Robert L. Peters

25 November 2017

The Rebel… end of the cyberpunk triolgy.

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Winnipeg, Manitoba

My good friend Gerald Brandt’s third novel in the San Angeles trilogy, a thrilling “near-future cyberpunk sci-fi series,” has just been released by Penguin/DAW. Gerald’s “darkly gripping vision of the future” offers a tense, fast-paced, “impossible-to-put-down” tale that keeps readers on the edge of their seat, with a very relatable young heroine as the embattled protagonist. The Rebel is launching locally at McNally Robinson on Monday evening, and we look forward being there for it!

I first got to know Gerald in the 1990s when I took up rock climbing — he and his lithe twin brother were good instructors and a decade younger than I was — we bonded almost immediately (in that way that only those who put their lives into each other’s hands can do) and we became good climbing mates, with countless weekends on nearby cliffs along with unforgettable climbing expeditions in the Rockies. (Yes, Gerald’s climbing prowess makes an appearance in his San Angeles narratives).

Ev and I were pleased and honoured last night to be able to host Gerald and his partner Marnie for dinner — a real shock (and a sudden wave of tears) came when he presented me with a signed copy of The Rebel and I opened the book… Talk about chuffed! I’ve never had a book dedicated to me before…

Thanks Gerald!

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23 November 2017

Decolonizing Community Engagement

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Guest Blog by Dr. Derek Kornelsen

Recently, terms like decolonization and community engagement have become buzzwords in popular discourses about Indigenous health research. But what does decolonization actually mean? How can we really try to decolonize community engagement? If this is to make any sense, and provide any kind of realistic guide for action, we need to start by gaining some sense of how colonization has impacted — and continues to impact — Indigenous communities and Western academic/research institutions. Only then can we consider why community engagement matters and what a decolonized form of community engagement might look like.

Settler Colonialism in Canada

A good starting point for understanding colonialism in Canada is to recognize that there is a distinct form of colonialism at work here — both past and present. This form is called settler colonialism. Typical understandings of colonialism usually refer to a situation where a colonial entity oppresses and manipulates foreign peoples in order to extract wealth and resources — India and South Africa are key examples. In these cases, there is a point at which we see the colonial power officially leaving, and the colonized peoples achieving some level of independence. On the other hand, in cases of settler colonialism, the colonial entity doesn’t leave, but continues to bring in more and more settlers in order to reproduce itself in the colonized space — Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand are the usual suspects here. The particularly horrifying aspect of this practice — as scholars like Patrick Wolfe have discussed in depth — is that, in order to reproduce itself in a given place, the settler colonial entity must ‘destroy to replace’. In Canada, we’ve seen this through overt genocidal acts that morphed into the kinds of cultural genocide that have occured throughout the residential school era.

Read more here…

Dr. Derek Kornelsen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on examining/contrasting Western and Indigenous philosophies and institutional frameworks, with a particular emphasis on developing a theoretical framework grounded in an understanding of the dynamics and impacts of Settler Colonialism. This theoretical framework enables a sensitivity to 2 key under-researched areas in Indigenous health and wellness research: the impacts of the disruption of Indigenous peoples’ relationships with land and environment; and strategies for decolonizing key institutions that Indigenous peoples must access (health as well as political, legal, educational, economic institutions). Broadly speaking, this theoretical frame contributes to the development of robust Indigenous determinants of health and wellness. He is currently involved in developing a number of local, national, and international research projects and partnerships in areas of environmental health and Indigenous health and wellness.


17 November 2017

Over two million biodiversity illustrations… online.

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an “open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives,” has for many years been making it easy for people to connect to nature through nature writing and illustration. Its “first stream,” currently at 122,281 images, has been carefully curated, and includes searchable galleries and albums divided by book title or subject, such as “Exotic botany illustrated,” “The Birds of Australia v.1,” and “Bats!” Its “second stream,” consisting of over 2 million images, is a massive grab-bag of photos, illlustrations from nature, advertisements, and imaginative renderings.

This digital library offers potential for chance discovery through “the aimless wandering that often leads to serendipitously sublime experiences.” The image archives “offer expansive views of humanity’s encounter with the natural world, not only through statistics and academic jargon, but through the artistic recording of wonder, scientific curiosity, and deep appreciation.” Many of the images allow “zooming in” to carefully observe details of the artists’ illustrative processes.

Enjoy! (source)

 


15 November 2017

If it’s broke, fix it.

Jan Parker (quoting “Taoist carpenter” Ken Parker)


13 November 2017

A “warning to humanity”…

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More than 15,000 scientists around the world have just issued a global warning: there needs to be change in order to save Earth. It comes 25 years after the first notice in 1992 when a mere 1,500 scientists issued a similar warning.

“To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

Read the full CBC article here

 


12 November 2017

You will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux


15 August 2017

Natural Reflections… our new book.

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Mike Grandmaison and I are currently proofing our new book, Natural Reflections, now in pre-production at Rocky Mountain Books. It’s a project we started on together back in the late 1980s… finally coming to fruition. More info here

An inspiring and highly original book of photography takes the reader on an unforgettable walk through the vast and wide beauty of “Natural Canada.”

Natural Reflections captures natural beauty from the exceptional viewpoint and unique perspective of Mike Grandmaison’s lens. A singular gallery of images is curated, amplified and informed by the observations of Robert L. Peters.

Filled with insightful musings, truisms and parallel quotations from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, this book is bound to inspire and truly engage both halves of the brain. Divided into five contemplative chapters – On Inspiration, On Seeing, On Intimacy, On Order, On Change – this lavishly produced volume comprises a rich and seamless interweaving of image and word.

This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in the natural world (and its preservation), the art of outdoor photography, the creative process or this vast land called Canada.

The photographer and author, long-time friends and avid nature-lovers, share the humble view that, like a Mother, the Earth both bore us and sustains us, asking little in return but love and respect. This book is their reciprocal tribute and holistic offering.


15 March 2017

Solace House… has been sold.

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Solace House, along with a beautiful 40-acre parcel of woodland in Eastern Manitoba, is now home to a new young family. It’s been hard to “let go” of this low-energy passive solar “retreat” that we designed and built 37 years ago… but there’s also much to say about achieving closure, and as they say, “the time had come.” I feel blessed to have been able to spend those three-and-a-half decades living in the forest, accutely aware of the sun’s power, and being intrinsically engaged in a “real-time experiment” in conservation and sustainability.

Congratulations and best wishes to the home’s new owners!


13 August 2016

Solace House… a place under the sun, naturally.

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Solace House, the low-energy passive solar house that I designed and built in in the woods of Eastern Manitoba in 1980, (together with my wife and numerous family members, friends, and volunteers) has undergone a year of extensive renovations and has now been “put on the market.” Huge thanks to Evelin and my steadfast brother Jim for their tireless help in the past year.

You can learn all about Solace House at an informational/marketing website I’ve created here.

Watch a TEDxManitoba talk about Solace House (now viewed over 5000 times on YouTube) here.


11 August 2016

A podcast interview… on Oots.

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“In order to capture some of the disappearing history in the graphic design industry in Manitoba, with the support of GDC Manitoba, we decided to create a podcast series where we could interview many of the designers who have shaped the design landscape in Winnipeg and beyond. It was decided to keep it simple – conduct interviews with individuals with a set list of questions to capture their thoughts and reflections that might inspire others, and then post the interviews as podcasts. The series is called Out of the Studio (Oots) and new interviews and designer profiles will be added every couple of weeks. Enjoy the podcast series, there is much to be celebrated with Canadian graphic design!”

Listen to the interview here.


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