“What makes me angry is when people say just get over it. But what people don’t realize is that it has literally changed your DNA. Once people understand that, we can have a conversation.”
-Indigenous writer and artist Francine Cunningham talks about the legacy of residential schools in her family, writing about mental illness, and art making.
The songs we mentioned have been removed from the file for copyright purposes. They are Uja by Tanya Tagaq, Stadium Pow Wow by A Tribe Called Red and Clumsy by Our Lady Peace. The final song was Rideback by Hannah Georgas.
This Sunday on The Storytelling Show, I had the pleasure of interviewing poet and artist Minah Lee who has been a part of the Vancouver culture scene since moving here from South Korea nine years ago. We talked about the challenges around artists seeking permanent residency in Canada as well as creating between cultures and languages.
Lee has made her visual poem “Mirror” available online here.
As a freelance theatre critic, my work sometimes feels like a return to Girl Guide camp, with counsellor figures cautioning me about where I should and should not tread. In April, I wrote a review of the Vancouver premiere of the play Dead Metaphor by Governor General Award–winning playwright George F. Walker, and the warnings turned to klaxons.
I wrote about being a female theatre critic and gender inequality in Canadian theatre for the Walrus. Read the article here.
On September 27, poet and scholar Adèle Barclay joined me on the Storytelling Show on Vancouver Coop Radio CFRO 100.5 fm. We talked about poetry, film, far away friends and life as a literary extrovert. And we listen to Vancouver band Pale Red and Toronto act Diana. Listen to the interview on Soundcloud here:
A couple of years ago, thanks to a research grant from the very kind people at Access Copyright, I travelled back to Miyagi Prefecture and toured a few of the cities that had been seriously damaged or destroyed in the 2011 Great Tohoku Tsunami. It was a challenging journey and I saw many haunting images and scenes of extraordinary resilience that I will never forget, but the most emotional part of the trip was a day I spent with my friend Achiko and her friend Yuka in the town of Onagawa.
Take a listen to the story below–it only clocks in at about 8 minutes.