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Date: July 05, 2000

New Website Offers Virtual Tour Of The Racist Underside Of Victoria's History

The History of Racialization Group at the University of Victoria will launch "An Imperial Paradise? An Alternative Walking Tour of Victoria, B.C." on the Web at a party starting at 7 p.m. July 6, 2000, at UVic's George and Ida Halpern Centre for Graduate Students. The event is open to members of the media.
The Web site is based on a walking tour first offered in March as a part of Racism Awareness Day. It takes a look at how tourist Victoria celebrates the city's ties to the history of the British Empire --"a little bit of olde England." This tour calls attention to the forgotten side of the imperial process -- the displacement of Aboriginal people, the subjugation of Asian workers, and White preference laws, for example -- and tries to reinsert these topics, and the silences surrounding them, back into the historical consciousness of Victoria.
The Web site will enable Victorians and tourists to take the tour without leaving home, or to print the tour and walk the route as a self-guided walking tour.
The tour is the creation of the History of Racialization Group, comprised of some UVic graduate students and faculty members who have been meeting for the last four years to analyze the history of racism. "The idea came from a plan to show Victoria's connection to imperial racism to delegates at a history of racism conference two years ago," says recently graduated English masters student, Mrinalini Greedhary, one of the regular group members.
"Victorians have a very selective view of their past," says history graduate student Pasi Ahonen, who acted as a tour guide on the inaugural feet-on-the-pavement walking tour. "This shakes that up."
The tour will be available on line after 7 p.m., July 6 at: http://web.uvic.ca/~hist66/tour
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Media contacts:
Jennifer Fraser or Joel Freedman at 386-0330 or Dr. John Lutz (history) at 388-0871.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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