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July-August 2021

The gentrification of Scarberia

This is Scarborough and it isn't yours to own

Renee Ashley

“You’re from Scarborough!?” Scarborough rolled off his tongue like a bitter taste he was trying to get rid of, almost as soon as the word left his mouth. This is one of my first memories of someone’s reaction to where I lived. It sounded heavy with the weight of negative stereotypes. I didn’t know I […] More »
July-AugustJuly-August 2021

To newcomers to Canada, from someone who’s been there

Breaking down the myth of multiculturalism

Oyindamola Esho

Dear new Canadian immigrants, The multicultural Canada you imagined does not exist. There, I said it. When I came to this country in 2006 at the age of nine, I, like you, had hoped for a better life than what a mismanaged Nigerian government promised. Canada seemed to have a steady flow of electricity, free […] More »
July-August 2021

A no frills approach to poetry

Victoria Mbabazi's poems feel like a conversation with a friend

Jo Ramsay

Black lesbian poet Victoria Mbabazi’s poetry collection, chapbook, was published by Anstruther Press in January 2021 and is now in its third printing. Their poetry’s No Name Brand design and style was inspired by the advertisements they saw commuting to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus last summer, a time when they were also searching […] More »
July-August 2021

True crime as a love language

A mother and son bond over sensational stories

JP Larocque

The other night, my mother sent my partner Jason a text message. It was an innocuous check-in—warm greetings, a few updates on quarantine life, and a request for some items from our next grocery run. But sandwiched between the mundane details of life and the odd joke was an itemized list of true crime documentaries. […] More »
May-June 2021

When suburbia is the only home you know

My changing relationship to Markham, Ontario

Flora Pan

The excavators were a sore sight. Each machine with its little claw dug into the earth, ripping out the vegetation that grew in place of the usual rows of corn. Just like that, another piece of farmland in Markham, Ontario would be turned to houses. “I’ve had this for eight years,” I tell my boyfriend, […] More »
May-June 2021

I’m 33 years old. I live at home. And I love it.

While the pandemic has forced some adult children to move home, some were already there—should multigenerational living be an option for more Canadians?

Roland Mascarenhas

“So, where is your apartment around?” she asked me. Even before answering, I know where this is going. She isn’t asking because of romantic interest, the subtle hint of inviting herself over. Perhaps she wants to size me up, or maybe it’s just one of those gold-standard small talk questions someone asks, similar to “what […] More »
March-April 2021

In pursuit of Muslim representation

My dream of becoming Hollywood’s first hijabi talk-show host

Aishah Ashraf

Growing up in a traditional first-generation Muslim-Canadian family, I constantly struggled to determine what career I wanted to pursue. For years, I faced the dilemma of whether to satisfy the vision my parents had created for me or to go out on a limb and pursue my own interests of joining the entertainment industry, ultimately […] More »
March-April 2021

The art of looking past labels

Hanan Hazime’s work grapples with real world issues

Russul Sahib

From an early age, Hanan Hazime remembers being immersed in the arts. As a young child, she loved painting, dressing up in costumes, and creating elaborate stories. Now, at the age of 30, Hazime is a multidisciplinary artist whose work ranges from politically charged paintings to nature poetry. As a Lebanese-Canadian, non-neurotypical, and invisibly disabled, […] More »
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

I can’t say her name

On Black mental health during the pandemic

Venus Noirre

Breonna Taylor. I’m tired of hearing her name, I’m tired of seeing her face everywhere. It seems like 2020 has been the year for everything and everyone to break down. The complete isolation that so many of us have been forced into has destroyed any semblance of the old selves that were left. With numerous […] More »
January-February 2021

Reality bites

Edmonton podcast investigates anti-Black racism and policing

Sofia Osborne

When George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered by police in the United States, sparking protests across the world, Avnish Nanda, an Edmonton lawyer, approached Bashir Mohamed and Oumar Salifou with an idea for a podcast investigating anti-Black racism and policing in Edmonton. Within a week of launching in June, Is This For Real? had […] More »