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U of A’s 33rd International Week focuses on social justice and the arts

The University of Alberta’s 33rd International Week will work “for a better world” through the lens of art and hands-on experiences.

The festival runs from January 29 to February 3 on campus and in the surrounding area, and boasts more than 60 events including a collective mural, a jam on the SUBstage, and improv. Carrie Malloy, a global education coordinator and one of the organizers of the event said there will be something for everyone.

“Our goal is to give students and academics and opportunity to talk about what’s happening in their world and initiate change,” she said.

The aim of I-Week this year is to engage students by incorporating the arts. Malloy said that students are constantly bombarded by news headlines and that the goal of Global Education is to figure out a way that they can pull students in.

“Arts can grab you in a way that a news story might not,” she said. “(Art) will pull at your heartstrings and invoke emotions”.

One event Malloy said she is particularly excited to see is comedian Kristina Wong’s talk. Using stand up comedy and performance theatre, Wong will tackle a series of controversial environmental and human rights issues on Thursday at the Garneau Theatre.

“When I watched Kristina’s theatre she’s so good at saying ‘Hey, I can make you laugh along the way but I also want you to question yourself, our society, and the way that we go about certain things,’” Malloy said. “I”m not saying you’re going to have alife-changingg moment but we just want to change the way that people think about things.”

Malloy was also excited to introduce the live graffiti wall that will be available for students to contribute to during the week. Hosted by Edmonton-based graffiti artist AJA Louden, this initiative has been designed to get students to talk about global issue whilst also learning how make graffiti art. After the week is over, the mural will go up in the Telus Atrium.

For Malloy, the best part about being on campus is having an array of different experiences.

“This is what our society looks like (now) and there’s definitely a lot of richness here in Edmonton.” she said. “Having the opportunity to work with people from all over the world is definitely a blessing.”

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