And then there’s Astrid. She’s a producer of critical works on urban history, on what the public actually signifies in public spacing, and on citizenships of being. Urban placeism and Black womanist principles guide her values and shape how she interprets participatory citizenship, place design, and equity in urban planning policy.
Astrid is a part of Toronto. She founded Denizen.TO, a civic-centred apparel & accessory shop for Toronto and Montréal. She specialized in urban design at McGill University, earning her master of urban planning in 2012 and her bachelor’s, with distinction, in urban and Canadian studies at the University of Toronto in 2009. Her novel research on illumination planning chronicles a history on artificial lighting at night and examines its qualitative impact on women’s public health, civic spaces, and fauna. She’s investigated ongoing interactions between a consumption-based citizenship, how it shaped queer enclaves during the past half-century, and the constraints of prescriptive vocations imposed on the most marginal populations found in such enclaves. She developed the Kodachrome Toronto Registry in 2011, a finding aid to help locate Toronto’s history in colour. Under supervision of Rick Salutin, she drafted a comparative thesis on the Achilles heel of Canadian content music policy. She has served on the boards of Campus Co-operative Residence Inc., and the Ontario Student Co-operative Association.
Well before Bill C–16, Ontario’s Toby’s Act, the repeal of Houston’s HERO, or the passage of North Carolina’s HB2, Astrid was the sole fore of a human rights harmonization on the continent which only now is catching up to her unintended lead. Punitive reverberations from that legal precedent rattled career aspirations as it sidelined her from participating in the responsibilities and, consequently, the rights of an everyday citizenship. Much like the corporation that lodged her into civil history, she re-branded. Unlike the corporation, she is in post-traumatic recovery and continues to cope with depression.
As a longtime deejay and sound engineer, Astrid moonlights as DJ Five-to-Midnight at places like The Handlebar and still moulds together the occasional remix or mashup to build from her first remix EP in 1996. As a photographer, she remains committed to film. Before university, she took her professional licks in marketing communications and publishing. After nearly five years of riding as a Toronto bike messenger, she retired her radio in 2010.
Some say Astrid bears this vague resemblance to Meryl Streep or maybe Liz Hanks, but that’s ridiculous.
- 2016. Photography opening, Join Us EIR in the Park: a photography début by Astrid Idlewild, (wet transfers of colour infrared film photos to aluminium, highlighting historically marginal citizenships in Toronto’s public spaces), Super-Jet International Coffee, Toronto.
- 2014. Walk leader, Jane’s Walk, “Red Pill, Blue Town” — a stroll on the history of Toronto’s geographic cisnormativity.
- 2010. Co-presenter, MUHC & Sud-Ouest Borough (Ville de Montréal) [McGill University School of Urban Planning], “Souffle-de-vie (Breath of Life)” — an area planning intervention for Saint-Henri, MUHC, and the Turcot Lands (co-presented with Maxim Wells and David Beitel).
- 2009. Research talk, Department of Geography, University of Toronto, on “I love to listen to Beethoven: Andrea Yates and the spatial confinement of suburban isolation”.
- 2007. Co-presenter, Alternative Transportation Study (Carlene Thatcher-Martin, Bikechain lead), “Annual Sustainability Report”, University of Toronto Sustainability Office.
- 2011. Writing, BlogTO: “The story of the first Yonge Street pedestrian mall” (co-authored with Duncan Taylor in 2008).
- 2009. Photography, Spacing Magazine: “Stillwater (No Men, No Soda)”.
- 2008. Writing, Hidden Geographies: “I love to listen to Beethoven: Andrea Yates and the spatial confinement of suburban isolation”.
- 2008. Photography, Hart House Review (17th ed.): “No Title”.
- 2003. Sleeve art, Polyholiday Records: “LMP’s Love Conquers Alda long-play”.
- 2002. Sleeve art, Polyholiday Records: “LMP’s Meeting Up and Making Friends EP”.
- 2001. Sleeve art, Polyholiday Records: “LMP’s The New Body Language EP”.
- 1998. Photography, Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “Uptown Fire: Ladder Takedown”.
- 1998. Photography, Lavender Magazine: Twin Cities Pride ’98 issue.
- 2016. Event DJing, #BechdelBill at TIFF, Toronto.
- 2015–16. Venue DJing, The Handlebar, Toronto.
- 2008–09. Event DJing, Velo Social at Augusta House, Toronto.
- 2002. Venue DJing, The Chatterbox Pub, Minneapolis.
- 2001–02. Venue DJing, Sursumcorda, Minneapolis.
- 2001. Event DJing, May 26th, GLITZ, San Francisco.
- 2001. Event DJing, February 7th, pre-show set for Low, Sacred Heart Music Center, Duluth.
- 2001. Event DJing, January 1st, New Years Eve, Rogue Buddha Gallery, Minneapolis.
- 2000–01. Event DJing, Kitty Kat Shack, St. Paul.
- 1997. Radio DJing, WRUR-FM (University of Rochester), Rochester.
- 1994. Radio DJing, KVRX-FM (University of Texas at Austin), Austin.
- 1991. Modelling, Houston Bridal Extravaganza (George R. Brown Convention Center), Houston.
- 2015. Médiatique (pour Radio-Canada Télé), “Les bons, les méchants et la bicyclette” (“The Good, the Bad and the Bicycle”).
- 2015. Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly, Issue 29, “Trash: the literal and metaphoric territories of waste” (roundtable).
- 2015. Toronto Star, “Toronto the brand”.
- 2013. NOW Toronto, “Bike, survive, and videotape”.
- 2012. Inside Toronto, “Cyclists encouraged to share stories of close call with motorists on blog”.
- 2012. The Globe and Mail, “Cyclist waited three hours for police after alleged assault by a driver” [and outcome from that incident].
- 2012. Toronto Star, “London 2012: New Olympic sports only Toronto could love”.
- 2011. BlogTO, “The Kodachrome Toronto archive”.
- 2011. Toronto Star, “Project documents Toronto’s evolution in Kodachrome colour”.
- 2006–08. Tutorship, high school ESL for new Canadians, Project Universal Minds, University of Toronto
- 2008–09. President, Urban Studies Student Union, University of Toronto
- 2005–07. Board member, past executive, Campus Co-operative Residence, Inc., Toronto
- 2006–07. Board member, Ontario Student Co-operative Association, Toronto
- 2007–08. Internship, Common Grounds, Evergreen