Akintunde Akinleye, “Shifting Perspectives,” page 30

A former Reuters photographer turned anthropology PhD candidate at Carleton, Akintunde Akinleye was planning to spend much of this year in the Republic of Benin conducting research on the Vodun religion. Instead, remaining in his native Nigeria, Akinleye is documenting how people are coping with restrictions on movement and questioning power relations between the state and religious groups in a pluralistic society where some people believe coronavirus is God’s punishment for the sins of humanity. “The lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in Nigeria,” he says, “opens a fresh perspective in my doctoral fieldwork and as an anthropologist-in-training.”

Akintune Akinleye

Charlotte Smith, “Eye of the Needle,” page 56

Sociology master’s student Charlotte Smith, who is doing research on and with homeless youth, has found it difficult to concentrate on writing her thesis when confronted with so many immediate needs in the community — things she can contribute to in practical ways. Since last spring, she has been delivering food, phones, tablets, art supplies and other helpful and necessary items to homeless and precariously housed youth she knows through her advocacy and activism networks, an inspiring volunteer effort that earned Smith a Community Builder Award from the United Way East Ontario and local arts and culture blog Apt613. “We can all be kind and listen to one another,” she said in an interview on CBC radio, “and really listen to the needs of our neighbours.”

Charlotte Smith

Michael Runtz, “Paragon of the Air,” page 7

Winding up his sabbatical, Carleton biology professor and naturalist Michael Runtz and his partner Britta Herrmann have immersed themselves in “the reality of nature” just about every day since the pandemic began. “When out in the wilds, every sound, every motion and every aroma absorbs my attention,” says Runtz. “I feel exhilarated and stimulated by the never-ending stream of discoveries, many familiar and always new. Nature relieves me of all stress and keeps me sane and profoundly fulfilled.” But this wasn’t idle bliss for Runtz. He photographed rare birds and mammals (such as white-tailed jackrabbits and woodland caribou) in western Ontario and eastern Quebec, released his 14th book (Wildflowers of Algonquin Provincial Park) and for the 27th time led the annual Bonnechere Wolf Howl, albeit this year as a virtual online event. See more of his pics at instagram.com/naturebyruntz.

Photography by Michael Runtz

Shelby Lisk, “Amplifying Untold Stories,” page 14

Shelby Lisk, the TVO Indigenous Hub at Carleton journalist-in-residence, has had a busy few months. She took a podcasting and Indigenous protocols course, produced and hosted a show about the Haudenosaunee sovereignty movement (which includes her own family and community) and did interviews with industry professionals for TVO about how Indigenous stories are told in journalism. Lisk also contributed to a major October story marking the first anniversary of TVO’s Indigenous languages translation project and, stepping away from her main beat, did a photo story about the resurgence of drive-in theatres over the summer. “You pull into a field surrounded by the golden rays of a summer sunset, park your car in front of the big screen, and tune your radio to the right station,” she writes, “anxiously waiting for the sun to go down.”

Shelby Lisk

Raven Magazine

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 in
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