DOXA 2021

Podcasting the Drug War: Mia Donovan (Dope is Death) in Conversation with Garth Mullins (Crackdown)

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Stream begins May 13, 2021 9:00 PM UTC
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Mia Donovan is the writer and host of Dope is Death, a four-part podcast series that explores a visionary project: the first acupuncture detoxification program in America. Donovan’s film of the same name is part of a special program at DOXA 2021 curated by the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). Produced in Vancouver and hosted by Garth Mullins, Crackdown is a podcast about drugs, drug policy and the drug war led by drug user activists. The episodes cover a wide range of issues, from stories on policing and housing, to gender and blame from drug users’ perspectives. Please join us for this discussion about podcasting, harm reduction and documentary journalism.


Moderated by Joseph Clark

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Co-presented by SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs






Mia Donovan is an award-winning filmmaker based in Montreal. Her films include INSIDE LARA ROXX (2011), DEPROGRAMMED (2015) and DOPE IS DEATH (2020). Her films have been presented worldwide at film festivals, theatrically and on digital platforms such as Netflix and VICE. Her latest documentary DOPE IS DEATH premiered at the 2020 True/False Film Festival. And most recently, Donovan released her first podcast series called DOPE IS DEATH THE PODCAST which was programmed as an ‘opening act’ at the 2021 Hot Docs Podcast Festival. She is currently developing her first feature narrative film called THE TOUH OF HER FLESH.




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Garth Mullins is a drug user activist and award-winning radio documentarian. He is host and executive producer of the Crackdown Podcast where drug users cover the drug war as war correspondents. This is Garth’s second overdose crisis. He used injection heroin for over a decade and is now on methadone. He is a member of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and is also a trade union organizer and musician.













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Joseph Clark is a lecturer in film studies at Simon Fraser University. His research and teaching interests focus on archival and non-theatrical media, including newsreels, home movies, and sponsored film. He is a long-time member of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival Programming Committee and part of the organizing committee of the Vancouver Podcast Festival presented by DOXA. He is the author of News Parade: The American Newsreel and the World as Spectacle (University of Minnesota Press, 2020).