonton movie theatre. The two also take questions from the audience which help dig deeper on the themes of community, identity and history that can, but don’t always, expose our past fully and give us a clear idea of who to celebrate today or in the future. It’s a discussion that’s very much alive right now as the racism and oppression from many of our past leaders raises questions about how we’re memorializing them.
A show note: Bashir mentions Peel’s Prairie Provinces as an archive he’s used for historical newspaper clippings. It’s a wealth of resources, beyond newspapers, for glimpses of the past in Edmonton.
The namesake for the Oliver neighbourhood, Frank Oliver, also comes up in conversation. The Yards examined his history, and our memory of him, in a previous issue.
Bashir documents a lot of the stories he uncovers, and those he’s working on, on his Twitter feed, so make sure you’re following him for more of this kind of storytelling.