20 Images, 20 Seconds a Slide, Go!

Japanese slang for “one who talks a lot”, Pecha Kucha 20×20 started in Tokyo (2003) as a way for creative people to share their ideas. It is a collection of talks where the speakers have 20 slides, running 20 seconds each, to share their message with the assembled guests – in this instance, 1000 + local Vancouverites who gathered at the Vogue.

The night started off with a short talk from the Vancouver organizers, Cause + Effect, that stressed the need for the arts to match the pace of development in this city. Stating that we are at risk of losing our culture and that the arts are a key part of the initiative in building and maintaining culture in our city. The audience was in agreement, and responded as agreeing audiences do, with applause, hooting, and hollering.

There were a dozen speakers for this evening and although all were involved in interesting things, only a few really stood out for me (a complete list of presenters is available at PechuKucha.org). One of the most enjoyable presentations was from !Kona of NubianImp projects as well as the Deviant Dykes of Canadian Mayhem. The names alone made me smile, but then she took the stage and gave a rousing poetic speech about life and love and having a story to tell.

James Glave, of Tides Canada, started his talk about clean energy for our future, which is noble and touches a warm spot for a lot of the quasi-hippies and granola munchers that reside in Vancouver. Myself, being one of them.  However, James is also part of a group called Young Savages, which is “reclaiming risk and adventure”. The idea is that, essentially, we are babying our kids too much with rubber playgrounds, swings with safety harnesses and full suits of armour for any activity faster then a brisk walk. It is James’ belief that “kids will not thrive unless we teach them to take risks and live life dangerously”.   Young Savages offers a safe place for dangerous play.

J. Joly of CineCoup gave a talk, with some excellent comedic timing, about some of the challenges and obstacles, which can ensue while working in the film industry. In short, CineCoup is looking to develop small indie movies, in the sub 5 million dollar category, and are looking for pitches. All you need is a team of three and a two-minute trailer.

Some of the other speakers included Jonas Woost (Executive Producer CBC Radio), Mickey McLeod of Salt Spring Coffee, and a couple members of Waldorf Productions.  Though all the presenters have interesting ideas, and information, Pecha Kucha is kind of like a salad-bar, where you get to sample a little of everything and fill up on what happens to tickle your taste buds.

The Pecha Kucha 20×20 takes place in over 600 cities globally; with the Vancouver events bring in more than any other city. With almost 300 speakers so far, the presentation is an excellent platform for people to get some exposure and support for projects that are taking place in, and around, the city.

Heralded as the “The art of concise presentations”, though use of the word concise may have been a bit of a stretch for some of the night’s presentations, the Pecha Kucha 20×20 is definitely worth checking out. Look for Pecha Kucha next month for a special edition about Women Transforming Cities.