Against Ageism: A Queer Manifesto by Simon(e) van Saarloos
Book launch and panel discussion (In-person event) with Simon(e) van Saarloos, J. Logan Smilges, and Yahlnaaw
Introduced by Kay Higgins
Friday, March 17, 2023 at 6pm
Hybrid event, in person at the Libby Leshgold Gallery, and online (free registraion required for webinar).
This event is free and open to the public. ASL interpretation will be provided.
Friend of the studio Simon(e) van Saarloos has a new book with ECU Press, launching this week in Vancouver. Simon(e) is the author of Playing Monogamy (Publication Studio Rotterdam, 2019) and Take ‘Em Down: Scattered Monuments and Queer Forgetting (Publication Studio Guelph, 2022).
The new book, Against Ageism: A Queer Manifesto, will launch on Friday, March 17 at 6pm with a dialogue between Simon(e), J. Logan Smilges, and Yahlnaaw. You can attend (and buy the book!) in person at the Libby Leshgold Gallery at Emily Carr University, or you can register to attend online.
Age! What is good for? Absolutely nothing! (Apart from greasing the wheels of capitalist reproduction.) In this queer manifesto, Simon(e) van Saarloos weaves a wealth of militant sex-liberationist, afrofuturist, transfeminist and decolonial imaginaries into their anti-ageist sails, charting a confident course across contemporary society’s generational hang-ups as well as visiting, in some more personal moments, their own.
-Sophie Lewis, author of Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation and Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family
The Libby Leshgold Gallery and ECU Press are proud to announce the launch of Against Ageism: A Queer Manifesto by Simon(e) van Saarloos, on Friday, March 17. Against Ageism is the first in a new series of publications under the collective title Reflector. Reflector is a series of publications representing artists’, curators’, writers’, and cultural workers’ responses to the circumstances of the present moment.
The book, and the series, will launch with a conversation between Simon(e) van Saarloos, J. Logan Smilges, and Yahlnaaw in the Libby Leshgold Gallery at 6pm on Friday, March 17. Copies of the book will be available for purchase from our bookstore, READ Books, and will be available for order online after the event.
Against Ageism: A Queer Manifesto starts with what it is not: it is not a socio-economic argument against ageism, celebrating “the elderly” as economically viable. Author Simon(e) van Saarloos is not interested in natural arguments about age, which portray different age groups as valuable because of assumed inherent qualities. Instead, this manifesto starts with an experience of childhood sexual abuse, and moves on to dissect the ways in which constructions of “age” and “youth” function to support and reproduce white supremacist patriarchy. The book includes two reproductions of works by painter Samantha Nye.
Simon(e) van Saarloos is the author of Take ‘em Down (Publication Studio Guelph) and Playing Monogamy (Publication Studio Rotterdam). They were the curator of the 2021 exhibition on Abundance (“We must bring about the end of the world as we know it” – Denise Ferreira da Silva) in Het HEM and are also the host of *The Asterisk Conversations podcast. Van Saarloos is currently a PhD candidate in the Rhetoric department at UC Berkeley.
J. Logan Smilges is an assistant professor of English Language and Literatures at the University of British Columbia, where they write and teach in queer/trans disability studies, rhetorical studies, and the history of medicine. They are the author of Queer Silence: On Disability and Rhetorical Absence (University of Minnesota Press, 2022) and Crip Negativity (University of Minnesota Press, 2023).
Yahlnaaw (she/her) is originally from Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. She is currently situated on Treaty 1 territory – the lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene, and the birthplace of the Métis Nation. Yahlnaaw is a Skidegate Haida, queer, transgender woman navigating what feels like limbs stretched into many intersecting worlds. Currently, she is the Co-Founder and Lead Consultant at Taajuu Consulting, an Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+, and Anti-Oppression Consulting Firm; and stands in the position of Indigenous Rights and Anti-Racism Officer with the Equity & Human Rights Office for the University of Victoria.
The Reflector series of publications, of which Against Ageism is the first title, is made possible by a grant from the British Columbia Arts Council.