Uncomfortable Conversations

Lively, moderated, thought-provoking Q&A panel sessions that inform and enlighten.

Photo Cred: Chris Montgomery via Unsplash

Rare Earth Outreach creates comfortable spaces to have uncomfortable conversations. Through intimate, off-the-record, ask-me-anything style panel and group discussions, participants have the opportunity to learn, engage, and empathise in a safe, respectful, supportive environment.

Uncomfortable Conversations are capped at 20-25 participants. 50% of registration fees are paid to the Guest(s) and the other 50% goes to the Foundation. There is a minimum registration fee of $15 for non-Members and $10 for Members, but participants are welcome and encouraged to increase their contribution to support the Guest(s) and the Foundation.

The following talks are already under development, and more will be posted soon. Complete details with how to register will be posted once dates have been confirmed.

Photo Cred: Steven Weeks via Unsplash

Naked Truths About Working Naked

Stripper. Burlesque performer. Legal escort. Illegal prostitute. Porn actress. These "working girls" have all gotten naked in front of a camera at some time or other, and join us to discuss the topic of which work they consider sex work, and whether sex work is work. They will share what it's like to be involved in "the industry", where they draw lines between a job, a hobby, and sex work, their moral struggles, the challenges and exploitation they face inside the industry, the judgement they face from family, friends, and colleagues, and the risks they have to consider and navigate when working and interacting with clients, photographers, and the general public.

Photo Cred: George Pagan III via Unsplash

Exposure or Exploiter?

Joining Rare Earth Outreach for this session is a crew of individuals who have either responded to model calls or have been directly solicited to pose for TFP (trade for print) photos because they are a member of the BIPOC community, are in a same-sex or mixed-race relationship, or have a unique genetic condition or physical quality that makes them somehow "marketable." When the currency is exposure, how does one negotiate "fair value" that meets the want or need of the photographer to diversify their portfolio while respecting the model(s)' integrity and humanity?

Photo Cred: Getty Images (model Karlie Kloss)

Cultural Fashion: Appreciation v. Appropriation

Do Indigenous designers want non-Indigenous people wearing their designs? If not, why not? If yes, when and how? Are people afraid to express cultural identity through fashion because they are either white or they aren't visibly BIPOC "enough" to not get called out for appropriation? Is the difference between white people being appreciative v. appropriating tied to intent? If you're asked to style, showcase, or do hair and make-up for cultural fashion, what should you be asking, and of whom, to ensure your work is not unintentionally offensive?

This panel of prominent Canadian artists, designers, and stylists come from diverse cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds to answer your questions about when, how, and why to respectfully navigate cultural fashion without crossing the line between appreciation and appropriation.

Photo Cred: Rochelle Brown via Unsplash

Gender Roles in the Photographic Arts Community: Part One - The Female Perspective

Why are women often reluctant to have questions posted in forums answered by males? Is there a difference in the way males and females approach their craft and their business? Why is there still a "wage gap" between male and female photographers? How would "4th Wave Feminism" apply to the photographic arts community? How have modern gender politics changed the roles and attitudes of females and those identifying female working in the industry?

During this two-part discussion with a focus on fostering empathy and understanding, participants will explore the social norms and systems that keep both women and men trapped in a cycle of perpetuating gendered language and communication styles by sharing personal experiences and unpacking underlying issues with empathy and understanding.

Photo Cred:

Gender Roles in the Photographic Arts Community: Part Two - The Male Perspective

Have you ever wondered how men feel when they are told the advice or knowledge they're sharing in an industry forum is "mansplaining" when there is a genuine desire on their part to help? In what ways is accusing someone of having a "fragile male ego" synonymous with the practice of calling a man a "pussy?" When is the term "toxic masculinity" descriptive and when is it offensive? Are "misogynist pigs" born or made? How are "meninists" and "incels" merely victims of patriarchy themselves?

During this two-part discussion with a focus on fostering empathy and understanding, participants will explore the social norms and systems that keep both women and men trapped in a cycle of perpetuating gendered language and communication styles by sharing personal experiences and unpacking underlying issues.