I I I . I
Equity Statement &
We shall neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity
or self-esteem of any individual or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive
environment in our physical and digital spaces. It is our collective responsibility
to create spaces that are inclusive and welcome discussion. Any form of
discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. Hate speech rooted in, but
not limited to, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, sexist, racist, classist, ableist, homophobic,
or transphobic sentiments and/or remarks will not be tolerated. We all have an
obligation to ensure that an open and inclusive space, free of hate is established.
Any behaviour that does not demonstrate an understanding of these principles
and/or creates an unsafe atmosphere will not be tolerated.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those
whose territory you reside on, and a way of honouring the Indigenous people
who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is
important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to
reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history.
Colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness
of our present participation.
The first step is to acknowledge that we, Margins Magazine & The UTSC
Women’s and Trans Centre, are on the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat,
the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. We would
like to sincerely pay our respects to their elders past and present, and to any who
may be here with us today, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Today, these
lands are still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island
and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.
This map does not represent or intend to represent official
or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. To learn
about definitive boundaries, contact the nations in question.
Check out native-land.ca for the interactive map.
Visual Credits: Victor Temprano
Hello & Welcome!
2020 has been a year of immense change and upheaval of our
illusionary standards of normality. Currently, we are in the midst
of a pandemic that has truly challenged our way of living in all
aspects such as accessibility of education, healthcare, and work. These
unfortunate times have revealed the increasing disparities and inequities
among people and has brought an increasing need to thoroughly reevaluate
the broken systems in place. Audre Lorde’s words ring true that
“revolution is not a one time event” as we see the masses come together
to mobilize for justice for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In this edition of Margins Magazine, our writers have worked hard
to bring you written pieces that critically discuss the realities of the
current moment from advocacy efforts across different fields to issues
such as domestic violence and colourism. At the University of Toronto
Scarborough, we connect with Radio FWD & UTERN at UTSC to learn
how campus groups are affected during the pandemic and how they are
evolving their programming while staying connected with students.
Through creative submissions from members of our local community
and around the world, we have curated stories that represent the heart,
soul, and pulse of the current times. The different styles and mediums of
creatives globally are highlighted in our artist series. A major shout-out
to Arya Bhat, our Creative Director, who has worked tirelessly to bring
this publication together from across the continent!
Bringing together all these voices in Margins has been a true labor of
love and I am beyond thankful to have such a wonderful team supporting
these efforts to continually create. I truly hope that the stories, words,
and art within Margins resonates with you.
Visual Credits: Tom Barrett
ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Amir Ahmad Kheiri
Yohannes Soubirius De Santo
Visual Credits: Tom Barrett
Table of Contents
WITH: RADIO FWD
Learn about RADIO FWD’s history,
present, and future while in conversation
with Ramisa Tasfia, the Operations
Manager of Radio FWD. In this feature,
read about the services offered for UTSC
students and folks in the community,
future programming in the face of
COVID-19, and ways to get involved.
Kateryna Bortsova is a painter &
graphic artist with a BFA in graphic
arts and MFA. Works of Kateryna
have been displayed in many international
exhibitions in countries like
Taiwan, Moscow, Munich, Spain,
Macedonia and Budapest.
Advocacy During the
The Hills are White
Gratitude: A Beacon of Light
I Am What I Will
WITH: UTERN AT UTSC
Learn about the University of Toronto
Environmental Resource Network
(UTERN) branch at the Scarborough
Campus while in conversation with executives
Leeza Gheerawo and Raymond
Dang. Read about their thoughts on
different issues and their direct interconnectedness
with the environment.
Evolving Market Tactics
A Potluck in Caledon
The Shadow Pandemic:
Violence Against Women &
A Collection of Poems
How the 2020 U.S. Elections
Will Come Into Play For the
Dear Mom: I Shouldn’t Have
To Earn Your Trust
You Left A Beautiful Mark
Amir Ahmad Kheiri
Yohannes Soubirius De Santo
Shading an Identity
No Right Supremacy
Visual Credits: Tom Barrett
ADVOCACY DURING THE
By Farah Ahmad
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed
the way we view our roles in society.
This change has been apparent in
our interdependence and reliance on the
community to lessen the curve and in our
power for social and political advocacy.
During this pandemic, there has been an acute
focus on systems and structures of power--
namely racism in the police.
The recent death of George Floyd has brought
the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM)
to the forefront of news headlines, with
millions of people around the world turning
to activism to educate and bring awareness
to systemic racism and police brutality faced
by Black people. Solidarity with the BLM
movement has spurred a series of protests,
conscious shoppers supporting Black-Owned
Businesses, a surge of petitions circulating to
demand reform and attention, and resources
urging community members to contact
government officials, as well as donate to
BLM related organizations.
You've signed petitions, donated, and
contacted your councillors and members of
the provincial/federal parliament. Now what?
• Spread awareness
• Continue to support marginalized
• Be proactive in educating yourself about
One of the key takeaways from activism during
the COVID-19 pandemic is that this virus
has disproportionality affected marginalized
communities. Activism has evolved, as
movements and organizations are learning
to adapt their tools and resources to mobilize
people while maintaining social distancing.
One of the adaptations is the movement of
information sharing, such activities have had
monumental impacts. Such networks have
shared immediate life-saving efforts like
mutual aid pods, food banks, housing, and
medical and legal support for protestors and
victims. Although many of these activities go
unnoticed, it is important to recognize these
methods as tools that strengthen society and
push the conversations about reform.
Visual Credits: Vinicius Henrique Photography, Warren Wong, & Nathan Dumlao
Visual Credits: Vinicius Henrique Photography, Micheile Henderson, & Element5
During this time, it is common for people to
experience increased levels of distress and anxiety
as a result of social isolation. It becomes difficult
to navigate the negative mental health effects and
strive to balance normalizing the new normal and
adapting to the new environment of advocacy. A
quote popularly used when addressing activism
burnout said by mental health advocate Kristin
Keim is "rest is not the enemy of change. It is one
part of its fuel." The combination of the resurgence
of the BLM movement and the stress of social
isolation has led to a hybrid mental health crisis
amongst many advocates, allies, and people of
colour. The later of this article explores strategies
and resources for managing mental well-being
while part-taking in the BLM movement.
Being socially distant while unlearning and
recognizing systemic racism has exacerbated
feelings of hopelessness and guilt. In addition
to trying to navigate these political and social
injustices, activists are trying to cope with their
struggles amid a pandemic. Sustaining the
energy and passion on some days can be difficult.
Advocacy burnout referred to the long term, the
accumulative and debilitating impact of activismrelated
stress (Chen et al. 4). As we are all learning
new methods to advocate for ourselves, our peers,
and our communities. Different people have
different strategies for managing burnout, a few
useful examples include:
• Taking breaks in-between big projects:
whether you are reading books, listening to
podcasts, or creating advocacy content, it is
important to avoid jumping from a project
to the next. Doing so will allow you to give
your mind and body a chance to recover.
• Schedule time for yourself each day: this
might look like taking a couple of minutes
to turn off your phone and other devices,
participating in meditative and breathing
exercises to release the muscle tension in
your body. (Katz Ressler) I love grabbing a
snack and enjoying some funny YouTube or
• SLEEP: When you are well-rested, you will
have more patience, clarity of thought, and
the ability to focus. A great way to develop
a habit of resting and sleep could be to have
a night-time routine- like developing and
investing in a skincare routine!
• Take time to reflect: Whether it's journaling
alone or speaking with a friend, having time
to think about the things you're doing is so
important. This will allow you to identify
your feelings and their underlying causes.
This allows yourself to assess your emotions
and figure out what your next steps are
while prioritizing your mental and physical
• Separate yourself from the issue:
channeling your passions and devoting your
efforts to a case is extremely admirable. At
the same time, with that much investment to
an issue, there is a risk of tying your selfworth
to the success, progress, and failure
of your cause. You are you, and you are still
human. It is important to use your feelings as
fuel for advocacy but also as an indicator for
when to take a step back and recharge.
• Celebrate the little victories: build on the
little successes and enjoy the low hanging
fruit. These moments are a part of building
momentum for the long journey.
The information and guidance provided in this
article are believed to be current and accurate but
is not intended as medical or consulting advice.
All in all, many activists are sensitive to their
work towards furthering the movement in fear
that their burnout will have a significant effect
on progression. However, everyone must work
towards spreading awareness and resources
personally to ultimately relieve the pressure on
activists. Remembering that human rights are not
political, the continued spread of information and
advocacy efforts can be done.
Chenoweth, E., & Choi-Fitzpatrick, A. (2020,
April 20). The global pandemic has spawned
new forms of activism – and they're flourishing
| Retrieved from, https://www.theguardian.
Ennis-O'Connor, M. (2019, September 02).
Beating Burnout: Self-Care Strategies for
Patient Advocates. Retrieved from, https://
Managing mental health during COVID-19.
(2020, March 26). Retrieved from https://www.
Taylor, E . (2020, June 08). How to help
advocate for the Black Lives Matter Movement
at home, throughout Louisiana. Retrieved from
Wei Xia Chen. C., & Gorski. P. (2015, September
27). Burnout in Social Justice and Human Rights
Activists: Symptoms, Cause, and Implications.
Retrieved from, http://www.edchange.org/
Visual Credits: Vinicius Henrique Photography
GRATITUDE: A BEACON
By Courtenie Merriman
If we can all agree on anything it is that
2020 has been THE poster child for change.
Month to month it seems like we get deeper
into situations that are all equal parts horrifying,
dramatic and mysterious. With half of the year
feeling like a blur, it is often hard for us to
remember to take a moment to be grateful. I
know being grateful for 2020 does seem strange
but truly this year has set a precedent moving
forward that has made one thing clear - things are
going to change... the way we interact henceforth,
the things we value, the things we think are
important and the things we forget are important.
With everything happening in these scary times,
gratitude is the beacon of light we can create for
Gratitude. The act of thankfulness or gratefulness.
It's more than giving your friend appreciation
for treating you to some good eats or in the
COVID-19 era, thanking them for dropping off
some sanitizer at your doorstep. Gratitude is a
mindset, a state of being that allows for one to
tune into themselves. Often, many of us feel
guilty to be happy for ourselves and instead find
more comfort in beating ourselves down and
calling up our friends to have ironically miserable
pity parties. This type of behaviour does so much
more damage than we are aware of. It allows for
our default reaction to challenges to be solely
negative and acts as a nesting ground for stress
and anxiety. It allows for bad times to seem like a
zero-sum and end-all tragedy.
While we should allow ourselves to feel all of
our emotions deeply and clearly, we should never
make the mistake of wallowing in our sorrows.
Instead we can let go (accept and bless) situations
that are above us and understand that we do not
have the power to control all aspects of life. By
beginning to take the energy previously focused
on things out of our control, we can redirect that
energy to start appreciating and being grateful for
things we do have control over such as how we
react to situations. Also, it is key to understand
that by no means is gratitude fake positivity rooted
in thinking you’re better than people. Gratitude is
seen as one of the highest vibrational energies we
can achieve. With benefits physically, emotionally
and mentally, it reconnects us to ourselves and
There are many ways to express gratitude. The
first to me is the most simple; saying thank you.
With everything happening, we might forget that
there are things to be thankful for, but without our
frontline workers in the departments of health,
transportation, food and sales these times may
have been more difficult and depressing. So, the
next time you see or interact with a frontline
worker, express gratitude for them and thank
them, it will make the both of you feel better.
The second method is quite popular - the use of a
Gratitude Journal. This is ideal for early mornings
or late nights, right when you wake up or before
you go to sleep, in order to document things you
Visual Credits: Sincerely Media
are grateful for. From the smallest cup of coffee
to being grateful to be alive, these are all valid in
the gratitude journal. One of the best things about
the gratitude journal is, while you have the option
to buy one with a set agenda for you to document
your journey, you can also make your own. This
is great because it is inexpensive and allows for
you to get as creative as you want. It is also totally
up to you to decide what method of journaling
you will use. Journals you can buy include
Amazon Bestseller “The Five Minute Journal”,
this is perfect for individuals who prefer a more
structured approach. This book is key in helping
you to focus on the positive aspects of life. With
five short activities on each page, you have the
opportunity to journal both in the morning and at
night. You begin with listing three things you're
grateful for, then setting positive intentions for the
day and finally ending the morning activity with a
daily affirmation. Then at night you return to reflect
on your day by listing three “amazing things” and
ways you could have made your day better. These
exercises allow you to hold yourself accountable
to ensure that you consistently approach each day
with a grateful heart, mind and attitude.
However, if your journey requires something
a bit more relaxed, you can just grab a pen and
paper and pick a time where you have the space
to meditate on what gratitude really means to you.
Meditations of gratitude allow you to reflect on
and reaffirm all the positive things in your life.
After, you can get to journaling and thankfully
there are many methods that make the beginning
stages of journaling as relaxing and natural as
possible. You can start by listing three to five
things you are grateful for or you can pick one
thing and try to list as many reasons as you can
why you're grateful for it. An example would be
choosing something like your laptop, saying you
are grateful for it and then trying to list as many
reasons why. If this is difficult, imagine your life
without the specific thing and how much things
wouldn’t be the way they are without it. This
practice is very beneficial as it helps you connect
with the true deeper meaning of gratitude and it
facilitates a pattern where you can create habits of
looking for the good in everything and everyday.
When your journaling is finished, you can start
your day with affirmations of gratitude that can
be as simple as “thank you for this new day” and
begin to set positive intentions for the day and
behavioural goals whether that be to smile more,
say thank you more or doing good deeds for
These are all very trying times, and for most of us
we see no clear end in sight. However, all is not
lost as we can find the hope, we’re looking for
inside ourselves. Gratitude allows us to remember
that things are not all bad, and that when we
think there’s nothing good going for us, we have
so much happening to help if only we just pay
attention. With all the benefits of adopting these
practices in our everyday lives, we should all be
ready to adopt attitudes of gratitude.
Visual Credits: Dyu Ha
I Am What I Will.
By Rami Naamna
A detective in the poetry, I sought out the answers
“What am I as a cancer, one without patience”
A human walking across a plantation?
What do I dream? If life eludes a villainous scheme, tell me the theme
Corrupt camels in the desert, travelling across the screen,
Dare to ask me the question “Who are we?”
What purpose do we serve if the dirt is rotten?
I am not African American, but my thoughts are stained with cotton
And I’m spotting all these polka dots, opposite of tropical appearance
And so I ask myself the question
“What good am I if my mental space is no bigger than a cup?”
I’ve asked myself that question dozens of times
I don’t know who, but I do know why, and what, so it would seem I’m out of luck
No luck in the crime of toxic masculinity
Don’t pity me for wanting to change the concept of divinity
In order to do so, I must accept that all sprouts come in beans, and so-
I am what I will myself to be.
This is because my dreams are an abstract reality.
But life is not always what it seems
Similar, the concept of expired cream
It happens in my sleep, but I know what I see
I will myself to be, what I am. I will myself to be free from captivity
I will myself to be.
And yet you don’t dare give yourself a dog treat
Do you see?
Wrapped around your ankles is kelp
You place shackles on yourself,
Almost as if you whip yourself with your own belt
But that is not how compliments is spelt
So don’t give up too soon
Your mind frees you, nobody else do
My question is, who are you?
What is your purpose?
Do you destine your fate and purpose? Is your curfew lurking?
You must will a purpose. Even in the dark, mental pandemics condemn your thought
process, and mine
Even though you’re running out of time, time can be birthed
It must not be insert, you don’t need a mistress
I am a poet who I will to dream a fate of happiness
I wrote this poem as a nod to the BLM movement and to form some coherence in these
heavily charged and revolutionary moments. I hope the piece captures the painful and
hopeful oscillation that mark this period of uncertainty and change. I hoped it would
provide a moment of pause, and resonate with readers.
Death has a sound.
It appears in the absence,
And violently thrashes waves
Out of a choking throat and
A gaping face—
Death has a dilapidated bird
With smoke swirling in tornadoes;
It will not be snuffed.
Death is rebuking its fate.
This year it performs a revival.
A divine resurrection
Manifests in the image of silence
For silence is ephemeral;
It pummels the gates
Scales the towers
Trails an inferno in its wake.
Silence arrives big-eyed and attentive
It demands to live—
IN CONVERSATION WITH:
By Zachariah Highgate
I had the pleasure of speaking with Operations Manager, Ramisa Tasfia, on all things Radio FWDrelated
recently. It was important for us at Margins Magazine to highlight the work Radio FWD is
doing to connect with the student body at UTSC during these rapidly changing times.
Zachariah Highgate: Hey, Ramisa! Thank you so much for agreeing to sit down with me to talk
about Radio FWD as the manager, I'm so grateful to be speaking with you today. Before we begin,
could you give us a little bit of your background and bio?
Ramisa Tasfia: Sure, thank you so much for having me and for considering me to be a part of your
July issue, especially for the theme of change. I'm the Operations Manager at Radio FWD, one of
two managers, which is a community radio station based at UofT’s Scarborough campus. Our office
is located on the second floor of the Student Centre and we have various multi-purpose studios for
creative projects including a radio broadcast room. We have a recording studio with a soundproof
booth by the WhisperRoom company, recording equipment that makes up the entire studio setup. We
have an audio production team that helps people make music and various audio projects. We recently
renovated a podcast studio and we're trying to do more interviews there. We have a variety of
multimedia services and equipment in our office and we try to work with students, clubs, community
organizations, and even local businesses.
ZH: That's amazing, thank you for the work that you do! Could you tell us about what Radio FWD
represents and what it works to achieve as a radio station?
RT: Radio FWD is a campus community radio station and a not-for-profit organization that is
incorporated, which means we have our own board of directors, operating bylaws, and annual
general meetings. What we represent... I would really bring it back to our name as Radio FWD. The
biggest inspiration behind the name came from a cheer that happens during Frosh. Folks would cheer
“Scarborough forward, Scarborough pull up” in a large group and it's based off of a song called “Bad
Man Forward, Bad Man Pull Up” [by Ding Dong]. Honestly, I've been hearing that cheer even before
I was a student, I know many former students that use that cheer. It’s very Scarborough, you know?
We always try to put our community forward and those cheers came from unity, togetherness, [and]
starting something new together. They came from being excited about the university experience,
that’s what Frosh is about. I think Radio FWD represents the same energy.
When we think about the word “forward” we really want to continue moving forward, working on
being inclusive, working on being safe, being open to working with any and all community efforts,
and working on being conscious. We really have been trying to do more reconciliation at the station.
We've been working on a land acknowledgement project and have had a few students from the
Aboriginal Students Association come in and record with us during the winter semester. Miigwetch
and big shout out to Caeley Genereux and Tianna Tababondung from the Aboriginal Students
Association on campus for being a part of this project. It is great to be a part of that process, but we're
still growing and adding more things to that land acknowledgement before we release it. The idea of
“moving forward” is all about learning, it is all [about] adding more things to our broadcast to make
it better and heighten our quality. We’re always taking up new technologies and learning new ways to
make sure what we're broadcasting is safe. I think that's also a part of what Radio FWD represents.
I really like that there's such a large scope of things that people are creating and producing now. It's
great to be behind the scenes to try and help in as many ways as I can. We’re sponsoring a short film
releasing this summer, people are making music, people have radio shows... Even you, yourself, are
an artist and host your own independent show, so you have an experience of our station on your own.
I have a new [radio] show in development with other co-hosts.
ZH: I love that it ties back to Frosh because that's such an integral part of the university experience,
especially for freshmen that are just coming in. Knowing what that represents for them and how
that’s showcased through the station… I absolutely love that! Thank you for sharing. How important
is it having an in-house studio and a space that artists and students can use creatively? As an
artist yourself, what is it like being a part of such a space on campus?
Your music should be how you create it. Obviously, don't be problematic with your music but like...
there are certain ways you should treat an artist. You need to understand that they have their own
integrity, their own artistic style that they are asking you to be a part of. When you ask a studio to
work with you, you're not asking them to tell you what to do or overstep. I just released my song with
my audio production team at Radio FWD on my birthday. It’s called “Snakes” and I just love that
there was zero judgement [during its creation]. The process was very natural, not rushed. Everyone
has their own process and I feel like the team we have can work with everyone. I really think we
have a very flexible audio production team and I'm very proud of us for that, I’m excited to keep
working with them.
ZH: I love that because of the experiences you had, you've ensured that the team you're working
with is making sure that people have a good experience. That is such an important part of the artistic
journey and artistic creation. Radio FWD also hosts and features in a myriad of on campus
events. How important is it to have that relationship with the student body at UTSC outside of
the work that you're already doing through the radio station and through the studio?
RT: On a very personal note, my parents are also musicians so growing up, I saw them try to record
with my uncle, who’s an audio engineer established in Bangladesh. Once you're an immigrant and
you come here, your recording resources are very different. I've seen my parents record in bathrooms,
in closets with blankets all over just to get different textures for recording or different sounds... I've
learned so much [from them]. Performing wise, I've been performing with my parents [since] when
I was 3 or 4 years old so I've kind of seen a lot. I learned a lot through them and I've tried my best to
transfer all that knowledge of quality and the things I know would make a difference.
RT: So, because we're a campus radio station, as much as we put on our community, we also want to
show our community that we are plugged in, that we are listening and that we’re trying to do our best
to give them what they want.
Our audio production team has two audio engineers and a producer as well as Kajan Ravindran,
our technical manager and my co-manager, who is a genius. We all put our heads together to create
this studio space and such a big part of my heart goes into it. I've learned that a lot of people can
pull off really good quality music in their house, whether in their basement or in their bedrooms. It's
definitely possible, I'm just the kind of person where I like to have help. I love to work with other
people and have their expertise on my sound so I worked really hard to establish a team that I feel
can be comfortable, not just with me, but with other students and community members. We tried to
make sure that everyone on the team was able to work with our community.
I've had negative experiences myself. I've had studio sessions where I've made things and paid for
it but I wasn't happy with the quality. At the same time, I didn't feel comfortable enough to go back
to the producer to be like, “Hey I didn't like this, can you change this?”. I'm also marginalized [and]
racialized, [so] there are certain things that I've experienced where people just place expectations on
me. I’ve had producers tell me, “You should do this. No no, I see what you're trying to do, but do
this” [and] I don't think like that. I don’t think anyone should be told what their sound should be.
Our grand launch was last year's Frosh concert. We really wanted to start with a bang and that's why
our event was called “Begins with a Bang”. We called on four big Toronto artists, hoping that we can
showcase to our Scarborough community students what Toronto music is like. It was so important to
me that before we put on the headliners that everyone [could] see that Scarborough also has it going
on, you know? So we called upon local talents to open the show. It was really important to me that
we had familiar community acts as well as well known Toronto acts.
ZH: It was a great night, I had a good time.
RT: Honestly, it was a bang. Putting it together was such a
challenge because it seemed impossible until three days before.
You were my friend through the whole process. You were
also a performer so I'm sure you saw me in all the stages of
“everything's fine” and then the high pressure like, “Oh my gosh,
it's showtime we gotta go”... you saw me in all the phases. It was
great to organize, to bring on Houdini, Ramriddlz, Yung Tory, as
well as 3M French. I got news last month that Houdini passed
away and our whole team was just shook.
I look back now and I think we were lucky to get him. Even in
previous years, special shoutout to my colleague, Guled Arale,
who found a way to bring Smoke Dawg on campus as well. He
also passed away so you know, it always comes back to Toronto
talent and that’s why it's so important to spotlight the community
because life is too short and unpredictable, we need to give our
artists some love while they’re creating, regardless of status.
ZH: Very, very true.
RT: You gotta love the art from where we got it and we’ve got tons of it.
on four big
that we can
ZH: I absolutely agree! You were so great during that event, every step of the way you were
amazing. You were so kind and hospitable so I really appreciated that, my best friend who was there
appreciated that [as well] so I can't thank you enough.
RT: I think that's like the hardest I've ever worked on anything. That was probably the most
complicated event I've ever worked on. That’s just starting off, we're hoping that we can do more
ZH: Speaking on this progress, in your role as an Operations Manager of Radio FWD, how
have you seen the station, the studio and its cultural presence grow and evolve over time?
RT: I feel very privileged to be in this position and it was definitely tough to navigate myself to get
here. In terms of seeing culture change, we’re at a turning point in campus life right now, especially
because of COVID-19. There's a lot of reliance on online events and holding down the fort until
campus is open again. A huge thing that's been happening more of is online parties so we’re planning
more of those. We are supporting more short films.
It’s tough to speak on how our cultural presence is changing, I mean we rebranded two years ago
and I feel like our new brand is more fitting to what we're trying to accomplish in terms of cultural
presence. I really think our “Begins with a Bang” concert was exactly what we needed to show our
community what we are trying to showcase more of this year. We are working towards having more
international and Indigenous acts as a part of our programming and this has also been an important
topic of conversation between our radio station and our university community, including respective
student experience departments.
How is it growing and evolving? I feel like it's in a constant state of evolution and I think that's what
Radio FWD is all about. We are constantly growing, evolving, changing, and trying to keep up with
things as we move FWD. Cultural presence is something that we can only follow and try [to] keep up
with. It's tough to say if we're really a part of that culture yet, but we're trying to build and grow that
[in order to] strengthen our presence on campus and in our community.
"We are constantly growing, evolving,
changing, and trying to keep up with
things as we move FWD."
ZH: How has Radio FWD adjusted its programming over the summer months with COVID 19
and with classes beginning online in the fall?
RT: We're moving a lot of radio shows into online podcast formats. We're even trying to do more
training using online broadcasting software [and] trying to create training protocols at the same
time because there's a lot that goes into broadcasting on your own at home [while] making sure that
everyone who's in the show can also be on the same broadcast. Some folks want to use Zoom, but
we also want to teach people how to use other platforms as well so we're working on training people
to use more online formats. We've hosted a Pride party with the UTSC Women and Trans Centre
There's a lot of projects that we're supposed to launch in winter that are being pushed but some of
them are moving online. We have this project with the Doris McCarthy Gallery and it's actually a
farm, city, and radio project with local farmers. This is going to be launching within the next one
or two months and we're doing various interviews and tours of farms in Toronto, including UTSC's
campus farm and our rooftop garden. We're still working on logistics of when we can organize that
tour but because of COVID-19, [there are] a lot of travel restrictions to certain places.
That's one of the projects in the works that was supposed to launch last semester. It was our hope
to launch a Scarborough mixtape this year but that's kind of getting [pushed]. We’re going to start
accepting submissions soon but we also want our audio production team to get a chance to go into
the studio and continue working before we launch that. Our Scarborough mixtape is still in the works
but kind of on pause until the studio is open again. Our hope with that is to have a mixtape that we
can send to all the record labels we’ve [been in contact with]. We receive CDs in the mail from
record labels across the continent and they essentially want us to play their music on the air. Our
music associate, Zachary Osborn, goes through the music and puts some of the music on the air and
we archive it. We share the CDs on our CD rack so anyone can come and take a CD. [The mixtape]
would be sent [out] so that our local artists can have a chance to share their music with some of the
record labels that have sent their mail to us.
[on] June 27th [streamed on Youtube], so we're working on hosting more online parties and music
festivals towards orientation time.
What's great is on YouTube, on the side, you can have a chat and you can also have a little place to
take in donations. We were considering using YouTube or maybe even Facebook live and if we do,
donations [will] go towards community organizations (hopefully) based in Scarborough. These are all
things that are still in the logistics phase as we continue to book artists and work out dates for music
festivals. Everything for orientation this year looks like it's going to be online.
On top of the mixtape project, we have also been thinking of reviving a previous event called
“Scarborough's Best Dance Crew”. This was huge a few years ago, especially when I was a student
and there's still a lot of really awesome dance teams on campus [that] we would love to [collaborate
with]. In the same fashion, we want to do something called “Scarborough’s Best DJ” with an online
ZH: Okay, good to know. Thank you for letting us now. What are your goals then for this
upcoming school year with everything going on? What are you planning and working towards
when it comes to Radio FWD?
RT: The number one thing is surviving COVID-19. I remember when things were kind of getting...
like when the toilet paper was running out but the office was still open. I remember frantically
cleaning the doorknobs, the knobs on the mixer, all the studio mics and everything. I remember that
I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe. And it's a bit scary to think of people using the radio
booth or even the recording studio. They’re such sensitive spaces and I don't want to do anything
that’ll harm our artists or creators right now. I don't even want to think of losing anyone that way.
We're trying to do as much as we can to support people's online programming and at the same time
we're moving on towards what we're doing next year. Our audio productive team is working with
audio stems remotely for folks looking into mixing and mastering services.
RT: Especially if you're a UTSC student, once you're opted into our fees, you have a lot of free
resources. You get a free hour in the studio and you can get training on broadcasting. You can [also]
use our podcast room...there's a lot of things you have access to as a member. For non members, we
do have a small fee but as a not-for-profit organization, we try to make sure that our fees are very
low. Some of our audio production associates may operate on a sliding scale, so we try to make sure
that communication is clear. We might have some job postings coming up and the job might even be
remote because there's a lot of coordination going on still, so keep an eye out for that!
Another great way to get involved is through our annual elections. As our own organization, we have
a board of directors, students can apply and get votes to be elected as part of our board of directors.
We have a president, vice president, treasurer, two student directors and a DJ representative. Board
of Directors help make some executive decisions and plan for things. We have meetings on a regular
basis to keep up to date on what we're working on and if there are proposals for new things. For
example, the short film that we’re sponsoring came to us through someone reaching out to the board,
which is great!
voting platform. We are going to be launching artist scholarships so keep an eye out for that. We're
going to be hosting radio host, content creator and music workshops. We hosted a workshop with DJ
Sky Scream who showed beginners how to start DJing and provided helpful resources to attendees.
We've also talked about bringing in a well known radio show host to speak to our radio show
hosts about hosting shows and [sharing] their experience on it. We're trying to do more music and
entertainment journalism on our website, we already have been doing things like artist profiles and
we're still updating that and adding more as frequently as we can.
We are asking writers to submit pitches and we have all the information available on our website.
Anyone that's interested in writing, there is an email that you can send a pitch to. Varsha Ramdihol,
our executive director, is a graduate in journalism so she helps with editing and revising pitches.
She’s the person you would contact with regards to writing for Radio FWD. We have a writing
program that we hope to establish media accreditation with so we can send our writers to big name
events like an MMVA, Digital Dreams, VELD... A bunch of other music festivals and stuff that
happen in the city. I know I've sent a writer to VELD. She got up close [and] got really up-close shots
of Migos. She told me that it was such a great experience because once you have that media badge,
you get to go right to the front of the line at music festivals. You don't have to be behind the fence
like everyone else, you're in front of the fence with security and you get to take your pictures. But
yeah, it [was] great training writers to do that before we rebranded and [I’m] really happy to do that
all over again [with] new writers and teach them how to go to these events and get coverage on them.
There's a lot that we support, even community efforts. We recommend everyone check out our
website. If anyone has a project idea, event idea, a multi-media project that they feel could use
some help with our equipment or could use a hand because [they’re] doing this by [themselves]
or [they] could use some promotion or a platform to share [something]... we are more than open
to collaborating with anyone in our community, especially students. All the information is on our
ZH: Thank you so much for your time, Ramisa. Thank you so much for the insight you’ve given us
[on] all the great things Radio FWD is working on and looking forward to. I'm very excited to hear
about them and I'm sure the students coming in this new year will be as well, so thank you. Thank
you so much for your time.
RT: Thank you again for having me, I'm really glad.
There you have it! It is great to see all the amazing things Radio FWD either has in the works or
is working towards in the coming months! Make sure you check out their website and social media
handles in order to stay in the loop and be a part of this great campus resource!
Follow Radio FWD here:
Follow Ramisa Tasfia here:
ZH: It’s great to hear that so many things are in the works! How can interested students get
involved with Radio FWD in the coming year? You've already mentioned some ways that they
TACTICS DURING COVID-19
By Zachariah Highgate
The effects of COVID-19 have been widely
documented and illustrated in 2020. In
the last few months, we’ve seen its global
impact and how it has altered society as a whole.
Across the board, businesses in particular have
had to change and adapt in order to continue
operating during these turbulent times. This is
not only seen in large-scale corporations, but
also in local and growing businesses trying to
service a need in their communities.
Tim Hortons shocked many when they made the
decision to close dining room services in most
of their locations while continuing to operate
in ways that limited exposure and allowed for
social distancing. In their official statement
made on March 17th, 2020, they explained that
“these measures will help us make a difference
for the health and safety of the people we love,
and the communities we live in and care deeply
about, during this public health crisis.” While
not halting operations all together, closing major
services across their locations showcased how
serious the pandemic was becoming.
McDonald’s would follow suit a few days
later, issuing a statement that they would “no
longer be offering take-out service in [their]
restaurants”, meaning their “dining rooms will
now be completely closed.” Additionally, they
would “stop offering curbside pickup” while
continuing their delivery and drive-thru options.
This further cemented the fact that preventative
measures were not only being considered, but
actively put forward by large scale corporations
because of COVID-19. They were having to
make adjustments to their business models
in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
These actions would not prove fail-safe, as a
McDonald’s location in London, Ontario would
close less than a month later “after an employee
reported testing positive for COVID-19”
(Rumleski). McDonald’s recommended that
employees working in close contact with the
individual self-quarantine until the matter was
resolved. In this case, changes to McDonalds’
service model were followed with the closure
of one of its locations. Around this time, Tim
Hortons would bring forward new policies that
required employees in their Canadian locations
to wear non-surgical masks and undergo
temperature checks before starting their shifts.
Acrylic protective shields would also make
appearances in front of counters and drivethru
locations to increase protection from the
virus (Fox). We not only saw changes to their
business models, but adjustments were made to
the physical aspects of their locations in order to
continue operating during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, not every business would have
the resources to adjust and continue serving their
clientele in this manner. COVID-19’s impact,
and the social distancing measures it prompted,
would deter many from leaving their homes and
attending work. This would cause several small
businesses to close their doors indefinitely.
On May 29th, 2020, Moog Audio announced
the closure of their brick and mortar location in
downtown Toronto, explaining that “due to recent
events, [their] Toronto location is now permanently
closed” (@MoogAudio). The closure was met
with dismay, as their supporters expressed how
sad it was to hear that the store would no longer
be operating out of Toronto. In addition to their
closure, Moog Audio initiated a clearance sale on
equipment from this location, further illustrating
how impacted they were.
They would unfortunately not be alone in this,
as multiple businesses would begin to announce
closures in Toronto. The Westerly, a restaurant and
bar located in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood
was forced to close indefinitely, explaining in a
notice on their door that the “stress and uncertainty
due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 has been
overwhelming in so many ways. The financial
resources to hang in and stay closed indefinitely
until we can re-open are not available. And so,
regretfully, we are now closed permanently”
(Appia). As in the case of Moog Audio, saddened
customers shared their sorrows in response to this
closure. Unfortunately, some local businesses
were ill-equipped to take on the financial burdens
that came with operating during COVID-19.
Some positive changes have also emerged, for
instance, businesses have adjusted their objectives
in order to better serve their community. Spirit of
York Distillery Co., for example, has completely
revamped their production model, focussing their
efforts “toward something Canadians have been
emptying from store shelves: hand sanitizer.” By
switching from alcohol to sanitizer production,
this company has completely changed their
model and objective in order to support their
community in combating the virus. Additionally,
“all the proceeds will go to local food banks to
support community members that have limited
access to food or are unable to leave their homes”
(Deschamps). This company not only adjusted
their model to accommodate present demands, but
also supported the local community by investing
in community resources.
There are also a large number of creatives and
professionals tapping into virtual resources in
order to continue highlighting the arts. For artists
and creatives that rely on social spaces and
platforms to showcase their works, this period
of quarantine can prove difficult and financially
challenging. Crystal Semaganis, a Cree artist
and writer, founded the Turtle Island Quarantine
Festival as “an outlet for Indigenous artists to
share and sell their work and exchange tips”
(Lisk). This festival ran for seven weeks and
allowed Indigenous creatives to submit works
for recognition and prizes. Artists were able to
showcase their abilities and receive monetary
rewards in exchange. The importance of creating
virtual platforms that allow for creatives to share
their talents (and be compensated accordingly)
during a time when people are unable to connect
physically cannot be overlooked, and it is inspiring
to see how virtual workarounds are being fostered
to support this.
Entrepreneurs have also found unique and creative
ways to adapt and virtually connect with their
clientele. Afro-Caribbean dance group, C-Flava,
has demonstrated this through virtual dance classes
they facilitate using Zoom. Entitled “Flavaful
Fridays” the group describes the classes as a way
to “keep you flavaful through this quarantine”
(@bookcflava). One of their members, Shakkoi
Hibbert, has also created “Floetry Fitness”
sessions, which are classes meant to support
“black identifying women” with their confidence
and charisma (@needsomekoi). Shakkoi, who is
also a published author, continues to inspire and
encourage her followers with motivational posts on
Instagram that offer potential work opportunities
people can take on during quarantine. Innovative
ideas like these exemplify how creatives have
taken this time to adapt, navigate, and (virtually)
invoke positive change.
Overall, COVID-19 has caused businesses of all
shapes and sizes to change and adapt in order to
survive (and sometimes thrive) in the new market
conditions. As we continue to watch this play
out in real-time, it is important to recognize that
change itself is a constant, and those who embrace
it may find unique and creative ways to do so.
Appia, Veronica. “Roncesvalles restaurant
permanently closes due to coronavirus crisis.”
Toronto.com, 28 Mar. 2020, https://www.
Accessed 30 June 2020.
Betts, John. “COVID-19: The latest updates
from McDonald’s Canada.” McDonalds, 21 Mar.
about-us/covid19-updates.html. Accessed 30
Deschamps, Tara. “Meet the companies quickly
pivoting to serve Canada’s COVID-19 needs”.
TheStar.com, 18 Mar. 2020, https://www.thestar.
needs.html. Accessed 30 June 2020.
Fox, Chris. “Tim Hortons employees now
required to wear masks in effort to limit spread
of COVID-19.” CP24.com, 22 Apr. 2020, 8:41
Accessed 30 June 2020.
Lisk, Shelby. “How Indigenous artists are getting
even more creative during COVID-19.” TVO.
org, 27 Mar. 2020, https://www.tvo.org/article/
Accessed 2 July 2020.
Rumleski, Kathy. “McDonalds closes London
restaurant due to positive COVID-19 case.”
CTVNewsLondon.ca, 19 Apr. 2020, 5:01 p.m.,
case-1.4902953. Accessed 30 June 2020.
The Canadian Press. “Tim Hortons moving
to take-out, drive-thru and delivery only.”
CTVNews.ca, 16 Mar. 2020, https://www.
Accessed 30 June 2020.
“Updates on the Current Public Health
Environment”. Tim Hortons, 15 Mar. 2020,
Accessed 30 June 2020.
@Bookcflava. “HAPPY FRIYAY GUYS!!
Be sure to tune into our #FlavafulFridays…”
Instagram, 3 Apr. 2020, https://www.instagram.
com/p/B-hknsYF-Vo/. Accessed 2 July 2020.
@MoogAudio. Closing Announcement.
Facebook, 29 May. 2020, 5:24 p.m., https://
Accessed 30 June 2020.
@Needsomekoi. “I recently created a space
for black identifying women to release…”
Instagram, 3 Jun. 2020, https://www.instagram.
com/p/CA_PEizlyS0/. Accessed 2 July 2020.
@Needsomekoi. “My people: We SEE the
organizations that fail to hear and see…”
Instagram, 11 Jun. 2020, https://www.instagram.
com/p/CBTwl4Xlen8/. Accessed 2 July 2020.
@SevenWolves. Turtle Island Quarantine
Festival 2020. Facebook, 2 May. 2020,
9:00 p.m., https://www.facebook.com/
events/584089788854463/. Accessed 2 July
A Potluck in Caledon
By Anjali Chauhan
Here, the forks, cups, plates, and hate are plastic;
recipes don’t change but the skill of serving is plastic.
Anjali Chauhan is in third-year Psychology; while she enjoys it, she also enjoys writing
poems, dancing, and overusing Spotify. She’s second-generation Indian, hence this
poem. “A Potluck in Caledon” shows how ideas around body image are projected
onto younger-generation Indian women, who think critically about them but are also
impressionable. It’s about taking bits and pieces of tradition, which is why it’s set at
a potluck with Indian and non-Indian food and is a ghazal that doesn’t follow all
the rules of one. Furthermore, each of its couplets end in the word “plastic”, which
was chosen for its three meanings: the material of plastic, falseness, and the ability
Like mothers from daughters (or aunties from aunties), plates
segregate sambhar from sandwiches by septums of plastic.
We choose food like we do sarees; we sit upstairs from our
mothers, curate our seconds, and toss their dated plastic.
Bandhani shrouding gulab-jamun guilt, they say of an actress,
“yeah, the movie was good but now her nose looks too plastic.”
Then to me, one commands, “eat more; you need it”, eagerly
as some hastily hide biryani in tubs of recycled plastic.
So, I eat leftover confetti cake she left over athanu,
now reddened by sour oil spreading across plastic.
She says, “Anjali, you girls are too quiet”, and I bite back a question:
Do they know how we eat traditions, tongues tense and palates plastic?
Visual Credits: Tashfia Sharar
By Farhat Ullah
To the bus driver who refused to give me a transfer and thought he was being funny:
No wonder you failed to become a stand-up comedian.
You believe your words are like the wind,
leaving goosebumps on my skin,
But you seem to be so lost
in your world of oblivion.
Being a Muslim is like being a GPS that was tampered with;
You’re trying to find the destination,
but you’re left with messages like:
“Turn left at nearest anti-Islamophobia protest;
turn right at nearest cliff, and ‘take flight.’”
As if I’m some stubborn weed in your backyard,
a plant infected with blight.
I love how they continuously call me a suicide bomber!
Then proceed to think that their theories are right,
like they’re the king of the truth.
As lives turn to graves
and act as if they weren’t the detonator;
If I wanted to kill myself, I would jump from their ego,
down to their IQ.
You are the type of plant who will defend your territory by
emitting toxins into the soil.
The logic behind it is so you can eliminate
your “competitors” somehow.
It’s a dirty game of chemical warfare,
armed vs. defenseless;
I wonder who the terrorist is now?
I’ve seen clones of you before,
ranging from the lowest to highest intensity.
They wanted to become dinosaurs;
powerful, strong, and mobilized;
They obviously chose to become a thesaurus
as they used “Muslim” and “terrorist” interchangeably.
I don’t know what bothers me more,
that it’s repulsive or plagiarized?
I continue to stare at you, waiting for the transfer,
when you chuckle and say,
Tell me, what face was I making?
Did I look disappointed? Sad? Angry? Shocked?
Did my smile reflect the bellowing of my sanity cracking?
Did my faith in humanity progressing
wring itself like a towel caked with mud?
Is this the reaction you signed up for?
Were you searching for the destruction of my foundations,
forming pieces of debris?
Should I shake your hand and say,
“Hello, nice to meet you, people are calling for my genocide.”
I have the opposite reaction from a joke,
laughing harder and harder the more you tell me.
I was learning about population dynamics
the other day, and was taught about how the difference
between intraspecific and interspecific competition is whether or not
the individuals fighting over a limited resource
were part of the same species.
As if you can no longer tell that we’re both human.
As if you’re arguing over who should breathe,
and who should be left to rot.
As if I don’t have a say in your carousel of illusions.
But you love to be guided by your confusion.
You’re the love child of a broken record and a hawk;
Waiting to latch onto your next prey
every time a person label themselves as part of a community
no one invited them to,
Then deliberately does something so immoral
so you can repeat your insults over and over.
Laughter can be so exhausting sometimes, I’m literally sweating! Or
are those tears?
I am terrified of failure; I can never mess up.
For others, when they make a mistake, that’s reflected on them;
I have 1.6 billion people on my back;
so, if I fall, so does everyone else.
Society is a dandelion, and
the wind blows like never before.
And then I realize that there will never be a punchline to this cruel joke.
Deforestation may be the only thing left in our hilarious future.
Your way of having the last laugh is
to squeeze the life out of my identity with your roots,
and mine is to coexist peacefully.
I just have a strange sense of humour.
THE SHADOW PANDEMIC:
WOMEN AND GIRLS
By Saman Saeed
For around 243 million women and girls
ranging from ages 15 to 49, their home
adopts the role of a combat zone instead
of the safe haven it is supposed to be (Bettinger-
Lopez and Bro). This unfortunate transformation
can be owed to the drastic numbers of domestic
violence cases around the world. Furthermore,
with the world currently facing one of the greatest
challenges of our generation-the COVID-19
pandemic- these numbers are expected to increase
in what is known as the shadow pandemic:
violence against women and girls. For the sake
of this article, we will focus primarily on the
rise of domestic violence cases in Canada, the
reasons behind this surge and possible solutions
as we attempt to deal with the ramifications of the
According to a recent UN Report, there have been
increased cases of domestic violence and demand
for emergency shelter reported in Canada, the
United Kingdom and the United States (UN
Women). Similarly, there has also been a global
rise in domestic violence by almost 20% especially
in developing countries such as Pakistan, China,
Brazil and so forth. However, these numbers
are often ignored as these countries focus on
attempting to flatten the curve and surviving the
COVID-19 pandemic (BBC News).
“He demanded I stay in a hotel and said, if I
started coughing, he was throwing me out on
the street and that I could die alone in a hospital
room,” a caller reported to a domestic violence
“I want you out now or I am going to hurt you
and you know I can kill you,” another survivor
revealed the threats she received from her partner
after contracting the virus (BBC News).
These are just a small proportion of the 100,000
cases of domestic violence across Canada, a
number that is expected to escalate during the
lockdown (Waugh). With the lockdown enforced
around the country, people are restricted to their
homes unable to leave unless it is essential such
as for a grocery store run, or a medical emergency.
While this certainly is an inconvenience and
troublesome for people who live in a safe,
comfortable environment, for people who are
in quarantine with their abuser it is a matter of
one’s well-being and safety. Being stuck at home
reduces a survivor’s opportunity to escape to the
public sphere nor are they able to reach out to the
facilities and people that can help them.
Visual Credits: Jon Tyson
Additionally, the quarantine acts as an excuse for
an abuser to further limit a survivor’s freedom by
restricting their ability to leave home, controlling
their access to finances and/or medical supplies.
As Ruth Glenn, president and CEO of the National
Coalition Against Domestic Violence, effectively
stated, “If an abuser will take your checkbook
from you so that you don’t have access to your
own finances, if an abuser will take your cell
phone and your keys, why wouldn’t they prevent
you from having access to things that will ensure
your healthiness?” (Jagannathan). Another effect
of being constrained by your abuser is the financial
impact of the pandemic: it will be much harder for
survivors to recover after dealing with the cost of
economic abuse such as being forced to quit one’s
job, being coerced into sharing bank accounts and
other things of similar nature.
Moreover, another danger that arises from being
stuck at home all day with one’s abuser is that it
is difficult to seek help. When one is constantly
around their abuser, it enhances their sense of fear as
they are always under surveillance. Subsequently,
it further deters a survivor from reaching out to
family, friends and/or a domestic violence hotline.
In fact, certain domestic violence hotlines have
actually seen a decrease in the amounts of calls
they receive during the pandemic; however, this is
considered to be misleading (Hoye). Essentially,
even though the reduced numbers of calls during
the pandemic point towards a decline in violence
against women, it in actuality emphasizes the
silent cries for help. This silence can be attributed
to the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic as
women are unaware of the resources and shelters
they have access to during the lockdown.
Other important aspects to consider are the mental
health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic has caused a rise in anxiety,
depression and stress. According to a survey
conducted by The Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health (camh) the financial stress accompanying
the pandemic as a result of being laid off work or
Visual Credits: Vishwasa Navada K
not having access to one’s job caused moderate
to severe anxiety and depression amongst around
46.5% of Canadians. While this in itself is a cause
for concern, in the context of domestic violence
it is known that stress in any form is known to
exacerbate incidents of violence. Concluding, not
only are women unable to reach out for effective
help during the pandemic but they are also at a
greater risk of being abused as opposed to before.
Lastly, while it is necessary to address the
struggles women are facing during this pandemic
it is also equally important to talk about the
resources available during these times. In May,
the Canadian government announced around $40
million to support over 500 women shelters and
sexual assault centres across the country ( Women
and Gender Equality Canada). Maryam Monsef,
the Minister for Women and Gender Equality,
revealed different ways to offer support to families
and survivors such as a helpline for men to call
when they are experiencing stress and/or anxiety
(Patel);this might provide them with a healthy
outlet instead of resorting to violence. Patricia
O’Campo, a professor at the University of Toronto,
is also working with a research team to modify an
app called WithWoman Pathways to aid women
facing domestic violence (Anderson). Experts
also recommend women to create a safety plan
such as packing important documents, locating
nearby shelters, having an emergency fund and
the address of someone willing to take them in.
Finally, I would like to end on the following note:
feelings of loneliness during self-isolation can be
quite overwhelming, to counteract this it can be
helpful to reach out to someone who you know
is facing abuse. This is a simple yet effective
way to play your role in helping domestic abuse
Anderson, Scott. COVID-19: U of T researchers
seek to protect women from abuse with re-tooled
safety app. 26 May 2020. 3 July 2020.
BBC News. Coronavirus: Concern over
potential rise in lockdown abuse. 27 May 2020.
Bettinger-Lopez, Caroline and Alexandra Bro. A
Double Pandemic: Domestic Violence in the Age
of COVID-19. 13 May 2020. 2 July 2020.
camh. "COVID-19 National Survey Dashboard."
camh. 2020. Survey.
Coronavirus: Domestic violence 'increases
globally during lockdown'. 12 June 2020. Video.
Hoye, Bryce. Manitoba domestic violence
shelters see drop in demand amid social
distancing, but problem 'hasn't stopped'. 7 April
2020. 2 July 2020.
Jagannathan, Meera. ‘We’ve seen an alarming
spike in domestic violence reports:’ For some
women, it’s not safe to leave the house OR stay
home. 19 June 2020. 1 July 2020.
Patel, Raisa. Minister says COVID-19 is
empowering domestic violence abusers as rates
rise in parts of Canada. 27 April 2020. 3 July
Taub, Amanda. "A New Covid-19 Crisis:
Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide." 6 April 2020.
The New York Times . PDF. 8 July 2020.
The Economist. "Domestic violence has
increased during coronavirus lockdowns." The
Economist. 22 April 2020. Graph.
Waugh, Nancy. Canada faces a domestic
violence crisis. CBC examines the problem. 5
March 2020. 29 June 2020.
Women and Gender Equality Canada.
Government of Canada supports over 500
women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
during the COVID-19 pandemic . 16 May 2020.
3 July 2020.
Women, UN. "COVID-19 and Ending Violence
Against Women and Girls ." 2020. UN Women. 2
Visual Credits: Josh Nuttall
'Identity' is about myself and the millions of first-generation children
and children of diaspora growing up in settler nations such as the U.S.
and Canada, who often struggle to find their place of belonging. Often
our places of comfort turn into battlefields where we attempt to navigate
our various identities. The memories of our childhood and the place
of birth (or maybe some of us were born abroad and can still relate)
compared to the pressures to meet the standards of Western culture.
This battle can take years, decades, and even a lifetime to heal from. But
we are the new generation. We are here to build our identities where we
embrace our roots and ancestry while also making amends to the broken
values and unjust/prejudiced beliefs that we may have been taught.
Meanwhile, we also assert our voices as people of color and in sharing
our stories, our struggles, our successes, and by building a community,
we continue to uplift one another to overthrow the dominant narratives
about the subaltern. As Spivak, Mohanty, and countless other feminist
scholars of color have said, we, POC have our voices and values. We are
the majority. 'Identity' is about struggles, growth, and change.
Visual Credits: Josh Nuttall
By Raisa Masud
I was uprooted from the land
And soon this will too
Missing the scents
in her glance the mountains collapse
Where my ancestors lay
But they locked up the doors
Of her childhood tiles
with eyes dark like cocoa
And thrown into a box
As I screamed from behind
in her ambiance you find maps
On one bitter day
Please let me in
With two different oceans
that lead you to the memories
I scratched out the edges
I promise I will try
that swallowed her whole
of those red Persian rugs
To escape those walls
To become who you wish
yet she returned
where you spent all evening
Yet I was reminded again
And as you wish I will do
with a shield for a soul
playing with toy trucks
That I was not tall
I will bleach my skin white
she bloomed into the guardian
a diluted version
Enough to clench
And stain my jeans blue
of her own forest
of when two worlds collide
To the thoughts that remained
she slayed the tides of the oceans
she is soft like the clouds yet
Of my sweet little home
When I returned that night
and planted a nest
as strong as the tides
Where we used to play
I saw the anger rise
from where she grew roses
that pull you in closer
The sight of estrangement
mountains and towers
on a full moon night
Now I was to make a house
In my mother’s eyes
caressing the memories
Out of this wooden box
She could not reckon
of her childhood showers
go on my love,
Where my tongue got twisted
Who her daughter had become
when Nani would wrap her
the world is yours to claim
So, I used calcite chalks
So, I wept to the lyrics
in her arms oh so tight
two broken traces
A last desperate attempt
Of the songs she once hummed
kiss her head and brush her hair
can come whole once again
To keep holding on
When she would lay me on her chest and
then they flew afternoon kites
To those voices I once knew
I’d fall deep asleep
before long they were gone
Until dawn did us apart
memories get lost
May 18, 2020
And I climbed up again
My hands she would keep
but are never forgotten
To sever my being
As I turned out the lights
the scents of childhood home and
I will revive and
I knew I was alone
all the fights we got in
Gather new meaning
With no one that knew me
she embodies her ma, her Nani, her all
To this thing we call life
Or to call their own
is defined by the boxes
Though all that I knew
Just another tragic
that got far too small
Had vanished before me
for she is a force of nature
SHADING AN IDENTITY
By Sofia Suleman
Skin lightening brand Fair and Lovely, are dropping the word 'fair' in their products.
However, this marketing tactic does nothing to combat colourism and racist ideologies.
There are always some memories that
jut out more than others. They can take
form through interaction with people
that are in our lives, the books we read, or the
media we consume. My friend, M., distinctively
recalls an advertisement when she was a child
watching South Asian dramas with her family.
"They would show a dark-skinned woman who
wasn't wearing any makeup and her hair was
dishevelled; she'd be portrayed as ugly because
she'd be walking down the street and nobody
would be looking at her. And one day, her friends
would come to save her, and they'd give her Fair
and Lovely and all of a sudden, she was fair and
beautiful. She was wearing makeup; her hair was
[styled]. And when she'd walk down the street,
everyone would look at her and they'd [say] 'oh
she's so pretty.'"
In contrast to M, when I was growing up, I wasn't
exposed to Fair and Lovely, a skin lightening
cream that became available in India in 1975.
Soon after, this success would be followed in
other Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Sri
Lanka, Pakistan, and Thailand (Gajanan 2020).
When I was 11, I remember walking into a South
Asian owned convenience store with my mama
(uncle). As I perused the isles, the aroma of paan
filling my lungs, passing by the colourful and
aromatic spices, my eyes stopped at the beauty
section where I was confronted with the package
of Fair and Lovely cream. My mama saw me
staring at the package, confused. Why was the
fairness of one's skin, related to one's beauty?
Although I wasn't exposed to blatant colourism in
my household—"the idea that we live on a colourcoded
spectrum in which the lighter you are, the
whiter (and therefore, better) you are" (Adegoke
2019)—my Nani (grandmother) constantly
praised my skin colour and always warned me
about tanning. "Make sure you don't get too
dark," she would tell me while stroking my hair
and kissing me on the cheek. My mama walked
up to me and explained that in many South Asian
countries, fair skin was highly praised; therefore,
people would try to emulate fairness using skin
lightening creams such as Fair and Lovely. Though
still perplexed, I nodded my head and dismissed
the thought shortly after.
In high school, meeting more South Asian folks
– including my friends M. and A. – evoked many
topics of discussions, including colourism in
many South Asian communities and how beauty
products, including Fair and Lovely, contribute
to and push colourist ideals and attitudes. M. and
A. told me about their respective Fair and Lovely
usage journeys that consisted of their choices, the
influence of their families and the residual traumas
of colourist ideologies, which is often linked to
the "hierarchies established during the British
colonial era" (Safi 2020). However, scholars
Visual Credits: Kelsey Curtis & Fernando Puente
have also found evidence of preference of lighter
skin colours in the Hindu Vedas, a collection of
religious hymns and texts, guiding the beliefs
of many people of Hindu tradition, as well as
inciting "caste divides and rivalries between north
and south Indians" (Safi 2020).
The killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and
the anti-racism protests that followed have also
ignited conversations about allyship, solidarity,
anti-Blackness in other communities and colourism.
Folks have been broadening the conversation of
racism to include the businesses we support and
products we endorse. As a response, there have
been many criticisms of skin lightening creams,
including Fair and Lovely, which reportedly
holds 70% of the market share of India's skinlightening
industry (Gajanan 2020). One of the
responses includes a petition initiated by Shobia
Ooruthirapathy, a Tamil-Canadian makeup artist
based in Toronto stop the production of Fair and
Lovely and other skin bleaching creams and their
advertisements. Additionally, Ooruthirapathy had
written a letter to the CEO of Unilever's Indian
subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL)
(Balakrishnan et al. 2020).
On Thursday, June 25, 2020, Unilever announced
the dropping of the word 'fair' from the Fair and
Lovely name; instead marketing the product
to emphasize "glow, even tone, skin clarity and
radiance" (Frayer 2020). Sunny Jain, president of
the company's beauty & personal care division,
said in a statement on Unilever's website: "We
recognise that the use of the words 'fair,' 'white'
and 'light' suggest a singular ideal of beauty that
we don't think is right. Although a new product
name hasn't been announced, the name change
will occur "in the next few months" and will
apply to Fair & Lovely products sold across Asia"
Reading multiple news articles on Fair and
Lovely's name change, I was intrigued to see if
this would have an impact on reducing the usage
of skin lightening topical products, connoting
the notion of lighter skin equating to beauty and
success. A 2018 study published in Frontiers in
Public Health discovered that "more than half of
1,992 men and women surveyed about product use
in India had tried skin whiteners, and close to half
(44.6%) felt the need to try such products due to
media such as TV and advertisements" (Liu 2018).
Additionally, market intelligence firm Global
Industry Analysts recorded that global demand for
skin whiteners has increased, estimating to reach
$31.2 billion by 2024, from $17.9 billion in 2017,
especially in Asia, the Middle East and Africa (Liu
2018). Although this article was written before
the announced name change and marketing shift,
I believe that the usage of skin lightening creams
and colourism in South Asian communities are
extremely rooted, and this effort won't do much
to change the stereotypes and colourist ideologies.
What posed significant insight from my discussions
with both M. and A. was the normalization of
wearing Fair and Lovely perpetuated by both
family and media, and the trauma caused by the
mere pressure of not just becoming fair-skinned,
but also maintaining it at all costs.
For A, ads with Bollywood celebrities— "people
that you look up to," endorsing the brand, further
normalizes usage of the product. Ironically, many
of the celebrities who have endorsed the cream,
including actors like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka
Chopra Jonas, Disha Patani, and Sonam K. Ahuja,
took to social media to express their solidarity to
the BlackLivesMatter movement (Balakrishnan et
Radhika Parameswaran, a professor of gender and
media studies at Indiana University Bloomington,
who studies the effects of racism and colorism in
India and across South Asia, said, "Just removing
the word 'fair' is not enough." She continues,
"It's a global phenomenon. There's this idea that
the powerful have always been light-skinned."
According to Parameswaran, it can be seen on the
individual front, within families and institutions,
like workplaces (Gajanan 2020).
M. and A. have since stopped using Fair and
Lovely. M. experienced a moment of selfrealization
after having long discussions with her
darker skin Brown friends in high school: "I realize
that I also don't have to be fair to be beautiful.
That comes from within. That comes from who
you are, and your skin colour doesn't affect how
beautiful you are." A. came across research and
articles, through which she realized the product
"is dangerous and seriously wrong."
Both A. and M. have discussed with me about
the residual trauma of colourist ideals in their
lives. Although M's mom had brought Fair and
Lovely into their home, she hadn't used it until
she received comments from family about her
skin colour and how much more beautiful if she
were fairer-skinned. "To this day, I try to get over
it." However, during the summer months, when
M goes out and she tans, in the back of her mind,
she thinks, "I'm less beautiful than I was during
the winter when I was whiter." Similarly, A said,
"even to this day, it [colourist ideals] follows you.
Like you grow up, and you realize that [is] wrong,
but then every single time you're out in the sun…
you're always thinking 'you're tanning,' and it
sounds like a problem, but you just have to push
Adegoke, Yomi. “Are We Finally Ready to
Talk about Colourism? | Yomi Adegoke.”
The Guardian, Guardian News and Media,
9 Oct. 2019, www.theguardian.com/
Balakrishnan, Rekha. “Not Fair, but Still
Lovely – Is India Actually Changing Its
'Fairness' Narrative?” YourStory.com, 2 July
Frayer, Lauren. 'Fair & Lovely' Skin
Lightening Brand, Popular In South Asia,
To Change Name. 25 June 2020, www.npr.
Gajanan, Mahita. Unilever Fair & Lovely Name
Change and Colorism in Beauty. 27 June 2020,
Liu, Marian. “Asians Still Love Skin
Whiteners, despite Health Concerns.” CNN,
Cable News Network, 3 Sept. 2018, www.
Safi, Michael. Unilever to Rename Fair &
Lovely Skin-Lightening Cream in India. 25
June 2020, www.theguardian.com/world/2020/
Unilever Evolves Skin Care Portfolio to
Embrace a More Inclusive Vision of Beauty.
25 June 2020, www.unilever.com/news/pressreleases/2020/unilever-evolves-skin-careportfolio-to-embrace-a-more-inclusive-visionof-beauty.html.
IN CONVERSATION WITH:
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
By Alexa DiFrencesco
“University exposes you to different lenses, and they’re all connected to the environment.”
Executives Leeza [they/them] and Raymond [he/him, they/them] believe The University of
Toronto Environmental Resource Network is the must-try form of self-care.
Sky-scraping trees, a humid wind, the backdrop of a deep summer sky; these are all components
of the extraordinary landscape that University of Toronto student Raymond Dang invites me
to envision. On the Friday evening of our Zoom call, I’m looming as part of this paradise by
residing in a backyard gazebo whose loose netting curtains a flowered garden. The sun is transforming
into fiery red hues as I invite Raymond and their colleague, Leeza Gheerawo, into what is to become a
conversation amongst friends rather than a formal interview.
“You get to experience this because we’ve created these spaces,” Raymond prods, referencing my
surroundings. “But we can’t do that any longer. We won’t have this resource if we keep abusing it. [The
environment] is a health issue, a gender issue, a housing issue; every possible issue you could name.
Most importantly, it’s our issue. We have to deal with any effects that we make. Better now than later.”
The effects Raymond addresses are becoming increasingly evident: Torontonians are predicted to see
51 days a year above 30 degrees Celsius by 2050 and 77 by 2100, as opposed to the current average
of 16 (Mortillaro, 2018). The manner in which people respond to this issue is a personal choice;
nevertheless, Raymond and Leeza believe they have the perfect approach; The University of Toronto
Environmental Resource Network (UTERN), which Raymond and Leeza are Networking Executive
Liaison and University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Representative of, respectively. The two
describe their organization as a “funding body”, stating that their favourite part of their work is its
“UTERN receives funds from all three [University of Toronto] campuses,” Leeza explains. “Folks
who do pay – [a 25 cent fee, which is automatically included in incidental fees amongst each campus
(University of Toronto, 2019)] – can access all our services. We have funding initiatives programs, and
we’re also a networking hub for any students who are interested in sustainability and environmentalism.”
Given the average student’s course load, extra-curricular activities and involvement in the workforce,
it’s palpable that volunteering with UTERN may be perceived as overwhelming. While Raymond
admits that activism is oftentimes demanding, they clarify that a hands-on role hasn’t left them drained.
Instead, they regard their responsibility in terms of a soul-seeking, therapeutic cleansing: “March 2019,
I felt burnt out from three years of constant work. UTERN allowed me to heal, find a community, give
myself wholly and wholesomely. It brought all this shit to the forefront because there was home to be
found. UTERN was that home.”
As with any new home, the process of unpacking one’s belongings in an unfamiliar space is undeniably
difficult. Leeza interprets their adjustment to frequent activism as being conscientious of and holding
themselves accountable for previous actions: “A lot of education needs to go into it. Questions like,
‘Do I know whose treaty land I’m on?’... You have to come to a community where you can talk about
it, with folks who understand and validate how you’re feeling. Everyone’s at a different education level
about the environment; some folks are very focused on reusing items like plastic bags which is great.
Another group of folks are focused on the social issues and how they’re affecting our environment, the
livelihood of our people. Together, UTERN bridges all these different components of environmentalism
into one to have a discussion.”
The discussion Leeza describes can be exhausting to moderate in a tri-campus environment, I point out.
Leeza agrees, explaining that frequent online activity – as a result of the global pandemic, COVID-19
– has allowed UTERN to become more advertised to students. “We know that being at UTSC is a
huge barrier; you know, taking the TTC downtown,” they mention. “Now, we have an event where we
have UTSC, St. George [University of Toronto’s downtown campus] and UTM [University of Toronto
Mississauga] students all sitting in a room. When programming, we don’t have to think about just one
demographic; I can meet UTM students and hear about their campus and their groups. I don’t have to
look specifically to the GTA for speakers.”
As expected, COVID-19 is an issue which has proven to pose vital environmental questioning. “What
does a green recovery look like?” Raymond illustrates. “We’ve had those discussions in our first
environmental working group. We’ve had conversations about equity, about environmental racism;
not everyone has access to technology and not everyone has the ability to cope with all of the demands
and barriers that COVID-19 brings.”
The interconnectivity of these problems is shocking, but Leeza assures me that understanding their
complexity can be made easy with one crucial tool; education. “A UTERN team member said to
me recently, ‘Let’s make sure that the funding is legit for George Floyd,’” they explain. “I thought,
yeah, so many people are reposting information mindlessly; let’s take the extra step and let’s be
aware of it. A lot of our team is part of the BIPOC community. We need to show support for the
students paying those Levy fees for us.” They elaborate that, upon further inspection, evidence of
injustice can be found in our own communities: “Once you start comparing all three campuses, it’s
shocking the uneven environmental development you start to see. Little things of lack of water bottle
dispensers and tokenism for Indigenous folks… I ask myself who I’m getting for events. The IDC
Conference, a speaker from First Nations House was like, “You don’t know about Scarborough?
There are so many First Nations Peoples here.’”
Raymond elaborates upon their statement by introducing me to Ceteris Paribus, a Latin phrase which
means ‘all things equal’ (Amadeo, 2019): “Economic circumstances are going to get worse because
the environment is getting worse. It’s a lot of damage put onto marginalized communities. It creates a
lot of disasters in our infrastructure. We can’t say we’re healing every time we go into the environment
if Indigenous people are being dispossessed from their land in the sake of pipelines. We can’t say that
water is a human right if FNMI [First Nations Métis Inuit] groups in northern Ontario aren’t getting
the drinking water they deserve. Self-care is just an opportunity to self-reflect; the environment is the
gateway to the realization that there is a world beyond you, a wonder beyond your existence.”
If the environment is one’s portal to a more colossal realm as Raymond suggests, UTERN is, without
doubt, the gateway drug to this understanding. Pertaining to the composition of such a drug, visibility,
legitimacy and capacity are described as its key ingredients. Raymond clarifies: “Visibility in the sense
that we established the first Instagram; UTSC [@utern.utsc] was actually the first account. We reached
out to other clubs, we got them to participate in the environmental working groups so leaders on
campus can establish connections. Legitimacy was establishing us as a funding medium that people
can access, but not just funding, but as a resource they can come and take whenever they need. As for
capacity…I’m going to have to graduate at one point. I have to find a successor. Leeza, my successor
today, felt like the perfect candidate to continue establishing stakeholder groups, to continue working
on constitutional reforms, to offer more representation for UTSC in every funding decision and every
Their statement makes sense, as Raymond has self-identified as a ‘rickety, old person’ on a handful of
occasions during our interview. The future aspirations of their successor are, simply, common to that
of the average person: “My dream is to be a sustainable mom – you know, like, ‘We’re going to the
bulk store’ – but my family will be educated about the issues happening. We’re going to fight for what’s
right; living in different places, learning about their environmental issues.”
Being seated in my parents’ backyard, I’m surrounded by my youth. I am accompanied by a powerless
feeling; dreams such as these seem ways away from becoming attainable. Leeza embodies a reminder
that I do better; that I actively participate to create an intact climate for my future self. “We’re almost
at the age where we can be creating policies; we’re creating youth forums and youth groups and we’re
making an impact. [UTERN] is so broad; we’re open to any ideas you have. Come pitch them.”
To learn more about UTERN’s activism and ambitions, visit their website at http://utern.org/wp/.
Amadeo, Kimberly. “Ceteris Paribus Simplifies Economics.” The Balance, 10 July 2019, www.
Mortillaro, Nicole. “Here's What Climate Change Could Look like in Canada | CBC News.”
CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 31 Oct. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/technology/climate-changecanada-1.4878263.
“Weblogin Idpz: University of Toronto.” Weblogin Idpz | University of Toronto, 2020, acorn.utoronto.
Visual Credits: Ray Hennessy
Abby Kaneko is a second-year student currently majoring in English
at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is an aspiring
author whose works have been featured in UTM’s Slate Magazine
and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s website.
Visual Credits: Markus Spiske
No Right Supremacy
By Abby Kaneko
No Right Supremacy
From the moment I open my eyes I see,
All this world’s catastrophe.
All those fleeing as a refugee.
All the people who’ll never be free.
What a funny word,
People say it’s like being a bird,
And flying away.
But, in my opinion, it’s being heard,
It’s getting to say,
What you want,
Without fear of being attacked,
Whether you’re white, brown, yellow or
Though I know for a fact,
That’s not how things are...
I’ve kept track.
What I do know is that it’s white men who
All their hearts being led by greed,
Who never let people of colour succeed.
There are people who are set in their ways
Who will let anyone not their kind burn,
People who deny and refuse to learn.
Like someone I know,
Close to home,
Who says things I can’t begin to condone.
They say that people of a certain skin tone,
Tend to be more violence prone.
I mean no disrespect,
But the last time I went and checked,
It’s your kind who colonized, wrecked and
The lives of certain races,
And imprisoned my grandfather.
So please don’t try to deflect,
I’ll show you the fact because I know
If it’s really people of colour who are cruel,
People of colour who can’t keep their cool,
Then why is it always white boys that
shoot up a school?
Uh oh, looks like John from chem’s
packing heat ‘cause I called him a tool!
Do you not see?
We never have to decide by proxy,
To know not every white person’s a Nazi.
That right there is the hot tea.
Some of you might be snickering,
What do I know?
A half-white girl from Pickering?
Well, I don’t know much,
I can’t begin to understand,
Every politic that is at hand.
But I do know that things need to change
The laws shouldn’t be made by idiot
Who were voted for by confederate hicks,
Along with the likes of conservative dicks.
Ladies, gents, and those in between,
I don’t want to sound like I’m too extreme,
Like I’m reaching for justice on a high
Letting out a voiceless scream.
This isn’t a poem with some scheme,
To receive emotion just for a theme,
And of course I would never dream,
To pull people down, or hurt their esteem,
I don’t want to sound like I’m being too
I just want to say...
Fuck white people who think their race is
The Hills Are White
By Alexa DiFrancesco
The hills across the valley were long and white. This is a rumour brought to life
as it travelled the gorge, stemmed from the minds of wicked teenagers who get high
too late on a Thursday night. Two of them, Agg and Benj, roll onto the pits of their
bellies, making angels in the dirt which birthed them. Sal, their lonely third, sits on the
riverbank below, twisting his arm at angle so inappropriate an observer would predict
“Reach the sky with us, Sal,” Benj proclaims, offering his arms to the worms
crawling in the bank. “The heroes live in the sky.”
“The sky is falling.” The sad boy traces a chalky outline of Chicken Little in the
space below his feet.
“The sky is white, and so are the clouds.” The friends’ echoes ring into the sky,
their laughter clasping onto each syllable. “And the hills.”
“You know the hills aren’t white, Agg. Benj knows the hills aren’t white.
Colorblind asshats think the hills are white, which is what I am.” Sal rips a dirtied
paper from his jean pocket and curls it into a ball. Once again, his arm twists at an
inappropriate angle. It flies as a stone normally would. “Got the proof right here.”
“Go to hell, Benj. Girls like condoms. Not colorblind asshats.”
“Come with me.” Agg frowns, sitting up in a daze. She skips into Sal’s lap, tugging
to his shirt with rigid fingers. The blushing girl shoves his head into his belly. Though
his eyes are closed, he knows hers are full moons.
“Open your eyes.” Agg empties the remainder of her powder onto the grass. She
throws away its pouch. “Now, all I see is white. The hills are white.”
“Take the white with us, you’ll forget.” Benj throws a small pouch to Agg, powder
falling from its seal. He grins. “White to black. Colour theory.”
“Fuck is the point of colours when I can’t see my surroundings?”
“Well, we can teach you to memorize that. Remember, on dates, hills are green,
not white. Condoms wrappers can be either.”
By Trisha Lochan
Trisha Lochan is a Canadian born Guyanese woman mixed
with other ethnicities, trying to find her peace in this world.
She is a strong believer in one's self and path. She considers
herself a bookworm meets undercover poet/writer. Her
hobbies include meditation, reading, writing, and painting.
Her go-to book is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel
Ruiz. A quote that resonates with her is, “What is meant
for you, will always be for you, no matter how long the
process takes you."
From the way you looked at me
Your eyes never meeting mine
You look distant
Where is the sparkle in your eye?
The twitch of your lip has me speechless
Eyes to the sky
Frown in a line
My heart’s racing but I’m unsure of why.
By Areen Aftab
Trigger Warning: mentions of domestic violence
I think of you when I am brushing my hair.
All the chilling ways you ran your hands through it, as if always on the brink of
yanking. The night you lead me to the other side of the fence, then the other side of
the door, you smiled. And I thought I could love you. I thought I could loan someone
happiness and charge a small percentage of interest. Maybe I could earn a profit that
way. But money was never mine to earn.
You toured me around, the cherry dress dragging around upon me, jewels and makeup
smirking on my skin, the diamond clasping my finger. Around stairs that someone had
wiped with their life, to rooms of equal grandeur, lights burning to provide maximum
brightness. At last, the kitchen. It looked like it came out of those home-magazines: all
shining steel, an eager employer. I smiled at my reflection through the steel haze. I take
the smile back.
I think of the emptiness, of the weight of air on my head, like a bejeweled crown
pressing me down, commanding me to straighten my back and wallow in my new-found
You gave me three pieces of silk and told me to wear them on my head, that my hair
should be covered as your wife. I accepted it. I wrapped it around my hair every
morning before I had to come down to the breakfast table. Well, the kitchen. It took
three minutes. The first, I would wrap my hair around, slip the hair tie from my wrist,
and secure the hair I’d tied up; the second, I would lay the cool silk on my scalp and
stare at the mirror—the silk breathing on my hair; in the third, I would clip it in place
and look at myself again. I bought the silk in many colours.
A child was not on the horizon, and my body knew your frustration. I knew it under
the moonlight after the sun had set. You explained it as your love, that you needed that,
but I knew your sighs: longer and heavier with every beat of the clock against my chest.
My womb finally complied, and I could see your mansion awaking; chandeliers gleaming
once again, like aristocrats sparing the luxury of their welcome. I could picture the
second take of my entrance. I take that hope back.
I think of my new pink hair, how it’s proud under the sun. Would it catch your eyes, or
would it deter them? I don’t know if I want to know.
You once said black was not my colour. But what was mine? In stolen minutes of
contentment, I decided I was okay. I decided that that was enough happiness for me,
even if it was not profitable. It came at the cost of your anger, not that I cared for
our blueprint of a bridge, but the anger that crossed the ocean anyway—the only cost
allowed to stand on my shoulders.
You held my hand. I gasped. Tears collecting in my eyes. And you said: “I could hit
you, but I am better than that.” Somehow, I would have preferred a physical bruise.
Somehow, you achieved the same effect without any trace. A bruise that found no one to
blame, so it blamed the skin. I take the tears back.
I think of the length of my hair, how I could never cut it out. It asks for commands of
your hands, not mine. And never a barber’s, of course.
I called my mother. She picked up the third time. She asked why I had called, and then
greeted me. Suddenly, I was angry at you. Enraged, infuriated, resentful. It awoke in me
like passion in the kid who, tired of missing out on account of his anxiety, decides to go
taste the world. I told her. She told me: “let the baby arrive.” The kid felt awkward the
whole time, and his thoughts ate him up; so he let the weight of his shoulders drag him
all the way back to his room. I take the anger back.
I think of how you wanted my hair tied. I think of how you wanted me tied.
When I ran, you were there to watch. You took your heir and then slammed the door shut.
I think of doors. How they can be opened to let you in, they can be closed to trap you in,
they can be opened to kick you out, and they can be closed to shut you out. How that wood
held power over me.
So, I got rid of the cloth around my hair to protest.
But I take that silk, along with the three minutes to put it on, back. This hijab belongs right
there, right where you wanted it. Right where my hands laid it down and cherished the
gentle sheath in its vibrant colour. It will never be yours.
By Nadya Ibrahim
I saw light at the end of a path
A place I wanted to be
A place I thought I’d be happy
So I followed the path
Which got darker and darker but I
The path - it had exits I could’ve gone
I should’ve turned around
But I kept following
The path - it had glimpses of hope
The occasional rays of sunshine
Poking through the darkness
The hazel wings of birds
Peeking out their nests
The rose petals
Scarcely scattered on the ground
But my goal only moved further and
As the light faded away
The path - it was no longer there
You look away the road to my goal
I’ve always known I’d never get there
You wouldn’t let us
By Nadya Ibrahim
By Nadya Ibrahim
I dropped a bucket into the well
There wasn’t a sound
So I peeked into the darkness
And I couldn’t look away
I was in a trance
The abyss attracted me
Pulled me in so close
I almost fell in
Looking away was impossible
The darkness was pulling me
Little star shining so bright in the sky,
How many million years ago did you die?
Your legacy lives on during the nights
When you aren’t outshone by city lights
Incapable of doing anything else
Snap out of it
Snap out of it
I was screaming
But there was no sound
. . . . .
There it was.
HOW THE 2020 U.S. ELECTIONS
WILL COME INTO PLAY FOR THE
By Theevya Ragu
2020 brings the 59th U.S. presidential
election, an extremely important election
for the post pandemic global economy,
for which Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and
Republican nominee President Donald Trump
will be facing the polls on the 3rd of November.
Media coverage and public interest has shown to
be one of the biggest determinants in the results
of the previous elections. With the numerous
pressing issues that flood the media continually,
there seems to be a strikingly different political
climate this year, compared to the 2016 elections.
Concerningly, only 52% of Americans claimed
to be “paying fairly close or very close attention
to news about the presidential candidates”
according to a Pew Research Center survey
conducted in late April this year (Jurkowitz,
2020). Whereas in April 2016, this number was
up to 69% (Jurkowitz, 2020). With the public
attention focused on keeping track of the daily
surge of COVID-19 cases, and the ongoing
war against racial inequality through the Black
Lives Matter movement, the importance of this
upcoming election may have been undermined.
Additionally, in spite of these national dilemmas,
the Trump administration is more committed
to pursuing other political agendas rooted in
America’s nationalist rhetoric, adding more
fuel to the fire. This article aims to highlight the
imminent threat posed to America’s economy and
their foreign relations, through the work visa ban,
as well as how this election will shape the many
years to come.
President Trump had suspended the issuing of
certain categories of work visas to immigrant
workers, as well as green cards for people applying
from abroad till the end of 2020. The H-1B visa
is a non-immigrant visa available for graduate
level, highly skilled individuals to be employed
by U.S. companies. This visa has been successful
in bringing talented individuals to the technology,
health care and media sectors (“Who All Will
Be Hurt”, 2020). Experts have weighed in on
this with their opinion, claiming that this would
instead have detrimental consequences to the
U.S. Economy. Additionally, the H4 visa has been
terminated which bars dependent family members
such as spouses to accompany the worker (“Who
All Will Be Hurt”, 2020). Many more work visas
have been suspended including the H-2B visa
which now restricts American companies from
hiring foreigners in industries such as landscaping,
forestry, hospitality and construction (“Who All
Will Be Hurt”, 2020). The J-1 exchange visitor
visa which permits interns, trainees, to engage in
work-study programs, as well as the L-1 visa for
managers and executive professionals to transfer
to the U.S. within the same company (“Who All
Will Be Hurt”, 2020).
Visual Credits: Joao Marcelo Martins
This strategy has been presumably implemented
to recover the post-pandemic economy and
protect American jobs. Yet, the looming question
that concerns most aspiring migrant workers is,
for how long? For how long will they be barred
from receiving a visa, how long will it take for the
economy to recover, and what will this all mean
if President Trump is re-elected in November?
President Trump’s most successful approach in
the previous 2016 election, has been appealing
to the anti-immigration sentiment present among
many of their citizens. Yet, his attempts and
apparent promises at eradicating the immigrant
population from the country has been nothing
short of a failure. Shortly after he took office in
2017, applying for work visas has been made
excruciatingly harder. Applicants have had to
endure an increase in fees, a longer wait time
for the renewal of visa, and a new obligation of
attending in-person interviews for employmentbased
green card applicants. Despite these
obstacles, the tech industry is still heavily reliant
on foreign talents as they hired 138,689 H-1b visa
holders in 2019 alone (Collins, 2020). This new
visa ban which obstructs over 500,000 workers
from entering the U.S. is perhaps President
Trump’s final ploy for regaining the trust of his
far right voters prior to the election (Collins,
While Trump may be using this nationalist
attitude in hope to support his re-election
campaign, Biden is keen on seizing the moment
while the nation erupts from the Black Lives
Matter movement. The former U.S. Vice
President during the Obama administration, did
not hesitate to take a knee with the protesters and
lead the way for young Americans to eliminate
systematic discrimination. Accordingly, 42% of
Americans deem race relations to be crucial in
determining their president at the end of the year
(Dezenski, 2020). With the possibility of Biden
being elected for president, we can expect a much
louder Democratic presence in the Senate and the
Visual Credits: Ratik Sharma
House. We’ve witnessed this in many occasions
where for example recently, the police reform
bill that was passed in the Democratic House of
Representatives was, shunned by Republicans in
the Senate, to propose a rather lackluster bill of
their own. As strenuous as it is to achieve complete
racial equality in the country, it is just as difficult
to demand congressional action.
The global reach of the Black Lives Matter
movement has once again reminded us of America’s
influence in international politics. Similarly,
this upcoming election and the recent work visa
ban, will have drastic repercussions in terms of
foreign relations. The previously flourishing
U.S. and India relations may take a major hit,
as 75% of H1-B visa applications are Indians
(Parvini 2020). The crucial role that China plays
in global security is irrefutable, yet the President
has made careless racist remarks in reference to
the pandemic, forgetting the importance of their
allies. Furthermore, the result of this election will
determine whether the withdrawal of the U.S.
from the World Health Organization, a move
widely criticized internationally, will be reversed
at any point in the next four years.
This election means much more than about who
will reside in the White House for the next four
years. It’s about the need for immediate but proper
action, the need for the right experience, the need
for unity, and the need for change.
“Progress is impossible without change, and
those who cannot change their minds cannot
change anything” - George Bernard Shaw.
Collins, Yannan. “Trump's Work Visa Ban May Backfire on U.S. Economy.” CGTN, 25 June
Dezenski, Lauren. “Race Relations Are Now Front-of-Mind for 2020 Voters.” CNN, Cable News
Network, 9 June 2020, edition.cnn.com/2020/06/08/politics/race-relations-2020-issue-poll-georgefloyd/index.html
Jurkowitz, Mark. “Americans Are Following News about Presidential Candidates Much Less
Closely than COVID-19 News.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 31 May 2020, www.
Parvini, Sarah. “They Worked in the U.S. on Visas. But Coronavirus and Trump's New Order Split
These Indian Families Apart.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2020, www.latimes.
“Who All Will Be Hurt the Most by Trump's Visa Ban.” The Economic Times, Economic Times, 9
July 2020, economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/who-all-will-be-hurt-the-mostby-trumps-visa-ban/articleshow/76683369.cms.
Visual Credits: Amarnath Tade
DEAR MOM: I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO
EARN YOUR TRUST
Why our first instincts should always be to believe the victim.
Trigger Warning: mentions of rape & sexual violence/assault
We were watching reruns of Entertainment Tonight on the morning of Dad’s birthday when you
told me. He was pacing the hallway, in the process of taking a phone call. You were chewing on
whole wheat cereal while I swirled a metal spoon through thick strawberry yogurt. Nichelle Turner
was hosting a segment regarding Justin Bieber’s recent rape allegations, brought forward by a
younger fan. A fruity chunk had just touched my tongue when yours announced, in a disgusted
tone, “I don’t believe her.”
About an hour later, we attempted to execute our daily exercise routine. Your elbows were digging
into our uncleaned carpet, your back arching into a sharp curve as you planked. My torso slouched
into my knees as I browsed through Spotify Premium, in search of an upbeat playlist. I glanced at
you, your position sturdy and secure. I dared protest for the first time: “It bothers me that you don’t
You didn’t fall immediately, but you looked at me with caution as you argued. Women lie about rape
so frequently; who’s to say she isn’t making up a story to earn money? Her claims aren’t recent;
what if she stragically waited until abuse became a trend to speak up? He’s wealthy, he could
sleep with anyone; do you really believe she’s so special that he would force her? Your questions
insulated layers of tension between the walls of my throat; their transformation into accusatory
statements sealing my lips as for no release. I felt your weight compress my vocal cords, only to be
released by the terrifying proclamation: She entered his hotel room; she was asking for it.
I didn’t realize that I had been resisting crying until I found myself disappointed by the sense of
water clearing its path through my cheeks. Yours were stern; you focused them towards Dad, who
had re-entered the room. Let Dad settle this. As if this mistruth was arguable, or that one man had
the authority to accredit it worth. You looked at him pointedly, motioned towards me and explained,
“She’s upset that I don’t believe. She thinks I’m a bad person.”
Not A----. Not my name. She. In an instant, you had stripped the value of my opinion as your
daughter. You took away my individualism. You deprived me of my identity. Here, I was to be as
anonymous as the women who dared write their names to be associated with dirtied, stereotyped
claims of sexual assault.
Visual Credits: Adrien Ledoux & Jannis Lucas
Today, I join them by stating my name.
I’ll begin by introducing you to the corrupted room that I’d entered.
I was sixteen; too young to have a G2 driver’s license.
You’d driven me to that room.
I was going to a man’s house for what would be our second date. I call him ‘man’ because this is what
he was; at eighteen years old, he was legally an adult. Our evening would be similar to the one we’d
shared the week prior. Though I told you we’d be watching television in his living room, we’d actually
be talking in his bed, watching the moon fall through his shutters. He would get high from a bong, and
I’d watch afterwards as he drain tarnished water through his window. He’d pick at the weed residue
with a fork. There would be reruns of nineties cable shows playing on the flat-screen in the corner of
We would be kissing, but that was all. Before I’d left the house, my best friend had teased me by telling
me to use protection. Though I’d planned to have sex with other people before, it was important to me
that I lost my virginity to someone I loved and someone who’d loved me. You’d taught me that. But he
was physically stronger, and he was persistent. I was afraid of admitting to myself that I was evidently
overpowered if I’d told him ‘no’, and he didn’t respect it.
The first occasion I’d told him ‘no’, he was on top of me. Our weights had shifted that way after sitting
down and leaning on one another. He’d taken his shirt off. I’d taken my pants off. His pants were still
on. My shirt was still on. My eyes were closed. I didn’t notice that he’d tugged down his jeans slightly
and had taken out his penis. I’d felt it press against my underwear. I’d told him that I wasn’t ready
yet. He accepted my wishes. He didn’t put his penis away. He asked me to hold it for him, so it didn’t
accidentally slip in my underwear and into me.
The word ‘accidentally’ scared me. I didn’t want my first time to be an accident. More intensely, I
didn’t want to be sent home. So I made a choice. I decided that I was capable of loving him in the
future. I decided that I would make him love me. I decided that, because of his past, he needed to sleep
with me in order to let himself love me. I convinced myself that I could tolerate his penis being thrusted
into me after I’d voiced my discomfort.
Having to be convinced into sex doesn’t equal consent. I didn’t understand this until much later, until
after our relationship ended. For the next year, I’d bragged to my friends about how I was the first of
them to lose my virginity, about how my boyfriend was two years older, about how his penis was so
large that he couldn’t put it all the way inside without excruciating pain. But sex isn’t supposed to be
painful. We didn’t use foreplay. We didn’t use lubricant. We didn’t use protection.
Afterwards, he’d taken me downstairs to meet his family.
Harold Kelley’s Casual Schemata and the Attribution Process and Fitz Heider’s The Psychology
of Interpersonal Relations, explains that there are two categories of attribution: internal and
external. Usually, humans make internal attributions when they recognize a person’s characteristics
as the cause of their situation. External attributions identify environment and circumstances
as the cause of a person’s behaviour. Victim-blaming is described to occur when people
overemphasize personal characteristics and devalue environmental factors when judging survivors.
Visual Credits: Filip Kominik
Those who make this error regard the victim to be partially responsible for the violence perpetrated
onto them (The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 2009).
I’ve already illustrated my abuse through an external attribution lens. I’ll do you the favour of
entertaining it from an internal one as well.
Intelligence-wise, I was an Honour Roll with Distinction student. I participated in classes such as
Advanced Placement English and Canadian Law; as such, I’d been taught the definitions and attributes
of phrases such as “rape” and “sexual assault”. I’d performed in musicals and plays as part of school
drama club. I possessed an abundance of confidence, and was used to telling boys who’d messaged me
online that no, I would not go on dates with them. I knew I was pretty, and I told my friends they were,
too. I told them not to settle for boys who would take advantage of their kindness, and when they did, I
discerned, “Knowing better isn’t something that can be taught. They have to be let down and discover
This advice was almost prophetic in expressing my naivety, in my hypocrisy. Yet my friends accepted
it because it was reliable. This was another ‘personal characteristic’; trustworthiness. You’d attested it,
when I’d voiced my concern of being doubted should I come forward with an assault story. We trust
you, of course we’d believe you. I’d be willing to fight for you before anyone. In your perspective, why
is trust something victims have to earn?
I know you wanted me to be comforted by your solace. But I wasn’t. I was terrified. So when you
rushed to my side and enveloped the woman you’d suddenly remembered as your daughter into your
arms, when you bravely asked if anything had happened to me, I answered no. Instantly, you looked
relieved. Why did you choose to believe the anonymous victim – myself – in the moment? Just like she
had when her assault was perpetrated, she was saying no.
One of my closest friends consistently tells me that I should only share with anyone if their knowing
will cause me peace. Though you knowing will never cause me peace, I would have sacrificed this
peace for change in our family. But I chose not to share this horrific experience with you in that
moment because I didn’t believe you would learn from it. I believe you would adapt to withholding
your attitude towards sexual violence in front of me, but bigotry would continue in private settings. In a
room the same style to the one my assault occurred in, I would become an embarrassed conversational
topic as you’d laid beside Dad.
So I fed you the story that said assault was inflicted on a friend. This wasn’t a lie. It had happened to her,
too. This is the truth; one in every four North American women will be assaulted within their lifetime.
(Department of Justice, 2019). 60% of these victims are under the age of seventeen; minors, daughters of
women like you. (Department of Justice, 2019). But we don’t want to be your daughters. We don’t want
biological relationship to be the reason care for our well-being. We want you to care because we’re people.
Nearly 80% of sexual assaults or rapes remain unreported. (Kimble, 2018). Though I don’t know these
individuals or their rationales personally, I assume this statistic remains absurdly high because they’re
not regarded as people.
You take away our status as a person when your first instinct is to impose on us the belief that we belong
to a cluster of lying women who follow a ‘trend’. You eliminate our experiences, our validity, when
you defend assaulters for the chance that they’re being falsely accused. You take away our humanistic
ability to lapse judgement when you blame us for entering the rooms that we will become survivors to.
Visual Credits: Levi Stute
Edited By: Arya Bhat
you’ll trust me
in that moment.
I’m asking you
to believe all
You assume we were never a person in that our minds are incapable of processing information when
you question why it’s taken so long for us to share our stories. As John Proctor states in Arthur Miller’s
The Crucible, "Because it is my name. Because I cannot have another in my life" (143). Why would
we want our names associated with this uneducated backlash?
@danielleglvn and @ItsnotKadi are the Twitter usernames of the young women who accused Justin
Bieber of misconduct last month (Wallis, 2020). (@danielleglvn’s account has since been suspended
by Twitter). Whilst not their legal names, these brave individuals will be identified by their family
members, friends, and followers. Their names will oppose countless backlash from Bieber’s supporters,
and are being met with a $20 million defamation lawsuit from Bieber himself. @danielleglvn's story
was the one you and I were informed about via Entertainment tonight (Wallis). Like you, I’d heard
that she met Bieber after a show in Texas, and that she and a friend was invited to his hotel room at the
Four Seasons. Unlike you, I accept that I know neither her internal or external characteristics. I will
never meet her. I will never know her personally; she will not have the opportunity to earn my trust.
But I know she’s a person, and so I believe her. And I believe the other woman who accused him of
violence. I will not offer any idea on this page but the fact that they are innocent. They have signed
their names to it.
They give me hope that, one day, I’ll be able to sign mine.
You’ve already affirmed that you’ll trust me in that moment. That’s not nearly enough. I’m asking you
to believe all others should theirs arrive, too.
Department of Justice. “Bill C-46: Records Applications Post-Mills, A Caselaw Review.” Government
of Canada, Apr. 2019, www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/ccs-ajc/rr06_vic2/p3_4.html.
Kimble, Cameron. “Sexual Assault Remains Dramatically Underreported.” Brennan Center for Justice,
4 Oct. 2018, www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/sexual-assault-remains-dramaticallyunderreported.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. Penguin Books, 2016.
The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. “Victim Blaming.” Aug. 2009, pp. 3–3.
Wallis, Adam. “Justin Bieber Files $20M Defamation Lawsuit against Sexual Assault Accusers.” Global
News, 26 June 2020, globalnews.ca/news/7111183/justin-bieber-lawsuit-sexual-assault-allegations/.
Visual Credits: Vincent Burkhead
You Left A Beautiful Mark
By Anika Munir
Anika Munir is a student at University of Toronto
Scarborough who is passionate about writing, politics and
law. She has various hobbies including hiking, cooking
and learning new things.
I felt it.
Six months later.
I realized it.
Everything had changed.
Who I was.
What I thought I wanted.
Things did not feel the same anymore.
Maybe it was because you were not here anymore.
Often, people come into your life.
They say things.
They do things.
They chnage you.
For good sometimes.
Sometimes they can even leave a beautiful mark on you.
It can even be a beautiful mark.
One so deep.
One so hopeful.
One that shows you that you have not changed at all.
You have just grown.
ARTIST SERIES I
Amir Ahmad Kheiri
Amir Ahmad Kheiri is a 25 years old creative living
in Shiraz, Iran. He graduated from the U of Shahid
Rajaee of Tehran in Graphic design 2 years ago.
Currently, he is a high school art teacher, photographer and
poster designer. He is also interested in film making and
ABOUT THE SERIES
Time has stopped. The reflection of ambiguous voices
can be heard. All objects around, are suffering from their
meaning disruption and here, exactly in this situation,
humans try to achieve a united definition of themselves. It
can be a long and exhausting way to an unclear destination
of different times and places.
A world with no specific time, place or color will surround
This project is about The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett.
"And yet I am afraid, afraid of what my words will do to
me, to my refuge, yet again... If I could speak and yet
say nothing, really nothing? Then I might escape being
gnawed to death." - The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
The Unnamable 1 By Amir Ahmad Khieri
At present time, Kateryna Bortsova is a painter – graphic
artist with BFA in graphic arts and MFA. Works of
Kateryna have been displayed in many international
exhibitions such as Taiwan, Moscow, Munich, Spain,
Macedonia, and Budapest. Also, she won a silver medal in
the category “realism” while participating in the “Factory of
visual art” in New York, USA and the 2015 Emirates Skywards
Art of Travel competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Kateryna is always open for commission and you can view
her work on Instagram or on her website.
“Phenomenal Woman” By Kateryna Bortsova
ARTIST SERIES II
Yohannes Soubirius De Santo
Medium: PEN, WATERCOLOUR, DIGITAL
Yohannes Soubirius De Santo is an Indonesianbased
artist with numerous exhibitional and artistic
• Manik Bumi Foundation "Trash To Art" Exhibition, At
Manik Bumi Foundation Gallery, Buleleng Regency, Bali
Province, Indonesia (2020)
• Collection Of Under Campus Gallery Undiksha "Action",
At Undiksha Campus Down Gallery, Buleleng Regency,
Bali Province, Indonesia (2020)
• "Rong" Guyub Rupa Exhibition, At The Unnes Fine Arts
Gallery, Semarang City, Central Java Province, Indonesia
• Photography Exhibition "Tiwikan Tiwiku", At Undiksha
Campus Down Gallery, Buleleng Regency, Bali Province,
His Life motto is "Really Wrong, Not Pessimistic"
“The Work Chat Sale”
By Yohannes Soubirius De Santo
“the work switch function”
Parents are symbolized as rulers, Children as communities, and Snakes as honey but
In this work, I talk about how the attitudes and nature of the authorities abuse the
office, where the rulers from time to time continue to produce sweet promises such as
honey in order to smooth their way and purpose, but people do not know it is actually
a poison that will make them miserable. The sense of humanity, love, and freedom to
obtain health, education, employment, etc. that has been promised has become very
unlikely to be realized. It is this attitude and nature of these rulers that makes social
problems such as racial, ethnic, religious and cultural differences continue into the
present day. If this continues, humanity, love, and freedom are merely illusions.
“i’m starting to be spotted”
Seeing the chaotic and uncontrolled atmosphere of the house today, as more and more
negative spices continue to enter the house, so that the actual image of the house
has begun to fade from time to time, and slowly the good things in the house only
remain in memories from the past. The work that I created was aimed at conveying
the feelings of people whose homes felt disturbed and spiced by negative herbs into
their homes as I presented these feelings in a visual form, with a work entitled "I
Started to be Tainted".
“the virus chatter sale”
The topic of today's discussion cannot be separated from the discussion
about COVID-19. This is a conversation that can be sold anywhere in the
present. Where I first got the idea to work on this piece was a situation
where many elements began to be centered and confined to a virus.
“the virus chatter sale”
In my work, I made it in the form of panels with used cardboard as a
medium. I based it with paint before I started drawing. On the edges of the
cardboard, I deliberately peeled a portion of the cardboard to give it rise.
Appearing in the distinctive parts of each cardboard, namely in the bumpy
part, I intended to provide an overview of the current situation, where the
current situation has begun to be centered and confined to the virus.
ARTIST SERIES III
Toronto based photographer Justyna Przybylowska
specializes in still life conceptual photography. Her
education background is in interior design. Creating
custom art for her design clients helped propel Justyna into
photography. Her images are provocative and inspired by
fashion and film noir.
ABOUT THE SERIES
My photography showcases degradation but the strength is
still present. By glamorizing the nasty, messy aspects of life,
I ultimately power through in my work. I draw inspiration
from my own experiences, pop culture and old Hollywood
films, especially the genre of film noir.
By displaying the matrix of bones that resides under
our flesh, my aim with this image is to showcase human
strength and resilience.
“Recherche” By Justyna Przybylowska
ARTIST SERIES IV
Medium: ACRYLIC, GOLD LEAF
Varsha Sureka, an Indian settled in Dubai, is a
proactively creative and self-taught artist, with a
Master’s degree in Human Resource, a mom, a music
lover, highly energetic and skillful. Her love for art emerged
right from a very tender age and it has been her eternal love
Varsha brings with her a wide range of art forms which
includes Abstract, Resin, Landscape, Mixed Media and Clay
work. With her art forms, she believes in giving words to the
unsaid, enriching them with life.
Her artworks have been exhibited in major art galleries,
hotels, malls, premium shops and parks all over Dubai,
worth mentioning out of which are her works with "Live
Limitless”, "Arab Cultural Club. Sharjah", "Paris-Sorbonne
University, Abu Dhabi", "Oasis Mall, Dubai", & "Dubai Outlet
Mall". She has been invited as a judge and mentor for many
renowned events and competitions all around UAE.
She has also done some amazing works with the NGOs for
the specially abled kids to lift them up and she stands firm
for Equality. The cultural diversity of UAE has always been a
strong area of interest for her and her paintings depicts the
same. She has been the most sought-after artist for "Equality
Paintings" in Dubai.
“Equality Series” By Varsha Sureka
Every artwork of Varsha is an infusion of creativity and colours accompanied with
a strong message for society. They are symbolic, have an impeccably planned-out
composition and are often part of a change that she wants to bring to the society. Not
just talking about change but being The Change is portrayed and embossed with her
This painting of hers exemplifies the same. The different figures stand firm as the
pillars of unity. With this painting of hers, she tries to outline the word “Equality”, that
we all are the same, there is no discrimination, our start was the same and the end is
going to be the same as well. Let’s have a journey of harmony and togetherness.
United we Stand, Together we are Stronger.
“rising from the dust”
This painting of mine is infused with motivation and courage. We all have had our
shares of descends, and now we rise. Every single step of yours is a journey of a
thousand miles. My artwork portrays the same. I personify the plants, delivering the
message of a life risen up from mud (dust), and the butterflies are the metaphors, that
symbolizes the beautification of those lives. Take the step, it's worth taking it. You
Ever wondered how it would be, if you could flutter the wings of your imagination in
the sky of opportunity? In our busy lives, we have forgotten to unfurl the child within
us, the freedom within us, the freedom to think, to act, to create, to innovate, to be the
true us, The Freedom to Live.
This artwork of mine portrays the same “FREEDOM”. The flying birds are the metaphor
depicting the Freedom of your thoughts and emotions.
The message that I want to depict through my artwork is, "Never be afraid to do the
things that make you feel free and don’t refrain to give yourself a chance to be better.
Let that child in YOU crawl out again."
We welcome BIPOC voices and emphasize our commitment
to providing opportunities for racialized people, especially
Black and Indigenous writers and artists.
Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Visual Credits: Tom Barrett
UTSC Women’s and Trans Centre