Powell Street Festival Society Announces Stewardship of 360 Riot Walk

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Powell Street Festival Society is proud to announce its stewardship of 360 Riot Walk created by artist Henry Tsang. This multilingual interactive self-guided walking tour invites participants to trace a layered history of Vancouver’s labour politics, anti-Asian racism, and community resistance in what is today the Downtown Eastside. This unique project interweaves the narratives of racialized communities, reclaiming how and what histories are told.

360 Riot Walk

360 Riot Walk is an interactive walking tour of the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver. It utilizes 360 video technology to trace the history and route of the mob that attacked the Chinese Canadian and Japanese Canadian communities following the demonstration and parade organized by the Asiatic Exclusion League in Vancouver. Participants are brought into the social and political environment of the time where racialized communities were targeted through legislated as well as physical acts of exclusion and violence.

The soundtrack is available in four languages of the local residents of the period: English, Cantonese, Japanese and Punjabi. You can stream the project on location with a mobile device and headphones or remotely on a web browser. There are 13 stops on the tour.

If you decide to take this self-guided tour on location*, start at Maple Tree Square in Gastown. You will need wireless data and about 2 hours to complete the tour; feel free to stop at any point and resume anytime later.

*Please be aware that the area has a higher density of vulnerable and marginalized people – it may be a good idea to go with someone. Because you will be aiming your device in every direction, you may be perceived as taking photos of local residents, which may cause a reaction. Be courteous, and take the time to let them know that you are watching a recorded video.

Powell Street Festival Discussions, Tours

Combining historical images with contemporary surroundings, 360 Riot Walk participants are confronted with Vancouver’s ongoing legacy of racism. The Powell Street Festival Society sees this project as having the potential to build upon inter-community relationships, creating allyships with other racialized groups and shared community responsibility. It will be partnering with 360 Riot Walk team to host online panel discussions and live walking tours from May to September 2021. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has also joined as a community partner to build greater awareness of the project.

Panel Discussions May, June, & July

  • Reflections on the Tour- with former participants of the walking tour
  • The Challenge of Translation- with the translators of the Japanese, Cantonese and Punjabi versions
  • The Context of the Riots- with the writers of 360 Riot Walk blog posts

Self-Guided Tours & Reflections July – September

  • July 24 and 25, Weekend Prior to the Powell Street Festival
  • July 31 and August 1, Powell Street Festival Weekend
  • September 11, Memorial of the 1907 Anti-Asian Riots

For more information and sign-up links when events are officially announced, follow the Powell Street Festival on Facebook.

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