May 19, 2006

Cool diaspora event in Toronto.

Ah, if only I could venture to our northern border next week to check out this event. It is quite nice to see a dialogue that includes members and viewpoints from a broader South Asian diaspora than the requisite line-of-control neighbors.

While I have not read the other two writers, Selvadurai's work is inspired, and I can only imagine that the discussion will be interesting. The further I move from the world of literature and the arts in which I once traveled, the harder it is to follow more ethereal and esoteric discussions of identity, (be)longing, and cultural hybrid-/fluid-ity. But darn it, I love that stuff!

Working on some interesting ideas in that vein that may find a little corner here this summer. But regardless, I've been pulling out books, opening to random pages, and taking deep breaths this week to celebrate freedom.

Noted Authors Discuss the Immigrant Experience

Enigmas of Departure event in celebration of Asian Heritage Month
May 19/06
by Michah Rynor

Three of the most recognizable literary names in Canada’s South Asian community will join forces at New College May 26 to discuss what it means to be an immigrant of Asian heritage in Canada.

In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, authors Shyam Selvadurai (Funny Boy), Nazneen Sheikh (Tea and Pomegranates: A Memoir of Family Food and Kashmir) and Cyril Dabydeen (Drums of My Flesh) will take part in a panel discussion at the William Doo Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. The event, entitled Enigmas of Departure: Rethinking South Asian Diaspora, will address topics such as gender, diaspora, settlement patterns, hybridity and identity. The authors have been asked to discuss how their writing relates to the notion of Asian heritage.

“Enigmas of Departure suggests ambiguities of enigmas of arrival and embraces notions of belonging/longing in a steadily changing Canada with demographic shifts occurring almost daily,” says Dabydeen who emigrated from Guyana and is of Indian ancestry. “The materiality of why people migrate will be discussed in context as well as place and identity and the spaces one occupies.”

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