This year everything changed. The way I write, the way I think, the way I see the world. I say this with authority partly due to the fact that I spent the better part of the last week of 2015 going through all of the photos I took this year, and that’s what they tell me now. What struck me most was how few of them I had even looked at again since I first took them.
Which leads to my next big 2015 change: I purchased a smart phone mid-year, which completely changed the way I communicate with my loved ones and altered my relationship to the Internet. It changed the way I take photos (IN SHORT: I take far more pictures, far less interesting ones, and never take the time to delete/edit). It wasn’t until I started searching for online traces and hints of what my life was like this past year, how I recorded the year in photographs or words, that I realized I hadn’t shared much; hardly anything at all. In all of 2015, I posted two photographs of myself to Tumblr. I posted in my livejournal account 6 times. Twitter, suprisingly, was the space that most reflected my realities, my ups and downs, mon quotidien en 2015.
This winter was the longest, with record-breaking cold snaps. This summer was the antidote, a joyful sun-filled summer which I celebrated from June 21st through ’til September 21st, fully. The digital documents reflect that: I took twice as many photos in the month of June as I did in the entire preceding five months. #calmdownparty was my mantra, and Instagram was the place where I shared selfies of my shadow, the view from our 1963 Mercury Meteor, the moments I chose to relish in after a winter and spring filled with (useless) anger and stress.
I did not leave the country once, after years filled with at least one plane trip and many, many long drives. I embraced my membership in the stay home club, socializing almost exclusively on my own terms. I made few new friends, but cherish the ones I did. I tried to not spend too much time pining for the wonderful friends I have across Canada/the world and instead made plans to see them. Montreal, 3 hours west of my home, 3 hours closer to many people I love, became a place of reunions in 2015. Travellers from Ottawa, Petawawa, Aurora, Seattle converged there.
Professionally, I accomplished things that would have seemed outlandish and absurd to me even just a year ago. Simultaneously, I dealt with the reality of an institution I love being slowly – and often, not so slowly – chipped away at. I cried a lot. I tried to channel my anger into productivity (keyword: tried), and learned to accept things as they were, and more importantly, slowly learned to let go. I thought of escape routes, but didn’t take action. I adjusted.
I indulged myself. Said fuck it, decided *I earned it* instead of steeping in old guilt-soaked habits. I became harsher, more demanding, of myself but more importantly of others. Ten years ago these thoughts and actions would have been unheard of. I think this could use some softening but overall I think this has been an evolution in the right direction.
Things will change even more in 2016, which I will only allude to in vague terms because that’s how I roll these days. I am fucking excited.
You know the drill: here’s a selection of key moments, readings, and music I experienced or enjoyed throughout the year. Since there are so many, you’ll often find a broken link or two, so please let me know if you encounter one. If you’re feelin’ like woah, holy shit Julia, that’s a lot of links, can you select just a handful for me? Check out the entirely bolded selections. Recommended readings in italics are audio/radio. Without further ado:
- I can’t remember much.
- Was blown away by Selma.
- Was sick, read this book in 3 days.
- Discovered and became obsessed with Geneviève Castrée, her art, her music.
- Hosted/produced a one-hour radio show.
- Read a lot.
- Learning to Live With Perpetual Information Warfare by Smàri McCarthy (January 8, 2015)
- Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris by Juan Cole (January 7, 2015)
- On Charlie Hebdo by Richard Seymour (January 7, 2015)
- When Does Domestic Terrorism Go Unnoticed? When the Victims are Black
- Unmournable Bodies by Teju Cole (January 9, 2015)
- Fade Out by Sasha Frere-Jones (January 15, 2015)
- 27 Thoughts about Canlit by Pasha Malla (January 2015)
- The Invisible Woman: Bjork in conversation with Jessica Hopper (January 21, 2015)
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS by Lindy West on This American Life (January 23, 2015)
- The Whiteness Of “Public Radio Voice” by Chenjerai Kumanyika (January 27, 2015)
On repeat: Ô Paon – Fleuve
- Maddy invited me to be a part of Femina Ridens, one of the best things I decided to do in 2015.
- Simon et moi, nous avons tenu salon.
- Played with robots at Mois Multi.
- Started reading Sontag’s diaries.
- My eyelashes froze.
- Postscript: David Carr by Jelani Cobb (February 13, 2015) and this beautiful goodbye from Ta-Nehisi Coates – King David (February 19, 2015)
- the boring eye: in which the male gaze is the critical panopticon by jes skolnik (February 18, 2015)
- Notable Mugs: Gabourey Sidibe by Anshuman Iddamsetty (February 20, 2015) especially this part.
- Moms to the Front: The Joys and Pains of Touring with Kids by Miranda Campbell (February 26, 2015)
On repeat: Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker the Berry
- Was really, really sad.
- Was really, really angry.
- Appreciated Nathaniel Russell‘s art a lot.
- Met Sean! After years of online interactions. Simon got him drunk with Writer’s Tears.
- I think I distracted myself with alcohol and art.
- Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever? by Emily West (March 3, 2015)
- Crying for Ana Mendieta at the Carl André Retrospective by Marisa Crawford (March 10, 2015)
- Our Bodies Are Not Terra Nullius by Naomi Sayers (March 20, 2015)
On repeat: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian at Best
- CBC cuts, again. They never get easier.
- By virtue, got sadder. Saw people lose their jobs. Lost mine, but ended up replacing other people. Hard.
- Mourned the loss of Taueret.
- Had a nervous breakdown.
- Did some pretty nice journalism with some cool kids.
- Was angry about racism in America, in Canada.
- Was sad about movie theatres/drive-ins closing.
- Saw my friend Jaime, too briefly.
- Self-Portrait Of The Artist As Ungrateful Black Writer by Saeed Jones (April 3, 2015)
- We’re All Precarious Now by Charlie Post (April 20, 2015)
- Nonviolence As Compliance in Baltimore by Ta-Nahesi Coates (April 27, 2015)
- Hatred of Translation by Nathanaël (April 29, 2015)
On repeat: Fiver – Dayton
- Bare legs! The snow finally left!
- Turned a corner emotionally, work wise.
- Rewarded myself by surviving winter 2015 with the most gorgeous, wonderful bicycle. First new bike of MY LIFE!
- Discovered No Better than Apples, the best zine I’ve come across in years.
- Went to see DEERHOOF at the FIMAV and cannot put it into words how fucking awesome that was.
- My best friend Karina got married! It was amazing! I was the officiant! We spent a whole week together beforehand!
- Montreal was a nice distraction but I was still sad, as you can tell in these photobooths.
- That Home Feeling by Anupa Mistry (May 6, 2015)
- Death in the Browser Tab by Teju Cole (May 21, 2015)
- Bodies of Water by Jenna Brager (May 12, 2015)
- This rant by Marfmellow (May 2015)
- Too Different and Too Familiar: The Challenge of French-Canadian Literature by Pasha Malla (May 25, 2015)
- Why some of Jian Ghomeshi’s accusers don’t want to “tell all” by Jesse Brown (May 2015)
On repeat: Yamantaka/Sonic Titan – Hoshi Neko
Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj – Feelin’ Myself
- Lilacs, love and laziness
- This, written by a nameless stranger.
- An American Kidnapping by Ta-Nehisi Coates (June 17, 2015)
- The Last Thing White Women Need Is a Dylann Roof by Sarah Jaffe (June 23, 2015)
- Run to the Devil: The Ghosts and the Grace of Nina Simone by Brian Phillips (June 26, 2015)
- Bree Newsome’s statement
On repeat: Frazey Ford – Done
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
The Weather Station – The Way It Is, The Way it Could Be
- Did my final arts report, a weekly look at contemporary art across Quebec, which was my favourite journalism/what I think I am/was best at. I think I’m the only one who misses it, though.
- Interviewed Douglas Coupland which was fun
- The aforementioned cuts slowly came into effect.
- Said some goodbyes, and good riddance.
- Saw Future Islands/Operators and Owen Pallet. Samuel Herring is a BEAST. Amazing dancing.
- Spent every weekend in the summer sun, dodging thunderstorms.
- Lost my glasses while swimming in a river.
- Simon bought a 1976 Dodge Tradesman camper van. She is named Nuage. She has her own hashtag.
- We went on a 10-day roadtrip through Quebec and Ontario, with nice stays in Prince Edward County and good quality family time.
- Ms. Difficult by Jennifer Glaser (July)
- The Reddit Revolt Paradox by Britney Summit-Gill (July 7, 2015)
- “Where’s my cut?:” on Unpaid Emotional Labour by Jess Zimmerman (July 13, 2015)
- Saw belugas, whales and seals. For real. I gasped aloud.
- Met up with Iris and Duncan in Montreal
- Admired sunsets, skies, clouds, late night bike rides.
- Hosted the morning show I’ve been working for for nearly 5 years. Did it for a whole week. Surprised myself.
- Was sad to hear of the untimely death of Svetlana Boym
- Was the happiest I had been in a long time.
- Eat, Pray, Post: How virality is westernizing the entire world by Navneet Alang (August 5, 2015)
- Female Visibility Matters by Salamishah Tilletaug (August 7, 2015)
- Flight of the Ruler by Gabrielle Bellot (August 17, 2015)
- Tan Lines by Durga Chew-Bose (August 17, 2015)
- How Black Reporters Report on Black Death by Gene Demby (August 20, 2015)
- Some Thoughts on the Wrapping Text by Geneviève Robichaud
- Time is a Privacy Setting by John Herman
- Disposable Youth featuring Henry Giroux (August 27, 2015)
- Emmanuel Todd: the French thinker who won’t toe the Charlie Hebdo line by Angelique Chrisafis (August 28, 2015)
- I Keep On Forgetting My Name by Arabelle Sicardi (August 28, 2015
Hell You Talmbout featuring Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0.
- Went swimming in rivers, lakes, in September.
- Saw Garbageface on the last super hot day of the year.
- Read a lot of poetry.
- Tried to adjust to big changes at work.
- Migrants Welcome by Teju Cole (September 7, 2015)
- They Pretend To Be Us While Pretending We Don’t Exist by Jenny Zhang (September 11, 2015)
- Depressiongrams by Jamie Lauren Keiles (September 23, 2015)
- LOL Everything Matters by Haley Mlotek (September 28, 2015)
- Violence, Colonialism & Space: towards a decolonizing dialogue by Sarah Hunt, Cindy Holmes & Amy Piedalue
On repeat: Katie Moore – Fooled by the Fun
- Was “diagnosed” with stage 3 burnout. Started working 4 day weeks. That ended up lasting… a month. And didn’t change much.
- Went to see Roxane Gay in Montreal with Rachel.
- Rachel made her cookies. They were amazing. We gave them to her. She loved them.
- Elections elections elections all the feelings thank god its over.
- Started contributing to Songs You Need to Hear, stretched my writing muscles.
- The world lost Chantal Akerman.
- Memories of Things Unseen by Teju Cole (October 14, 2015)
- Marked bodies: Will racism win the election for Harper? by Harsha Walia and Dana Olwan (October 5, 2015)
- Mulcair shrugged: the impossibility of politics in the rise & fall of the NDP by Charles Demers (October 20, 2015)
- What Justin Trudeau’s Victory Means for Canada by Jeremy Keehn (October 20, 2015)
- Cops in schools contribute to school-to-prison pipeline on The Current (October 29, 2015)
Laura Sauvage – You’ve Changed
- Shared joyful news.
- Took a much-needed break from Facebook.
- Visited my family in Petawawa.
- Contributed to this.
- Humans of New York and the Cavalier Consumption of Others by Vinson Cunningham (November 3, 2015)
- SELFIE: The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters by Rachel Syme (November 8, 2015)
- Did the Jian Ghomeshi Allegations Teach Us Anything? by Scaachi Khoul (November 12, 2015)
- On Gawker’s Problem with Women by Dayna Evans (November 15, 2015)
- Jane B. and Me During the Paris Attacks by Marco Roth (November 16, 2015)
- On Pandering by Claire Vaye Watkins (November 23rd, 2015)
- Podcast: The Massey Lectures featuring Margaret MacMillan
On repeat: Steve Lambke – Days of Heaven
- My friend Steph came back to Quebec City briefly, after spending most of the year in Chile. So good to have a friend in the city.
- Really enjoyed Spotlight, which featured one of the best representations of a female journalist I’ve ever seen onscreen (which is kind of fucking sad)
- Maddy came to Quebec City!
- I took time off (aka demanded, insisted) during the holidays for the 1st time in FIVE YEARS.
- Celebrated by 30th birthday.
- Contributed to this.
- Jesse Wente on banning online comments (Dec 1, 2015)
- It shouldn’t take a rape accusation to prove that sex workers can be raped by Chelsea G. Summers (Dec 1, 2015)
- Carol’s ghost: Chantal Akerman, Todd Haynes, and the problem of representation by Chelsea, Maddy and Emily (December 3, 2015)
- Unpregnant: The silent, secret grief of miscarriage by Alexandra Kimball (December 4, 2015)
- The Year In Found Families by Haley Mlotek (December 8, 2015)
- Access Denied by John Herrman (December 3, 2015)
- Beauty is Broken by Arabelle Sicardi (December 10, 2015)
- The Day of the TRC Final Report: On Being In This World Without Wanting it by Billy Ray Belcourt (December 15, 2015)
- Why Your Toxic People Memes Are Kinda Fucked Up: An Inquiry Into Toxicity by jes sasche (December 24, 2015)
On repeat: Arlt – Deableries
Anna B. Savage
C’est tout. Maybe I’ll have more to share in this space in 2016. Thanks for reading.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni][img]https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5733/21130021951_b389440d68.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/ycbTni]Grange fest, août 2015-21.jpg[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/106805210@N03/]Simon Dumas[/url], on Flickr