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    Review: Game Changers - Inspiring Women Documentary Series

    July 16th, 2018     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    Today’s political climate is hardly encouraging. With daily news headlines detailing further and further encroachments on fundamental human rights, with the kindling of rhetoric and aggression against disenfranchised groups, it’s easy to feel defeated, angry, or hopeless. It might sound trite, or just overly optimistic, but exposing myself to a documentary series on powerful, revolutionary women had an incredibly lifting effect. I recommend it as a form of self-care, a 70-minute to two-hour respite, and a boost for your own political capacity. READ MORE

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    Review: Motherhood by Sheila Heti

    July 11th, 2018     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    Early in the novel Motherhood (published this May by Knopf Canada), Sheila Heti’s narrator provides a summary of the Biblical story of Jacob wresting the angel. In this story, a creature appears to Jacob, proceeds to wrestle with him overnight, and, come morning, spares Jacob and renames him “Israel.” Jacob calls the wrestling place “Peniel,” and refers to it as the spot where he came face to face with God, and made it out alive. Heti’s novel ends with the story of Jacob and the angel as well, except now it is a reference to the book the narrator has just finished writing. The narrator—a woman close to 40 years of age, living in Toronto, a fairly successful writer—comes to see her book as the wrestling ring where she faced God and made it out alive. She names this place Motherhood. READ MORE

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    Review: Hard To Do - The Surprising Feminist History of Breaking Up

    June 11th, 2018     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    The idea of containing the whole history of the breakup in a short book—everything that has led us to a moment when women (at least some women, in certain parts of the world) are able to freely leave relationships, all in 120 pages—is daunting to say the least. The study of how relationships have evolved, and how the historically socially-condoned male-female romantic relationship developed and came to dominate in Western culture—is gargantuan in scope. Yet it is one that Kelli María Korducki has pulled off, in a format that could easily be read in one sitting. READ MORE

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    Dealing With Racism Is All in a Day’s Work for Medical Professionals

    June 4th, 2018     by Amethyst Tagney     Comments

    Racism in the medical setting isn’t only experienced by patients, as explored in our previous posts. No matter how much education, training, and experience a person can acquire, sometimes people will only see skin colour, a name, or hear an accent. This prejudice exists in many institutions in Western society, especially in medicine. Like patients, BIPOC (Black Indigenous, People of Colour) medical professionals and students can also face discrimination every day from patients, peers, and … READ MORE

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    Take Two Pills a Day and a Dose of Racism

    May 28th, 2018     by Amethyst Tagney     Comments

    Even with all the progress that has been made in civil rights and equality, prejudice and discrimination can still be found in every corner of the world. As I interact with people and see how people interact with my family on a daily basis, I wonder when our perceived ethnicities come into play in how we’re treated. When is bad customer service actually discrimination? Or, when is a denial of access to something because of … READ MORE

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    In Conversation with Vivek Shraya

    May 18th, 2018     by Fazeela Jiwa     Comments

    VS. Books is a new imprint from Arsenal Pulp Press that offers a mentorship and publishing opportunity for a young Indigenous writer, a Black writer, or a writer of colour – parameters that are necessary when entering what can sometimes be a hostile environment in the mainstream Canadian literary scene. I had the opportunity to talk with Vivek Shraya — the incredible writer, editor, artist, and teacher behind this imprint — about her work, why she designed this mentorship, and what she hopes it can accomplish. READ MORE

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    Jo-Anne McArthur on photographing “the invisibles”

    May 7th, 2018     by Elle Côté     Comments

    This post has been updated from the original version. For most of us, stumbling upon a video of an adorable animal is something we enjoy. However, what if you decided it was your duty to show the world the animals we don’t see? For 41-year old Torontonian Jo-Anne McArthur, this is precisely the case. The photojournalist, author and educator has been travelling the world for two decades to capture what she calls “the invisibles”; animals we may … READ MORE

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    Fun Home: A Conversation with Sara Farb

    April 26th, 2018     by Michelle Schwartz     Comments

    Fun Home, the musical based on the graphic memoir by Dykes to Watch Out For cartoonist, Alison Bechdel, is on stage now in Toronto. The show features three actresses playing the role of Alison Bechdel – as a young girl (Small Alison), as a university student (Medium Alison), and as a forty-something woman (Alison). We spoke with Sara Farb, who plays Medium Alison. READ MORE

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    Go Make Your Web Series!

    April 3rd, 2018     by Melanie Butler     Comments

    “Go make your movie. We need your movie. I need your movie. So go make it.” -Greta Gerwig, The Oscars – Represent Montage, 2018 READ MORE

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    A Letter to Stephon Clark’s Family

    March 27th, 2018     by Nisa Dang     Comments

    The author of the following letter, Nisa Dang, is an activist, and a political organizer around gun control, abolition, and voter disenfranchisement. She is also from South Sacramento. Here is her message, and her promise, to the Clark family. READ MORE

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    Books for Every Child

    March 15th, 2018     by Amethyst Tagney     Comments

    Books are more than just bundles of paper with words and pictures in them. For many, they serve as a way to visit far off places, meet new people, and partake in adventures never thought possible, all as low as the cost of a library card. Reading is not just a personal experience, but a universal one as well. Although adults can find solace in a good story, they provide an even greater service to … READ MORE

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    One is Enough

    February 19th, 2018     by Amethyst Tagney     Comments

    “You never met your Dad before? That’s so sad,” is the response I received when I told someone I didn’t have a father in my life. That statement always confused me. Why would anyone be sad for me just because there wasn’t a father figure in my life? Sure, I’ve always wanted to have a dad because all my friends did, but not because I needed one. Even when my mom got married when I … READ MORE

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    Racism and Colten Boushie

    February 18th, 2018     by Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith     Comments

    Racism is defined as “the unequal treatment of a population group purely because of its possession of physical or characteristics socially defined as denoting a particular race. Racism is the deterministic belief system which sustains racialism, linking these characteristics with negatively valued social, psychological, or physical traits” (5 Satzewich). Canada is widely believed to be a tolerant society, accepting a diverse range of ethnicities, cultures and religions. Yet Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people is complex to … READ MORE

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    Calpurnia and The Quest to Write the Truth

    February 9th, 2018     by Audrey Dwyer     Comments

    “When starting a play, I ask myself, “What’s the last play in the world I would ever want to write?” Then I force myself to write it. I do this because I’ve found that the best way to make theatre that unsettles and challenges my audience is to do things that make me uncomfortable. I work with stories that I find trite and embarrassing, I keep the development of the text as open and unstable … READ MORE

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    Non Binary World Building with M Téllez

    January 18th, 2018     by Estraven Lupino-Smith     Comments

    M is a member of the Philadelphia-based collective METROPOLARITY, a sci-fi and speculative fiction group that, in their words, uses writing to ride against empire. While I was living in Philadelphia I got into M’s writing through their zine about cyborgs navigating dystopia called All That’s Left. I loved this zine because it re-ignited the old sci-fi nerd in me while opening up new possibilities for queer, trans and non-binary worlds. Interviewing them was a great chance to reconnect and speak about science fiction, binaries, and writing your dreams. READ MORE

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    Aftermathematics

    January 17th, 2018     by Anonymous     Comments

    Content Warning: This piece contains discussion of sexual assault and its aftermath, trauma, psychiatry, and includes misogynist and homophobic language. READ MORE

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    “I wish work like this existed in Toronto!” - A conversation with Julia Cratchley

    January 15th, 2018     by Michelle Schwartz     Comments

    Julia Cratchley is the Artistic Director of the Transcendance Project, a contemporary dance company based in Toronto. Starting out as a dancer in a fine arts high school in Richmond Hill, Ontario, she’s gone on to dance and choreograph shows with companies across Canada. Julia is the creator, director, and choreographer for Eve of St. George, an immersive recreation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, inspired by Sleep No More, an immersive show still playing in New York. In immersive theatre, the audience wanders through the set, choosing their own path and even interacting with the performers. Each audience member’s experience of the show is unique. Eve of St. George will be taking over four levels of the Great Hall in Toronto at the end of the month. We spoke with Julia Cratchley about her artistic process and the creation of Eve of St. George. READ MORE

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    Chelsea Martin’s Caca Dolce: Essays for a Shitty Era

    January 3rd, 2018     by Marta Balcewicz     Comments

    Earlier this year, a New Yorker article called “The Personal-Essay Boom Is Over” sparked a heated debate on the truth of its title’s claim. In short, the author, Jia Tolentino, argued that personal essays, the kind written mostly by women, often young women, often writers who are just starting out and who do not get paid much for the online publication of said personal essay, and whose said personal essay focuses on the deeply, often shockingly, personal (Tolentino gives the example of an essay published by Jezebel about a tampon lost inside the author’s body), are a thing of the past. READ MORE

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    What I Am

    December 26th, 2017     by Amethyst Tagney     Comments

    My name is Amethyst, and I’m biracial. Don’t get me wrong — I love that I have multiple heritages to call my own. It means I can relate to more people since I’ve had experiences as both a Hispanic and a white individual. Since I have the dark hair and eyes of my Puerto Rican-Cuban mother and the lighter skin of my European father, I’m usually seen as one or the other. However, my physical … READ MORE

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    What it Means to be a Working Student

    December 19th, 2017     by Erin Calhoun     Comments

    There is one thing that is never simple: money. As a college or university student, things only become more daunting with tuition invoices, rent, bills, and other income-absorbing expenses. Students often hold part-time jobs to accumulate income during their studies; for low-income students this is often essential. Desperate enough, students sometimes enter into stressful and toxic work environments. READ MORE

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