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January-February 2021

Portraits of Black excellence

Simone Elizabeth Saunders uses a traditional technique to make contemporary masterpieces

Christelle Saint-Julien

Simone Elizabeth Saunders’ work is remarkable. She uses tufting—a traditional rug-making technique—to bring fabric to life by mixing fibres, colour, and portraiture. The Calgary-based artist creates scaled-up artwork averaging 70 inches squared, equipped with what is called a tufting gun, which is an automatic hand-held device. “It is such a beautiful process to have this […] More »
January-February 2021

Writing through pain

Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch’s epistolary poems confront chronic pain

Shazia Hafiz Ramji

In the opening letter of their debut poetry collection, knot body, Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch writes: “The days get brighter but somehow I don’t. A dilemma, right? I thought I was swayed by the light, moods lifting as the clouds lift, yet this pain is fingers deep.” El Bechelany-Lynch’s writing is at once an intimate […] More »
November-December 2020

We have done enough

Reflections on creative practice and its role within movements for Black life

Jessica P. Kirk

The energy that fills the room at a book launch surrounded by community is a feeling like no other. Walking into a reconfigured venue with familiar faces, soulful melodies, and warm hugs is one of those experiences I’m grateful to have been a part of before everything changed amid the pandemic. These are the kind […] More »
November-December 2020

The perfect blend

Pantayo mixes traditional Filipino music with contemporary pop and rock

Rosie Long Decter

We were teaching ourselves something that we didn’t know,” says Kat Estacio, co-founder of Toronto’s Pantayo, a quintet blending traditional Filipino kulintang music with Western pop and rock styles. That’s partly why it took eight years between the ensemble’s first practice in 2012 and the release of their self-titled debut earlier this year. As with […] More »
November-December 2020

A Black queer feminist press is born

Introducing Hush Harbour

Christelle Saint-Julien

Alannah Johnson and Whitney French know the world needs more Black literature. That’s why the Toronto-based writers have launched Hush Harbour, a literary press dedicated to imagining Black feminisms and uplifting works of short fiction. “There are so many Black writers and storytellers to uphold and affirm,” says French. “Among the many nuanced stories within […] More »

Interview with Jean Marc Ah-Sen

RM Vaughan talks to the author about his new book, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation

RM Vaughan

Jean Marc Ah-Sen’s new “novel”, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation, is a novel for people who are bored by conventional A to B storytelling. Comprised of dozens of different forms of communication and fictive formats – from horny letters to academic essays – Beggarly Style is ultimately about the fractured ways in which we […] More »
September-October 2020

What fashion blogging taught me about being genderqueer

An essay about coming out in front of the camera

Sanchari Sur

I am not sure what compelled me to ask him, and what compelled him to say yes. But there I was, craning my neck like a chicken about to be slaughtered, and smizing my eyes for all they were worth, while he clicked. The photos were for my new fashion blog, my experiment with fashion […] More »
September-October 2020

Cover models

Six Canadian writers tell us about doing makeup looks to match beloved book covers

Various

“Terese has the best #booklooks and what a nice surprise to see this this morning,” tweeted author Casey Plett this spring when Terese Mason Pierre posted her #booklook based on Plett’s Little Fish. Later in the spring, Canthius, a feminist magazine of poetry and prose, tweeted that “the best thing on Twitter right now has […] More »
September-October 2020

Black art matters

Spotlight on Shaya Ishaq

Francesca Ekwuyasi

Shaya Ishaq’s work moves fluidly between mediums—words, ceramics, fibres, jewellery—while maintaining a central locus of honouring Black lineages and sparking light toward liberated Black futures. Tenacious and ever-evolving, Ishaq walked away from journalism school and signed up for a hand-building course at a pottery studio in her hometown of Ottawa. “I really fell in love […] More »
September-October 2020

Why the fight for inclusivity in fashion education is more important than ever

What schools could be doing differently to create more progress

Amanda Scriver

The fashion industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to inclusivity. Often, when we discuss the lack of diversity—race, gender, body size, or disability—we think that the work of inclusivity has to start on the runways, in the boardrooms, or in editorial spreads. While it’s true that those changes need […] More »
July-August 2020

A letter to Audre Lorde

There's nothing wrong with being unoriginal

Hadiyyah Kuma

Dear Audre Lorde, My fingers ache. All I can do since this pandemic started locally is read and write. And not my assignments and essays; none of those thrill me. None get at what I really want to say; none encapsulate the expanse of human suffering we are seeing on our screens and streets. To […] More »